U.S. Air Force to Expand Medical VR Training to aid evaluation and management of COVID-19

The $1 million VALOR program builds on the SimX VR military simulation training capabilities already deployed within the Department of Defense (DOD) By DA Staff / 29 Oct 2020
SimX medical simulation platform
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SimX has expanded its partnership with the U.S. Air Force (USAF) to develop operational medical training systems through the SimX virtual reality (VR) medical simulation platform. 

The new $1 million Virtual Advancement of Learning and Operational Readiness (VALOR) program builds on existing collaborative efforts between SimX and innovators within the USAF, and will build on the SimX VR military simulation training capabilities already deployed within the Department of Defense (DOD). 

SimX medical simulation platform
Unites States Air Force (USAF) special operations ground forces training in virtual reality using the SimX medical simulation platform, as part of the Virtual Advancement of Learning and Operational Readiness (VALOR) program.

Recognizing the urgent need for education and training to combat the global COVID-19 pandemic, this program will also allow for military adaptation of SimX cases focused on the evaluation and management of COVID-19. Currently, the civilian version of these cases can be downloaded and used free of charge by any hospital or training program with Oculus Quest or HTC Vive devices.

This project was made possible through the highly competitive Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Direct to Phase II program, in collaboration with AFWERX, a team of innovation specialists within the USAF, and the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), the primary scientific research and development center for the Air Force. AFRL and AFWERX have partnered to streamline the SBIR process in an attempt to speed up the experience, broaden the pool of potential applicants and decrease bureaucratic overhead. Beginning in SBIR 18.2, and now in 20.R, the Air Force has begun offering ‘Special’ SBIR topics that are faster, leaner and open to a broader range of innovations.

SimX’s Chief Technology Officer, Karthik Sarma, is the Principal Investigator for the program, and will coordinate efforts with USAF Col. John R. Dorsch, DO, Wing Surgeon of the 24th Special Operations Wing (SOW), and USAF Pararescue Medical Director. “The VALOR program will increase overall medical capability and improve survival rates in US, Coalition, and partner force combat casualties,” said Col. Dorsch. “These capabilities are critical for ensuring that the highest level of combat trauma and austere medical care are provided by the 24th SOW’s special operations ground forces.”

SimX’s industry leading virtual reality medical simulation platform is used around the world and by top institutions including Mayo Clinic, Stanford, Northwestern, University of Pennsylvania, the US Air Force, and many others.  It allows trainees to work together in multiplayer virtual reality cases either together in the same space or from the safety of their own homes.

SimX’s unique system allows for a “holodeck-like” experience without dropdown menus or virtual selections.  You talk with and interact with virtual patients the same way that you would in real life.  The scalable SimX Scenario System allows for very rapid development of new training materials and cases, and instant deployment to all learners.

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