SAN FRANCISCO, May 3, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — SimX continues to expand its partnership with the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Space Force to develop innovative training solutions for special operations forces, with four new contracts totaling over $1.5 million. These contracts, part of the $2.5M Virtual Advancement of Learning and Operational Readiness (VALOR) research and development program, seek to further develop fielded capabilities for training the USAF’s elite medical personnel with the SimX Virtual Reality Medical Simulation System.
The new funding is targeted primarily towards enhancing the capabilities of the system to train operational medical handoffs between roles of care, train missions involving multiple simultaneous caregiving teams, train in dynamic and realistic environments (such as night and weather operations), and provide more customizable and adaptable training capabilities. Additional funding has also been allocated to adapting VR medical simulation training for in-flight medicine during aerial and space operations with the Air Force and Space Force.
These partnerships provide a capability for special operations medical personnel of the 24th Special Operations Wing, to train through simulated medical scenarios based on real-world experience and reinforce learning on the relevant medical techniques, tactics and protocols. The overall objective is to enable the wing’s Special Tactics operators including pararescuemen and combat controllers as well as their unit medics and Special Operations Surgical Teams to “train how they fight.” The capabilities include a broad array of situations, including Tactical Combat Casualty Care-based scenarios as well as routine medical care in order to provide training across the continuum of care in a variety of medical roles. All newly developed capabilities will be fielded for operational testing and evaluation at the existing SimX deployments at installations across the United States as well as USAF installations in Europe and Asia.
“The practice of medicine depends on high performance teams working together fluidly and transferring knowledge and responsibility rapidly, efficiently, and effectively. The USAF and USSF’s continued investment in the VALOR program will enable us to continue to push the envelope of VR medical training by ensuring that we can train for these critical interactions,” said Karthik V. Sarma, VALOR Principal Investigator and Chief Technology Officer at SimX.
Col. John R. Dorsch, Wing Surgeon of the 24th Special Operations Wing (SOW), and medical director of the Air Force’s Pararescue career field, heads the effort for the U.S. Air Force. “”The VALOR program is helping to increase overall medical capability and has the potential to improve survival rates in combat casualties,” said Dorsch, “Expanding and innovating capabilities is critical for ensuring the highest level of combat trauma and austere medical care is provided by our special operators and medical personnel.” In addition to the distribution to the 24th SOW’s units stationed around the country, the new capabilities will be fielded at the new Special Operations Center for Medical Integration and Development (SOCMID), a collaboration between the USAF and the University of Alabama-Birmingham designed to provide the next generation of standardized training to Special Operations Surgical Team members, pararescuemen and independent duty medical technicians.
These projects are made possible through the highly competitive Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) programs, 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 Small Business Innovation Research process in an attempt to speed up the experience, broaden the pool of potential applicants and decrease bureaucratic overhead. Beginning in SBIR 18.2, the Air Force has begun offering ‘Special’ SBIR topics that are faster, leaner and open to a broader range of innovations.
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. Learn more about the SimX System at simxvr.com.