SimX, previously called SimXAR, is a healthcare software company specializing in medical simulation, virtual reality, augmented reality and medical training and education. The company brings virtual and augmented reality into the realm of healthcare simulation and training.
The company was founded by physicians in training at Stanford, the University of California at San Francisco and University of California at Los Angeles. They understood that simulation practice and training is extremely beneficial to both learners and clinicians, and hoped to use virtual reality to make simulation cheaper and more accessible, to ultimately reduce medical error and increase patient safety.
Seeking to push simulation forward, SimX developed a software system that was the first comprehensive professional-grade VR medical simulation system product available on the market. Founded in 2013 and headquartered in Mountain View, California, the platform allows medical teams to replace expensive manikins with incredibly flexible simulated patients, backed by a robust case creation engine.
Since the company’s establishment, SimX has relied on the expertise of physicians, health technology experts and programmers from some of the best institutions in the country. Additionally, the software is now used to train physicians, nurses and other allied health professionals. Led by CEO Ryan Ribeira MD, MPH, an emergency medicine physician and assistant professor at Stanford Medical School, SimX offers this advanced simulation tool at a fraction of the cost of other simulation manikins.
SimX’s software allows the user to reproduce patient presentations with unprecedented visual fidelity. This virtual patient can be used to represent physical signs and symptoms such as obesity, pregnancy, youth, geriatrics, vomiting, missing limbs, bleeding and a number of others.
Another feature of the SimX system is that the simulation software allows multiple trainees to work around the same virtual patient completely wirelessly. Learners can be in the same physical space or across the world from one another — yet working simultaneously. Able to be set up in less than 5 minutes, the system can turn any space into a simulation center (simulation centre) in just moments.
Adding to user convenience, the SimX system is built from the ground up to be compatible with all major VR headsets. Whether on the HTC Vive or Oculus Quest, SimX functions seamlessly in ultra realistic high definition. Cases can be designed in VR or AR so the learner can train in the space where they work best.
SimX’s customers include world leading institutions like Mayo Clinic, Stanford, The University of Pennsylvania, the US Air Force, and many others, and they’ve developed hundreds of cases to train physicians, nurses, EMS providers, and military medics.
Most recently, to help the fight against COVID-19 (Coronavirus), SimX launched the free multiplayer VR training scenarios to prepare learners and healthcare staff professionals for real-world circumstances resulting from the virus. Developed by emergency department physicians practicing in hot zones, learners can simulate and apply personal protective equipment, triage, evaluation, in-patient treatment and more.
The scenarios can be tailored to reflect the protocols of a specific institution, and adjusted for varying patient outcomes. They are designed to work with major VR headsets including the Oculus Quest and HTC Vive.
“COVID-19 has placed unprecedented strain on healthcare systems and clinical education. As hospitals and clinics around the world reorient toward our shared war against the pandemic, opportunities for clinical training and education are diminished due to the lack of availability of clinical educators and the need to establish social distancing and avoid in-person didactics. In the face of this crisis, SimX has created unique cases that immerse the learner in front line care. With constantly evolving guidance and protocol, the cases are designed to allow institutions to train their staff using their own guidelines. As the battle continues, SimX plans to continue to release more free content to prepare our frontline staff,” the company announced in a press release.
SimX Simulation Software Instruction
To use the SimX software, learners and educators must understand that the cases are built around a series of states. The case author defines what they want the vitals and critical actions to be, and can build scenarios where the trainees actions can have a huge impact on the outcome of the case. Trainees in the headset don’t interface with dropdown menus, buttons, or other artificial elements but work with virtual patients the same way they would patients in real life.
For example, if they want to talk to them they just talk to them, if they want to use a stethoscope they have to walk over to where it is, pick it up, and use it as they would in real life. If the learner performs well, they might move on to state two, but if they perform poorly they might go to state three. Alternatively, if the learner performs averagely they might go to state four. They would progress throughout the entire case in this manner and cases can, for example, start in the field, move to the ED, and then go to the OR. Or you can have multiple simultaneous patients in the same space, each with their own caseflow driving their behavior and physiology
SimX has already integrated almost every tool and procedure commonly used in medical care including IVs, Bipap, intubation, central lines, thoracotomies, transvenous pacemaker placement, functioning anesthesia machines, and cases can take place in the ED, clinic, hospital rooms, patient homes, transport helicopters, in outdoor environments, or many others.
Within the virtual learning program learners can walk freely around an up to 30x30ft space. So this system allows for multiple participants to walk around the same large space, simultaneously working together to care for multiple patients, as is featured in their mass casualty or multi-trauma scenarios.
Authors can create these cases on any concept they desire, and in any scenario they can imagine. They are also granted the ability to distribute and sell their cases using SimX’s “marketplace,” which operates through the cloud. This allows for the wide distribution of content from some of the most sophisticated simulation centers across the world who are subscribers to the software.
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