COLUMBUS, Ohio — VRpatients, a virtual reality training simulation company serving EMS and healthcare practitioners and clinicians, celebrated its grand opening November 8, 2019 at The Fort, a former fire truck manufacturing plant resurrected as a multi-functional business complex located in Columbus’ Steelton district. Representatives from the Columbus Area Chamber of Commerce, Bill Seifarth, Executive Director, National Registry of EMTs, Greg Bodker, Columbus Police Deputy Chief, and Commander Mark Gardner were among those in attendance.
Available through both a web-based platform or a full, virtual reality simulation experience, VRpatients immerses EMS students and practitioners into actual clinical case scenarios, where they can assess, diagnose, treat and transport patients in real-time. This gives educators indisputable insight into the medic’s competence and preparedness for actual patient care in the field.
“Columbus has been dominating the Midwest in tech startups, which attracts some of the best talent in the area,” said Suzette Robinson, General Manager. “With a product and talent needs so highly specific, it was a natural place for us to establish our roots, and we are thrilled to be in the heart of such a vibrant area that supports our continued growth.”
VRpatients, and its parent company, Virtual Education Systems, began as a startup funded by Cincinnati-based tech incubator CincyTech and Columbus-based Rev1 Ventures before it was acquired in 2018. Since then, the entire platform, including the UI/UX experience, clinical case scenarios, environments and authoring tool have been rebuilt and rebranded as VRpatients. Full market launch is planned for the spring of 2020.
VRpatients is unique to the EMS industry in that it removes trainer subjectivity from assessing the performance and preparedness of a student or practitioner. The platform reacts to the chosen course of treatment in real-time providing a consistent experience from user to user. Clinical case scenarios are totally customizable, allowing the instructor to modify any aspect of the patient or clinical case in a matter of minutes.
“As an EMS instructor, this is definitely a game changer,” said Brandon Hurt, First Response Training Group in Orlando, Florida. “Times have changed and people are more technologically reliant with the advancement of computers, cell phones and smart technology. This is really giving them what they’ve been taught their whole life, and now I’m able to bring them the education they need in a game-based interface they’ve grown accustomed to using.”
Research shows experiential immersion evokes real emotion and stress by simulating the many unknowns first responders face every day. This helps better prepare the student practitioner for the field, while aiding in knowledge retention.
“Practical simulation has always been in a classroom with a mannequin,” said Kyle Durjan, Firefighter/EMT. “With virtual reality, it really immerses you into the entire scene, so you can get a realistic picture of what you’re actually walking into. Is the home clean? Is it dirty? Does the patient live by himself? So you don’t have to be prompted about the scene. You can visually assess it immediately.”
VRpatients currently employs 15 people in Columbus. It plans to double its workforce by the end of 2020. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.