SimX has received an additional $1.7m in funding for the expansion and enhancement of virtual reality (VR) medical simulation training technology for the US Air Force (USAF).

The effort is being carried out under the USAF’s ongoing Virtual Advancement of Learning and Operational Readiness (VALOR) research and development (R&D) programme at SimX.

It aims to improve the medical capability and usability of VR training, especially for prehospital combat casualty care provided by the USAF’s special operations medical personnel.

On behalf of the Department of Air Force (DAF), the programme is being managed by the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center’s Special Operations Forces programme office.

The new investment has been provided by the DAF, as part of its innovation arm AFWERX/AFVentures’ Tactical Funding Increase (TACFI) – Small Business Innovation Research programme.

Expansion of the programme will be implemented in terms of training areas. The company will focus on including all those areas that were never included in the VR medical simulation platform before.

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It includes enhanced portable monitors and ultrasound capabilities, advanced airway and ventilator management, extrication tools, as well as an improved physiological model to support field sedation and paralysis.

SimX will also substantially work on increasing the reliability of the VR simulation technology, making it more user-friendly, for a wide range of deployment technologies such as simplified training orchestration and automated self-serve familiarisation.

SimX chief technology officer and programme principal investigator Karthik Sarma said: “We could not be more excited about this project, which will accelerate the rapid advancement of VR medical simulation technology as a crucial modality for training healthcare workers in every setting.”

In 2021, SimX received four new contracts to support the USAF’s VALOR programme.