Health Scholars has launched the first headset-based Virtual Reality (VR) training simulation to provide clinicians repeatable ACLS refresher training. In-hospital cardiac arrest survival rates average 26 percent, and patients in which clinical staff reported adequate resuscitation training have greater than 3-fold odds of higher survival rates than patients where adequate training programs are lacking1. In fact, the rate of survival after cardiac arrest increased by 28.3 percent with implementation of ACLS training courses2.

However, knowledge of this life-saving competency decays within months of certification for those who work in non-critical care areas (majority of the hospital)3. Health systems have struggled to implement cost-effective and adequate refresher training due to the volume of individuals needing training and the limited numbers of clinical educators. With ACLS, VR simulation organizations are able to provide critical refresher training at scale and for 50 percent less than the cost of physical simulation. “’Health Scholars’ virtual reality training prevents ACLS skills decay by enabling learners to physically engage in code situations at an appropriate frequency. It’s realistic, clinically accurate and can be completed at the convenience of the learner.”

The app was designed in accordance with American Heart Association (AHA) guidelines to complement AHA’s HeartCode training as well as the new Resuscitation Quality Improvement (RQI) program, utilizing state-of-the-art voice recognition and motion capture technologies.

According to a recent AHA scientific statement, “Resuscitation Education Science: Educational Strategies to Improve Outcomes from Cardiac Arrest”:

  • The current massed approach to resuscitation training should be replaced or supplemented with a spaced practice.
  • The duration and design of each training session, the interval between sessions, and the number of repetitions should be tailored to context, learner type, objectives, and prior experiences.
  • Techniques such as debriefing after real resuscitation events and in situ simulation can be used to provide spaced training experiences.
  • Technology-enhanced simulators and learning management systems should be used to collect individual learner data during training to determine the interval of training4.

ACLS Virtual Reality Simulation can meet all of these needs without bulky equipment or high coordination overhead. It immerses learners in a VR simulation that allows them to provide voicedirected commands and show they understand the core rhythms as well as how to address them while using proper communication skills. Its features allow it to:

  • Train to all of the AHA core rhythms including return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC)
  • Place the learner in the role of the team lead, as required by AHA, and recreate the stress of a mega code situation
  • Provide standardized practice, assessment and skills validation
  • Debrief on failed waveform identification and on general code management principals needing improvement
  • Be completed without having to schedule an entire team – extending the reach of training
  • Be used 24/7, at the convenience of the learner, encouraging increased training frequency

Cole Sandau, Health Scholars’ CEO notes, “Our mission is improve patient safety, and by virtualizing ACLS training, simulation directors, nurse educators and others responsible for patient safety and quality measures can easily deliver learners a consistent training experience, no matter their locations or when they’re available to complete the trainings. This modality of training has the ability to improve cardiac patient outcomes at scale, and our team is excited to bring this new solution to market.”

1 Resuscitation Practices Associated with Survival After In-Hospital Cardiac Arrest: A Nationwide Survey. JAMA Cardiol. 2016 May 1; 1(2): 189–197 2016, 189-197
2 Impact of advanced cardiac life support training program on the outcome of cardiopulmonary resuscitation in a tertiary care hospital. Indian Journal of Critical Care Medicine 15(4):209-12. October 2011
3 Resuscitation Education Science: Educational Strategies to Improve Outcomes From Cardiac Arrest. Circulation. 2018;138:e82– e122. August 2018
4 Resuscitation Education Science: Educational Strategies to Improve Outcomes from Cardiac Arrest. Circulation. 2018;138:e82– e122. August 2018