HumanSim: Sedation and Airway, a 3D virtual trainer for administering emergency anesthesia and managing breathing for critically-injured or ill patients, is now available for free from Virtual Heroes to support healthcare workers as they adapt to unprecedented requirements in the wake of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Sedation
Image credit: Virtual Heroes

HumanSim: Sedation and Airway is designed to help medical staff gain experience and improve quality of care, by coupling an immersive training environment with an advanced real-time physiology engine. The online software training program allows physicians, nurses, medics and other emergency personnel to practice Rapid Sequence Induction (RSI) and Moderate Sedation, techniques for quickly sedating and intubating patients.

Many patients who become critically ill with COVID-19 require airway management in response to acute respiratory distress syndrome, a condition in which fluid collects in the lungs' air sacs and deprives the body's organs of oxygen. Those who develop acute respiratory distress syndrome often require intubation and support from a ventilator.

The virtual human technology software simulates real patients, enabling users to sharpen their assessment and decision-making skills through observation of the physiological effects of their actions. Trainees are challenged by 10 separate scenarios that cover a wide variety of patients. Workers can replay the scenarios in normal and expert modes as well as select a random scenario challenge. Reference documentation for all procedures is also available for download.

"Healthcare workers are on the front lines of the battle with the ongoing coronavirus outbreak. This immersive training environment offers valuable skills such as intubation – experience with a procedure healthcare workers might need for the first time in real-world Covid-19 scenarios," said Randy Brown, vice president of Applied Research Associates, Inc. (ARA) and division manager of Virtual Heroes. "Our goal is to get this training tool in the hands of as many healthcare workers as possible to help develop the 'muscle memory' they need to perform these critical tasks."

HumanSim: Sedation and Airway was funded by the Army's Telemedicine & Advanced Technology Research Center (TATRC) and developed by the Virtual Heroes Division of Applied Research Associates, Inc. in conjunction with the Duke Human Simulation and Patient Safety Center.

The software was built on the Epic Games Unreal Engine. This educational outreach is being coordinated between ARA, the Serious Play Conference, and the National Center for Simulation, all in Orlando, Florida.