An online training tool has launched that can quickly teach nurses and doctors how to operate ventilators under the direction of an intensive care consultant. FundamentalVR worked with Imperial College and donated the tool in the hopes of helping combat the issues currently being seen with ventilator training.

The new online tool, developed by Imperial College London, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust and FundamentalVR, allows redeployed clinicians to gain the key knowledge they need for ventilating patients in just 30 minutes. The training consists of a show how-to video that teaches the essentials of operating ventilators. Clinicians can use the tool on their smartphones at home or in real-time as they care for patients, enabling them to begin running ventilators immediately under the supervision of an intensive care consultant. It can be accessed for free by any clinician across the world, regardless of health system or specialism.

Professor Ara Darzi, co-director of the Institute of Global Health Innovation at Imperial College London, which is leading the project at Imperial, said: “It takes years to specialise a clinician in intensive care; while this new training course is not designed to replace this expertise, it will enable health systems across the world to act now and provide the care that their patients desperately need.”

The resource is currently being rolled out across Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust with the hope of further roll-out, both nationally and internationally, to support the global need to increase critical capacity in response to increasing numbers of COVID-19 patients.

“Our academic partners are helping us greatly with this online tool, which adds to a range of training we’ve had to put in place very quickly,” said Professor Julian Redhead, medical director at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust. “The response to COVID-19 will really benefit from the continued collaboration of researchers, clinicians and industry to get innovations into practice and achieving patient benefit.”

Richard Vincent, CEO and Co-Founder of Fundamental VR, said: “When COVID-19 struck we were delighted to work with the team at Imperial College London on the rapid development of this important Ventilator Trainer and are pleased to see it roll out to help build confidence and competence with Healthcare professionals at this challenging time. We are in awe of the NHS teams and all that they do and we are honoured to have played a small part in the solution.”