Health Scholars launches first VR ACLS training simulation for first responders

Published January 25, 2022


Application allows for more affordable training and effective assessment of emergency medical personnel, potentially saving lives.

(Westminster, CO, 1/15/2020) – Health Scholars, known for their VR simulations and cloud-based simulation management platform utilized for management, delivery, and analysis of clinical training, announces today the availability of the first Virtual Reality (VR) Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) training designed specifically for first responders. Made possible with the company’s Public Safety Innovation Accelerator Program – User Interface grant from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Partnership and the State of Colorado’s Advanced Industries Accelerator Program, the company is excited about the possible impact to the industry and the community.

Designed in accordance with American Heart Association guidelines and input from local EMS partners, providers play the role of the team lead running a mega code and are provided thirteen total scenarios that reflect cardiac and non-cardiac arrest scenarios. Using voice direction, providers identify rhythms and direct virtual team members to shock, give meds, and/or perform CPR as necessary. The simulation provides extensive practice on communication, situational awareness, decision-making and competencies such as accurate hospital notification.

“With average adult survival rates of 26% for in-hospital cardiac arrest and up to 11%[1] for out-of-hospital cardiac arrest, continuous improvement to cardiac arrest response and training is an obligation to patients,” says Brian Gillett, MD, President of Health Scholars. “ACLS is just the first application within a larger resuscitation suite because we believe that designing scalable, self-directed, and affordable simulation for first responders was an untapped, yet imperative market to develop. They are on the front lines of patient safety and deserve effective, experience-based training and skills assessment.”

By virtualizing training, small or rural EMS organizations are now able to integrate more immersive training practices and VR provides agencies of all sizes an additional training modality that easily scales to any number of providers, is at least 50% less than the cost of traditional physical simulation, and provides performance reporting that is actionable.

“Our goal in working with Health Scholars is to introduce new technology within the EMS market, but more importantly provide an effective solution to make training more accessible and frequent, help EMS staff stay sharp and provide EMT’s an easy way to grow skills” says Ed Smith, Captain, Clear Creek EMS.

The work involved with development and management of this new training is being performed under the following financial assistance award 70NANB18H149 from U.S. Department of Commerce, National Institute of Standards and Technology.  For more information on the grant and development details visit

“This grant has provided Health Scholars the ability to advance the use of virtualization in public safety. VR has the power to fundamentally improve the way training products are designed and how training is executed in public safety. The possibilities are endless and with NIST’s program and our EMS partners we have been able to bring the first of many VR training simulations to market” – Cole Sandau, CEO, Health Scholars

Health Scholars will continue to develop VR Training for healthcare and public safety providers throughout 2020 with input from their partners and customers. Images, demos, and interview available upon request.

About Health Scholars

Our mission is to advance healthcare education through virtualization, making experience-based training scalable, accessible and affordable to both Healthcare and Public Safety providers. Health Scholars is a cloud-based, VR-ready clinical training platform with VR Simulations, Simulation Management, and Clinical Readiness Reporting solutions for the management, delivery and analysis of clinical training. Our VR simulations extend physical simulation beyond the simulation center, enabling repeatable practice of proper workflows as well as critical soft skills like communications, situational awareness and critical thinking.

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[1] Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics – 2019 Update: A Report from the American Heart Association; Circulation Journal

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