Groundbreaking Pediatric Training Tour Uses Virtual Reality to Improve Emergency Care for Children by Rural EMS providers

DeSoto County Fire and Rescue Pediatric Emergency Train Using Health Scholars VR

“Real-to-life VR training provides an exciting new educational option for maintaining pediatric emergency preparedness in EMS and ED settings.” – Phyllis L. Hendry, MD, FAAP, FACEP, Professor of Emergency Medicine and Pediatrics at the University of Florida College of Medicine Jacksonville

Health Scholars, recognized for voice-assisted virtual reality (VR) clinical training, and the Orlando Medical Institute (OMI), are teaming up to deliver personalized VR-powered emergency medical training for first responders and EMS in rural communities across Florida.

Backed by a grant from the Florida Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Section, the free training program led by OMI will target rural counties across Florida to address gaps in EMS education, including preparedness for pediatric emergencies. Children make up only a small percentage of pre-hospital emergencies, but their care requires specialized training that is often not available to rural paramedics and emergency medical responders (EMTs).

“Rural EMS agencies often lack the resources to provide specialized pediatric training for their ambulance personnel and paramedics,” said OMI Chairman Felix Marquez, BS, NRP, an experienced EMS educator who has also recently been appointed to the Emergency Medical Services for Children (EMSC) in Florida. ) Advisory Committee. “Thanks to the grant from the State of Florida and support from Health Scholars, this program will fill that gap with free training for hundreds of EMS professionals using the latest VR technology and educational content.”

Marquez has started his road tour with EMS educators with the goal of training more than 300 EMS providers in 39 Florida counties. Marquez has already coordinated training for three regional hub locations, including North Florida College in Madison County, DeSoto County Fire Rescue in Arcadia, and Monroe County Fire Department in Crawl Key, Florida.

“It’s a nuanced art of determining if a child is seriously ill and then initiating life-saving relief,” said Brian Gillett, MD, president of Health Scholars. “The training Felix provides is essential to combat skill deterioration, as pediatric assessment is so rarely used. With Health Scholars VR, EMS providers can experience real life scenarios that align with American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) standards and professional safety guidelines, enabling them to spot critical symptoms in children in high-commitment situations. “

“Through this partnership, EMS professionals will have better access to advanced training in pediatric medical emergencies, including practicing critical cognitive skills needed to handle these emergencies in the field,” said Janna Patterson, MD, FAAP, Senior Vice President. from Global Child Health and Life Support for the AAP. “The Florida program is a great testing ground for whether a blended learning program that uses VR can make real-life training more accessible and scalable for emergency medical personnel across the country.”

At present, it is difficult to prioritize pediatric emergency ambulance care, especially with rural fire services, because it can be time consuming, expensive and labor intensive. Still, the training is especially critical because children have anatomical and physiological differences that mask early signs of serious illness and make CPR difficult to manage.

Participants in OMI’s training program will complete an evidence-based blended learning curriculum that uses EMS using Oculus Quest VR headsets and Health Scholars’ voice-guided VR simulation to play the role of team leader and care for acutely ill pediatric patients in multiple environments. Students evaluate infants and children to identify underlying conditions and intervene in pediatric resuscitation workflows in accordance with ILCOR evidence-based review and American Heart Association guidelines. Health Scholars Pediatric Emergency Assessment ™ trains them to recognize the subtle indicators of serious illness across a spectrum of ages, ethnicities and skin color, so they can confidently assess and initiate stabilization or CPR when prompted.

“Real-to-life VR training offers an exciting new educational option for maintaining pediatric emergency preparedness in EMS and ED environments,” said Phyllis L. Hendry, MD, FAAP, FACEP, Professor of Emergency Medicine and Pediatrics at the University of Florida College of Medicine – Jacksonville. “These ultra-realistic visualizations and interactions mimic healthcare situations with great precision, so that paramedics are willing to deal with these scenarios when they occur in the field.”

About health scientists

Our mission is to improve the quality of healthcare through virtual reality, making experiential training scalable, accessible, affordable and measurable to help healthcare professionals reduce errors and improve patient safety. With our on-demand, voice-guided VR training, healthcare organizations and ambulance services can easily deliver the competence and trust their caregivers and patients deserve. More information at

About Orlando Medical Institute

Orlando Medical Institute is a fully accredited institution in the state of Florida. We offer training in emergency medical care, nursing and continuing education. Our tutors are all dedicated medical professionals eager to share their knowledge and expertise in our best-in-class facilities, enabling the most realistic simulation training possible. Our accredited programs include EMT and allied health training, AS degree in emergency medical services, and continuing education programs from the American Heart Association (AHA), National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians (NAEMT), and the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT). For more information, visit

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