Epic Games, maker of Fortnite and Gears of War, has granted $US100,000 to EmergiSim, a partnership between TacMed Australia and Spectre Studios, enabling it to further expand its platform, invest in the development of new scenarios, and employ more staff.
Traditionally, preparing first responders for a Mass Casualty Incident would cost hundreds of thousands of dollars and take months or years of organising, for a one-off event.
EmergiSim’s VR scenarios provide a more immersive, safer, and scalable alternative that can simply be repeated at the press of a button. No actors, no moulage, no car wrecks or airport closures are necessary, and all scenarios can be accessed anywhere in the safety of a small classroom or office.
The Epic Games MegaGrants are designed to globally accelerate the work of talented teams and individuals using Epic’s Unreal Engine. The MegaGrants project has provided more than $US42 million in financial support to more than 600 recipients.
The companies say virtual reality (VR) medical simulation will revolutionise the way Australian first responders prepare for the most traumatic scenarios they could ever face.
Over the past three years, EmergiSim has progressed this platform from the research and development phase and is now rolling out its unique and innovative training.
According to EmergiSim’s Mike Brewer — who worked as a paramedic for more than a decade before joining TacMed — VR is the way of the future for first responder medical training. “This technology has the potential to revolutionise training for more than 250,000 paramedics, police and firefighters in Australia along with defence personnel, nurses, doctors and volunteer organisations such as SES and Surf Life Savers.”
Another major advantage is that EmergiSim’s VR training is COVID safe. Front-line medical staff require ongoing simulation training. VR provides a platform for this training to continue despite any COVID restrictions, which is a win both for them and for the whole community.
EmergiSim Co-Founder Mick Byrne, who oversees the design and development team said, “VR is tested and proven to deliver highly immersive and realistic training that both simulates real-world emergencies and engages participants in ways no other training can. Using Epic’s free Unreal Engine development tools allows us to rapidly develop scenarios and model real-world environments and devices.”
Meanwhile, TacMed Australia founder and Managing Director Jeremy Holder MD said this aligns perfectly with the mission of the tactical medical organisation.
“At the end of the day our number one priority at TacMed is to strive towards zero preventable deaths at the point of injury. EmergiSim is the VR extension to this vision and I am thrilled to have received this grant, knowing it will ultimately help save lives.”