Pavithra Rajeswaran, research engineer for the Healthcare Engineering Systems Center, helps guide a visitor through a Virtual Reality demonstration during the Jump Simulation Open House on July 27.
The $10 million Jump Simulation Center opened this month on the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign campus. It promises to help train a new type of doctor uniquely equipped to transform healthcare.
With such innovative equipment as the Virtual Reality Intubation Simulator, the Center will not only train University of Illinois students, but be a site for testing new medical devices, mobile, low-cost technologies for rural and developing areas, medical simulation tools, and bio-printing and bio-fabrication techniques. The Center can provide customized training programs for hospitals, community centers, and organizations looking for a state-of-the-art simulation center.
“Anything they want to test in an operating room, they can test in our facility,” said Kesh Kesavades, Director of the Healthcare Engineering Services Center at Illinois. “It is a place where new doctors can learn what happens inside a clinic and students will experience what it will feel like in an urgent care center.”
“Jump ACRHES has been working for the last four years to establish the Jump Simulation Center at the University of Illinois,” noted John Vozenilek, Vice President and Chief Medical Officer at Jump Simulation. “This is a unique facility that will contribute to the translation of new simulation technologies for medical education and to foster entrepreneurship and economic development.”
Its opening coincides with the completed renovation of the Everitt Laboratory (The Jump Simulation Center will be housed on the lower level of Everitt Lab), which will be the new home for the Department of Bioengineering, and the inaugural class of students in the first of its kind engineering-based Carle Illinois College of Medicine.
It also culminates several years of planning. In 2014, a $62.5 millions endowment established the Jump Applied Research for Community Health through Engineering and Simulation (Jump ARCHES), a partnership between the Jump Trading Simulation Education Center at OSF HealthCare in Peoria and the Healthcare Engineering Systems Center (HCESC) at Illinois’ College of Engineering.
“We are developing innovative virtual reality training techniques in our research labs,” said Kesh Kesavades, HCESC director and a professor of industrial and enterprise systems engineering. “The Jump Simulation Center is an opportunity for us to test these technologies and techniques and at the same time custom design a new model of education for the Carle Illinois College of Medicine.”
Jump ARCHES and HCESC are creating a new curriculum, which will be used in the Simulation Center. Through a $62.5 million endowment, they are also collectively supporting projects involving both clinicians and engineers, who are developing technologies and devices that could revolutionize medical training and healthcare delivery. An example of those projects is a simulation training for mechanical circulatory support using extra-corporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO). The technique provides medical support to a failing heart and/or lungs using a pump to circulate blood through an artificial lung back into the bloodstream of a patient.
HCESC is becoming the internationally recognized center for advanced simulation, specifically in the development of virtual and physical medical simulators and healthcare robotics. Virtual reality is at the heart of the healthcare revolution housed in the Center. For instance, last fall HSESC unveiled a state-of-the-art VR tracheal intubation simulator and augmented reality trainer for sepsis care and surgical robot set up. Its innovations are enabling Alexa based interaction with mannequins and its latest software is allowing doctors to make their own virtual reality curriculum. Researchers are creating 3D segmented models of internal organs created from actual CT scans and real patient data instead an artist’s rendering. Doctors are able to rotate and scale the model to, among other things, see many sides of a tumor.
While that technology is continuing to be developed and refined, the Jump Simulation Center gives researchers and students a place to test and train. The Center includes clinical skills rooms for patient care, a virtual skill lab that will used to train students in surgical procedures and help them enhance team communication in critical situations, an intensive care skills lab, and labs that students will be able to train with devices that replicate specific anatomy such as the Biogears Virtual Physiology Engine. The mixed reality simulator takes students into a clinical room of a hospital without needing to step out of the simulation center.