Health Scholars and the American Academy of Pediatrics
Partner to Develop Pediatric Emergency Virtual Reality (VR) Simulation Training for First Responders

Health Scholars, the company recognized for voice-directed VR simulations including advanced cardiovascular life support (ACLS) training for first responders and clinicians, and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the 67,000-member organization dedicated to the optimal health and well-being for all infants, children, adolescents and young adults, are pleased to announce a partnership to co-develop VR training applications to equip first responders with skills vital to assessing and treating pediatric medical emergencies.

“Health Scholars is proud to partner with AAP to bring a truly meaningful innovation to market,” noted Cole Sandau, CEO, Health Scholars. “The partnership will provide highly differentiated training to help first responders better prepare for pediatric emergency situations.”

The goal of the partnership is to leverage VR technology to deliver more active and impactful training opportunities for first responders. As a result, EMS providers will have the first-ever capability to continuously train on real-to-life pediatric emergency encounters using deliberate practice. The use of VR makes rich, experience-based training highly accessible to all first responders in a low cost/high yield model. “During the time of COVID, we need to design innovative educational methods that deliver critical content and skills, while recognizing that in-person training is not always feasible,” said AAP member Sarah Denny, MD, FAAP who reviewed and provided feedback to the VR scenarios. “Through this collaboration, EMS professionals can participate in distance learning using virtual reality and simulation​to practice the critical hands-on skills that are necessary to treat pediatric emergencies in the field.”

The two co-developed VR applications, “Pediatric Emergency Assessment™” and “Pediatric Emergency Care™,” are the first VR simulations dedicated to pediatric emergencies for EMS professionals. Recognizing severe illness in infants and children is challenging, and it’s further compounded by limited exposure to pediatric emergencies. Unless providers are practicing frequently, the nuanced critical skill sets needed to effectively treat infants and children decline over time, leading to significant readiness challenges.

AAP and Health Scholars recognized a substantive gap in preparing for pediatric emergencies and see VR as a solution for increasing the frequency of training in real-to-life scenarios. The new applications represent an industry breakthrough in using converged VR technologies to address critical outcomes. The applications use artificial intelligence (AI-enabled) voice technology to replicate real-world interaction and to create highly sophisticated, self-directed learning experiences that adapt to the providers’ proficiency level to optimize learning gains. This innovative approach to learner assessment captures rich information about individual learner competencies and the overall readiness of departments or regional/national organizations. The combination of all these elements creates one of the most sophisticated and consequential training platforms in the market.

“Limited exposure to severely ill infants and children in the prehospital setting presents a challenge in terms of training. Providers need continuous deliberate practice for pediatric emergencies in order to maintain readiness for the subtle symptoms which severely ill infants and children often manifest and to promptly initiate high-quality resuscitative care. VR enables the delivery of this training to large learner populations,” said Brian Gillett, President & Chief Medical Officer, Health Scholars.

“Pediatric Emergency Assessment” is available for immediate use, and “Pediatric Emergency Care” is available for pre-sale. For more information, visit