SimConverse gets seed funding to expand access to healthcare communications training
Sydney-based SimConverse has collected A$1.5 million (around $987,000) in a seed funding round led by Folklore Ventures, with participation from Artesian.
WHAT IT DOES
Founded in 2020, SimConverse is a simulation platform that uses generative AI to play the role of any patient, colleague or casualty for healthcare communications training. It is made to be adaptable and customisable to suit the curriculum needs of learners.
WHAT IT’S FOR
According to a media release, the seed funding will be used to attract more users across the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia.
Among its early adopters include Queensland Health in Australia and the NHS Lothian in the UK. It has also partnered with global universities, such as the University of Canberra, Liverpool University and King’s College London.
WHY IT MATTERS
SimConverse focuses on enhancing the verbal communication skills of learners at every level. It claims that ineffective communication among healthcare professionals contributes to medical errors and patient harm “with around 70% of medical errors attributed to communication breakdowns.”
“Communication is the number one determinant of the quality of care a patient will receive. Without good communication you cannot treat, you cannot diagnose, and you cannot provide care,” said CEO and co-founder Aiden Roberts.
The use of virtual reality technology is the latest trend in medical education and training in Australia and elsewhere. Vantari VR, a major player in this space, has been helping fast-track the training of nurses and doctors across big hospitals in Australia, such as Fiona Stanley Hospital, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Westmead Hospital and Nepean Hospital. It has also supported medical institutions outside metropolitan areas like the Latrobe Regional Hospital.
Even the Department of Defence is also using VR to enhance the training of their combat medics. The VR-based Virtual Tactical Combat programme by first responder training company Real Response was recently launched with support from the Defence Innovation Hub.
ON THE RECORD
According to Alister Coleman, a partner at Folklore, one of SimConverse’s investors, existing healthcare education simulation tools “lack effective training and breadth.”
He said that they decided to invest in SimConverse as the platform equips medical professionals with skills to “engage in meaningful conversations” with their patients, and in turn, develop a “more holistic understanding of their well-being, reduce the risk of errors, and ultimately deliver better care.”
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