Innovative Automation donates $1 million for cutting-edge medical education at RVH

Innovative Automation donates $1 million for cutting-edge medical education at RVH

It was a historic day for Innovative Automation and Royal Victoria Regional Health Center (RVH).

The Barrie-based manufacturing company announced a $1 million donation to support the advancement of immersive medical education at RVH.

“This is really important for our community because it allows the hospital, which is going to double in staff, to have a tool that they can train all of those new staff members,” said Innovative Automation CEO Stephen Loftus.

“This doesn’t just affect RVH, but it’s going to be community hospitals all around the region that are going to benefit from this virtual training,” added Innovative Automation President Mike Lalonde.

In honor of the donation, the state-of-the-art medical education center will be called the Innovative Automation Simulation Lab.

“I think that innovation is what we’re all about, so innovative automation is a perfect match for this department,” says RVH President and CEO Gail Hunt.

The education center will provide artificial intelligence and virtual reality technologies to allow students to practice in realistic situations.

“It creates this real environment. You’re going to think you’re actually treating a patient with a heart attack or a trauma, with the sounds, the sights, and it creates that level of increased anxiety which we know that increases your retention of learning,” says RVH Director of Medical Education Dr. Chris Martin.

Dr. Martin says there aren’t many hospitals in the country that have incorporated this technology into medical education. He believes this training will take their staff to the next level.

“It’s also kinda pandemic proof because these VR headsets can be taken home. So if we have restrictions again on space where we can’t meet in person, you can be at home, I can be at home, and we can meet in the recitation room and do training together,” says Dr. Martin.

RVH says its goal is to share these virtual resources with local hospitals and improve teaching quality across Simcoe Muskoka.

“It’s important for us to really keep up so that we’re able to provide the best possible care for our patients right here in their own community,” says Hunt.

RVH officials say this investment will position them as a leader in immersive VR medical education.

The new simulation lab will double in size as a part of RVH’s expansion in the next 10 years.