Hi - I'm Rob, the founder of virtu-ALS. When I'm not being an enormous geek and writing software (or acting as a climbing frame for our kids), I'm also a specialty doctor in cardiology and an Advanced Life Support instructor with the Resuscitation Council UK.
In the days when the cardiac arrest bleep still brought me out in a cold sweat, I wished there was some way I could practise the things I'd learned on my Advanced Life Support course like a pilot can practise emergency landings - using a simulator. Life as a junior doctor is pretty full-on, so it had to be something I could squeeze in whenever (and wherever) I found a spare five minutes, though still realistic and engaging enough that I would actually want to use it. And I needed all this at a price I could afford.
I had a good look around. There were - and still are - some great learning aids out there, but I didn't find anything quite like what I was looking for. In the end, I decided to bite the bullet and start work on a project of my own.
A few years and lord-knows-how-many hours of work later, here we are: the first release version is finally out and we're getting great feedback from everyone who tries it. We've got loads of useful features packed in and plenty more that we want to add in the future, so head on to the next section to download the app and try it out for yourself.
Alternatively, if you've got any questions about the project - or even if you just want to let us know what you think of it - drop me a line: firstname.lastname@example.org
What is the Life Support Simulator?
In a nutshell, it's an app that puts you in the hot-seat during a medical emergency and allows you to practise a whole range of resuscitation skills, including ABCDE assessment, rhythm recognition, cardioversion and even external pacing.
Of course, we could talk all day about how the software works and the many unique features it offers. But none of us have all day, so the video above will give you a rough idea of what it's about in just under two minutes.
Who is it for?
Anyone who is involved in advanced life support but feels like they could use a bit more practice. We're expecting this will mostly mean medical students, junior doctors and junior nurses in areas such as CCU and ICU. However, it's really for anyone who thinks it might be useful!
How much does it cost?
Currently, nothing. That is likely to change as we continue to develop the app and add more features - sadly, building and maintaining software like this just can't be done for free - but one of our core aims is to keep costs low and make the simulator available to as many people as possible. (Check out our Facebook page for updates on our progress.)
So why make it?
Partly because we're super-nerds, and partly because we really do care about helping to teach and deliver high-quality life support. But you can find out more about that by visiting the by hitting the arrow below.
We're still working on a number of video tutorials and other educational resources for this section.