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SimQuest Awarded Phase 2 Contract from Office of the Secretary of Defense to Develop Pandemic Influenza Training Program
Date:11/24/2008

SILVER SPRING, Md., Nov. 24 /PRNewswire/ -- SimQuest, a leading developer of technology-assisted education and training, has received a Phase II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contract award from the Office of the Secretary of Defense to develop a simulation-based planning and training tool for infectious disease outbreak -- specifically pandemic influenza.

The end result will be a "serious game" -- a software application developed with game design principles and technology that's used for educational purposes -- which allows medical treatment facility (MTF) administrators and supervisors to understand the relationships that strategic planning and tactical decision-making have on the spread of disease.

In addition, the pandemic influenza training program SimQuest is developing is relevant to military training because domestic military support will likely be requested during a pandemic. Force preparedness is also a concern when considering more soldiers were killed by the flu outbreak in 1918 than in World War I in total.

"The problem is that the world is due for an influenza pandemic, with the last one occurring in 1968, and there is a severe shortage of caregivers experienced in pandemic flu response," says Bob Waddington, COO of SimQuest. "Unfortunately, an experienced caregiver from the last outbreak would likely be over 60-years-old or retired. Our goal is to create an engaging training application for medical treatment facility administrators and supervisors, as well as the military, which can increase readiness and minimize the potential for chaos during the next pandemic outbreak of influenza."

How SimQuest's Pandemic Influenza Training Program will Work

The computer-based program SimQuest is developing will incorporate scientific models to present users with various scenarios incorporating the early warning signs of an outbreak through a multi-media dashboard of information. The program will then track and evaluate their strategic planning and decision-making when presented with simulated events. The goal is to allow health care professionals to practice response tactics, recognize the early signs of an outbreak and to help stem the spread of disease through local mitigation strategies.

As part of the program, there will be an added level of complexity in that MTF administrators will not only need to increase hospital capacity to deal with the surge of patients and drain on resources, but they also need to maintain normal functions of the hospital, such as treatment of heart attack patients, trauma victims and many others.

The SimQuest program will be positioned to supplement existing training conducted through table top and large scale exercises before these exercises to better prepare participants for a pandemic influenza outbreak and after to evaluate progress and offer more practice.

About SimQuest, LLC

SimQuest is a technology-assisted education and training company that creates tools for healthcare professionals to develop and perfect their skills without risk to patients and to train their decision-making capabilities for patient care. For more information, please visit SimQuest at http://www.simquest.com.

Contract Information

This work is supported by the US Army Medical Research and Materiel Command under Contract No. W81XWH-07-C-0071. The views, opinions and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official Department of the Army position, policy or decision unless so designated by other documentation.

    Press Contact:
    Monica Giffhorn
    mgiffhorn@kineticsmarcom.com
    Kinetics Marketing & Communications
    301-514-2586

    Corporate Contact:
    Bob Waddington
    bwaddington@simquest.com
    SimQuest, LLC
    301-587-9440

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SOURCE SimQuest, LLC
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