University College Cork's new medical training centre ASSERT has signed a multi-million euro deal with Swedish firm Mentice, which is a world leader in cardiovascular and endovascular healthcare simulation training.
The ASSERT centre in UCC (Application of Science to Simulation based Education and Research on Training) is the only location worldwide developing simulation-based and proficiency-based progression training programmes for the medical sector.
Trainees at the centre include those studying for primary qualifications in healthcare to practicing professionals including medical and surgical consultants.
Training takes places in hi-fidelity simulation suites on mannequins and in simulated operating theatres and mock wards.
The official opening of the ASSERT centre will be in early summer this year.
Director of Research at the ASSERT centre Professor Anthony G. Gallagher has been the leading proponent for the concept, design and development of proficiency-based training over the past 20 years.
Ground-breaking research in the US led by Professor Gallagher has proven that this method of training is superior to the 100-year-old apprenticeship model for surgical training, which has been seen as the long-standing gold standard worldwide.
He said: "The medical community, at large, has confirmed the relevance of simulation for training but a significant part of the learning curve is still performed in the clinical practice on patients.
"This is obviously not ideal and we intend to provide scientific evidence in order to move to regulation where defined skills levels are achieved and validated in a safe simulated environment away from patients. This in our opinion will change the world of healthcare."
ASSERT will seek to combine sophisticated cutting edge simulation with the academic and practical implementation of training to proficiency, with the aim of bridging what it said is "the critical and largely unmet training need for the surgeons and physicians of today and tomorrow".
Today’s announcement represents a substantial commitment to ASSERT by Mentice in a multi-million euro deal over a five-year period.
ASSERT will seek to combine sophisticated cutting edge simulation with the academic and practical implementation of training to proficiency.
Commenting on the announcement, CEO and group president of Mentice Göran Malmberg said: "ASSERT and Mentice share the vision that high fidelity simulation combined with deliberate practice to a defined objective is the path to tackle the challenges facing skills acquisition in healthcare over the next couple of decades.
"We are excited about the opportunity to work together with ASSERT to change this."