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UIC Peoria Faculty Member Part of Multi-Institution Team Using Innovative Tech to Save Lives

man with short hair, beard and mustache, and glasses, wearing a white shirt, blue neck tie and white lab coat

Dr. Scott Barrows, director of OSF Innovation Design Lab at Jump Trading Simulation & Education Center and clinical associate professor at the University of Illinois College of Medicine Peoria, is part of an interdisciplinary team leveraging virtual reality to train people in the administration of naloxone in cases of opioid overdose. Named Virtual Reality Embedded Naloxone Training (VENT), the technology uses virtual and augmented reality to simulate hectic, real-life scenarios in which rapid administration of naloxone is required to avert an overdose. With the technology, users are trained in the proper way to hold a naloxone dispenser and how to administer the drug through a mannequin’s nostrils. To broaden the impact of VENT, Barrows is taking it “on the road,” partnering with businesses and community organizations in the Peoria area. “We’re able to focus on vulnerable rural and urban communities to ensure our training tech makes the most impact possible,” he said. “VENT will show people why opioids are so dangerous, actually show them what’s going on in the brain when someone overdoses. It’s a scary thing.”