AHead Simulations is a medical simulation company advancing the quality of patient care within hearing healthcare. Through their range of patient simulation products, AHead is creating better learning opportunities for both hearing healthcare professionals and their patients.
Founder Rob Koch was inspired to create AHead during his fourth year of engineering at Western University back in 2015. When deciding on a topic for his final project, Rob connected with the audiology department where he learned that in other medical disciplines like nursing, students would practice different scenarios on patient simulators to create as real of an experience as possible. Unfortunately, there weren’t any tools or simulations available to Hearing Aid or Hearing Health professionals.
“I started out by going to the craft store and purchasing a foam head. I then 3D printed an ear and attached it to the head, creating our first patient simulator prototype, CARL,” said Rob.
After seeing promising results throughout the duration of the project, Rob spent two additional years doing research and development at Western. At the end of his Masters, they conducted a validation study which showed that students who practiced on CARL performed better in clinical situations than students who did not. The study suggested that CARL would be beneficial across the entire industry, so Rob decided the next step in his journey was to start a company and commercialize the product.
In 2019, AHead joined AC JumpStart™, and later advanced to The Accelerator Program®. With the help of the programming and resources throughout these programs, Rob, coming from an engineering background, developed a newfound understanding of the importance of both sales efforts and culture while starting a company.
"The Accelerator Centre was instrumental in building a strong foundation at AHead. Through their connections, mentorship, and breadth of experience, the Accelerator Centre has helped AHead through the ups and downs of being a startup and has helped cement AHead's place in its industry," said Rob.
After 2 years, AHead has completed its programming and is focusing on expanding the product line to continue innovating the Healthcare industry. CARL is currently the only patient simulator platform to combine a physical patient simulator with clinical resources and curriculum to maximize clinical success. The team is looking forward to reaching their goal of 1 million in sales.
“The AC community is inspiring and exciting and being in this tech ecosystem had tremendous value for us,” said Rob.
We will be celebrating AHead's graduation from The Accelerator Program on Friday, October 22nd. Come celebrate with us and support our local entrepreneurs and startup community!