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VitalSims 2nd health care company to join TreeHouse Health

Fresh off welcoming its first start-up company to the fold (RiverSystems LLC) in mid-October, TreeHouse Health welcomed its second start-up – VitalSims™ – earlier this month.

VitalSims is a health care education company that delivers accredited learning simulations using the latest accelerated-learning technology.

“We’re basically a flight simulator for health care,” says VitalSims CEO Chris Duncan. “We develop simulated environments where health care professionals and providers can practice clinical procedures in a safe environment.”


Founded in 2009, VitalSims is one part chronic care simulator (SiMCare Diabetes) and one part virtual clinic and hospital simulator (ClincalCare).

Developed in partnership with the HealthPartners Institute for Education and Research and the University of Minnesota, SiMCare Diabetes uses actual patient/physician interactions to help providers better diagnose and treat type 1 and 2 diabetes.

ClinicalCare, developed in partnership with the University of Minnesota School of Nursing, uses dynamic new technology to simulate practical patient cases so health care professionals can learn appropriate diagnosis, treatments and procedures in a real-time, risk-free environment.

“On the back-end, we also use ClinicalCare to track how these health care professionals are performing. What they’re doing right, what they’re doing wrong. Which can eventually help hospitals and clinics improve key metrics like patient safety scores,” says Duncan.

Prior to starting VitalSims in 2009, Duncan was CEO of QuickStep Games, a developer of active-play video games; Managing Partner for Ice Studios, a new media video production house; and President of Dexxon Capital Corp., a business finance company.

In joining TreeHouse Health, Duncan and VitalSims will be working alongside health care leaders with more than 130 years combined experience—not to mention the other start-ups working in the Loring Park space.

“Joining TreeHouse Health will give us the opportunity to bounce ideas off executives with 30-plus years in a variety of health care environments”, said Don Gerhardt, chairman of VitalSims. “As a small company, you can sometimes be fairly isolated. So, for us, the potential here is enormous in working with some of the best and the brightest in the health care industry.”

VitalSims and Duncan took up full-time residence at TreeHouse Health in early November. However, a portion of the company’s eight full-time employees will also continue to work out of a small office in North Carolina.

“We’re thrilled to have VitalSims as the second emerging health care company to join TreeHouse Health,” says John Blank, chairman at TreeHouse Health. “Chris, Don and the rest of the VitalSims team bring a wealth of experience and brainpower to TreeHouse Health—and we hope we can help them take their company and concepts to the next level.