Innovator: Catherine Strayhorn

Photography by Alex Stafford By Susan Burns May 31, 2012

Catherine Strayhorn; CEO, IVIR, Inc.After eight years heading up research and development for Sarasota patient simulator company METI, aerospace engineer Catherine Strayhorn became the CEO of Sarasota’s IVIR, Inc., whose 18 employees do system engineering and design of medical education simulation tools for military and civilian markets.

IVIR is creating holograms for anatomical models so medical personnel can be trained in 3D. In the future, a student could work on a hologram of a heart, take it apart, add diseases and injuries and find out how the heart responds. “It looks like Star Wars,” Strayhorn enthuses. IVIR also works on developing training and educational technology to enhance the social skills of those with autism. And this month, locals can see IVIR’s innovative work at Meduzone, an interactive medical exhibit at G.WIZ.

Strayhorn says the company’s brand-new learning assessment tools for military and civilian education will transform teaching. They allow clients to customize tests and pinpoint exactly how each student (and instructor) is doing on each question or task in real time and to determine how each student learns best. MeTER was developed for the U.S. Army to train and assess medics and combat lifesavers. “It will save lives,” she declares. And TrACER, the commercial application, can be used for secondary schools and colleges. “This could be huge,” she says of the potential market.

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