Serious Games @ Google: Playing Surgery – A Laparoscopy Game for Surgeons on the Nintendo Wii From Lap-X


Not too long ago I posted an interview with the folks from Lap-X about their mobile and cost effective Laparascopic training simulator. They also suggested I check out this awesome presentation held on the Google Campus entitled “Playing Surgery - A Laparoscopy Game for Surgeons on the Nintendo Wii”. Check out how video gaming can be utilized for this “Google Tech Talk” presentation!

Presented by Henk ten Cate Hoedemaker, Tim Laning, and Jetse Goris.


Laparascopic (or keyhole) surgery is challenging for surgeons and can be dangerous for patients. The surgeons who perform these procedures need ongoing training and hands on practice. The University Medical Centers of Groningen and Leeuwarden in the Netherlands have teamed up with game developer Grendel Games ( to produce a unique solution. Instead of using expensive, traditional simulators to teach their doctors the motor skills needed for laparoscopic surgery, they have developed a full Nintendo Wii game with customized controls that imitate a surgeon’s instruments… but in a non-medical context.

What makes this game unique is the choice to make a virtual game world that offers an immersive storyline, exciting puzzles and pleasing visuals, around the control scheme and motor skills of laparoscopic surgery. This deliberate change of context is unique for a medical serious game.

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At the 2010 Game Developers Conference (GDC), the first prototype of this game was presented. Forbes crowned it “one of the ten games that can change the world.” The 2010 presentation is one of the most viewed serious games videos in the GDC vault.

Project team members Henk ten Cate Hoedemaker, Tim Laning and Jetse Goris will describe their development process and demo the new version of the game and Wii controllers. Time permitting, local/live attendees will be able test out the redesigned controllers and game.


H.O. ten Cate Hoedemaker MD
Henk ten Cate Hoedemaker is a gastrointestinal surgeon at the University Medical Center of Groningen (UMCG) in the Netherlands. His specialities include colorectal surgery, abdominal wall surgery and laparoscopy. In 1999, he won best instructor award at UMCG where he has taught many surgical and laparoscopic courses. Since 2000, he has been medical director of the Wenckebach Institute Skills Center at UMCG. He is also inventor of the C-seal colon stent.

Tim Laning
Tim Laning is CEO and co-founder of the 
award winning Dutch serious medical game company Grendel Games ( Grendel Games builds games focused on physical and mental rehabilitation, surgical and medical training for medical education universities, hospitals and rehabilitation institutes. Grendel Games is one of the first companies to partner with medical training hospitals to develop a laparoscopic surgery training game
 to be released on Nintendo consoles in 2013.

 Laning helped found Gameship (the largest serious game development media lab in the Netherlands) and founded the annual serious game jam G-Ameland in 2007.

Jetse Goris MSc
Jetse Goris is an educational consultant and researcher at the University Medical Center of Groningen (UMCG) in the Netherlands. Jetse is currently conducting research to validate the efficacy of a Nintendo Wii laparoscopy game he helped design with UMC Gronigen/Leeuwarden and Grendel Games. Jetse is passionate about using and building innovative technologies to enhance medical teacher and student learning and performance.

What’s in a Name? The Many Titles of “Sim Techs”

sim tech job title

Recently Michelle Howard MSN, CNS, APRN Director of the Allied Health Simulation Center Executive Director at Ozarks Technical Community College wrote in to ask “What should we title our new simulation technology operator position?”. What a question Michelle! I have had several job titles throughout my career as a Sim Tech, but what’s out there? I exported the titles of those attending SimGHOSTS 2014 USA at the American College of Chest Physicians early next month to demonstrate what a dynamic range of titles this profession currently entertains. I removed redundancies but will point out that “Simulation Technician” had the most results!

  • Administrative Simulation Technician
  • Assistant Director
  • Assistant Director of Simulation
  • Biomed Electronics Technician
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Technologist
  • Biomedical IT Specialist
  • Clinical Education Specialist
  • Clinical Educator
  • Sim Lab Coordinator
  • Clinical Instructor
  • Clinical Learning Lab Specialist
  • Clinical Simulation Lab Director
  • Clinical Simulation Specialist
  • Co-ordinator Clinical Learning and Simulation
  • Code Resuscitation Program Project Manager
  • Coordinator of Simulation and Technology
  • Coordinator
  • Corporate Planning Manager
  • Curriculum Coordinator
  • Education Coordinator
  • Education Specialist
  • Equipment Systems Specialist
  • Faculty Support/Health Sciences Simulation Center Coordinator
  • GME Simulation Coordinator
  • Health Science Simulation Technician
  • Health Sciences Simulation Coordinator
  • Healthcare Simulation Technician
  • Instructional Services Technician
  • Interim Director of the Learning Center
  • IT Manager
  • IT Professional
  • IT Support Technician
  • IT Technical Associate
  • Lab Coordinator
  • Lab Simulation Specialist
  • Lead Analyst
  • Learning Products & Services Manager
  • Manager Training and Simulation
  • Media and simulation technician
  • Media Services Technician
  • Medical Education Technologist
  • Medical Educational Technologist
  • Medical Instructor
  • Medical Simulation Coordinator
  • Medical Simulation Facilitator
  • Medical Simulation Technician
  • Network Manager
  • Nursing Faculty/Lab Facilitator
  • Nursing Information Technology Coordinator
  • Nursing Simulation Technologist
  • Operations Manager
  • Professor of NursingProgram Analyst
  • Program Director
  • PSA & REdI Program Administrator
  • REdI Program Coordinator
  • Senior Technology Specialist
  • Sim Operator
  • Sim Tech
  • Simulation Center Assistance
  • Simulation Center Coordinator/Clinical Nurse Educator
  • Simulation Center IT/Networking Specialist
  • Simulation Clinical Supervisor/ Simulation Consultant
  • Simulation Coordinator
  • Simulation Director
  • Simulation Education Technician
  • Simulation Engineer
  • Simulation Intern
  • Simulation Lab Administrator
  • Simulation Lab Coordinator
  • Simulation Lab Tech
  • Simulation Learning Center Assistant
  • Simulation Operator
  • Simulation Specialist
  • Simulation Specialist
  • Simulation Specialist II
  • Simulation Specialist/Coordinator
  • Simulation Tech
  • Simulation Tech Specialist
  • Simulation Technician
  • Simulation Technician Program Coordinator
  • Simulation Technologist
  • Simulation Technology Specialist (MOST USED)
  • Simulation Training Specialist
  • Specialist in Simulation Technology
  • Supervisor, Teaching LabSys
  • AdminSystems Analyst 2
  • Systems Engineer
  • Technical Director
  • Technical Lab Assistant
  • Technical Simulation Coordinator
  • Technical Support Specialist
  • Technicien de simulation et téléprésence
  • Technologist
  • Telehealth and Audio Visual Support Analyst
  • Undergraduate Simulation Technician
  • Unit Coordinator

Several years ago I worked with a team of Simulation Technicians across the state of California to build a comprehensive job responsibilities list for this position (which you can download here). The term everyone agreed upon was Simulation Technology Specialist — and indeed that is the name that is incorporated into SimGHOSTS which stands for The Gathering of Healthcare Simulation Technology Specialists. We added “healthcare” so that non medical-simulation related groups could identify us as apart of healthcare, as there as “simulation technicians” in a variety of other fields — mostly from aviation.

If you had to choose a new title for the position I would argue for “Simulation Technology Specialist”!

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Simulated Patient “Allergic to Ink” Warning Sign – Download to Save Your Manikins!

ink stained manikin removal

Recently a Sim Tech wrote in that his manikins were permanently stained by ink pens. Will Enfinger, Simulation Specialist at Des Moines University, has created a nifty “Allergy Warning Sign” which simulation champions can use to help prevent ink stains. Will also had this tip on removing the ink stain: “Try Magic Erasers – they seem to work ok, depending on the ink type and how quickly you get to them.  Also, benzoyl peroxide on the mark, then exposed to skin seems to work for some folks.” For more tips on how to remove ink, try my article Quick Manikin Moulage & Cleaning Tips! But take an ounce of prevention and download Will’s sign now for ALL your simulation lab spaces!

ink stain on laerdal

Click here to download the high resolution copy of Will’s “Ink Allergy Warning Sign”

CAE Healthcare HPSN World 2014 Keynote Address By Dr. JoDee Anderson & Other Recap Materials Now Online

cae healthcare hpsn

Shown below is CAE Healthcare’s 2014 HPSN keynote address provided by Dr. JoDee Anderson, Associate Professor and the Medical Director of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Oregon Health & Science University. Dr. Anderson delivered a compelling, multimedia keynote address about how simulation is altering team behavior in pediatrics. Also thanks to CAE, you can now visit their 2014 event recap page (linked below) to watch the conference opening by newly appointed president of CAE Healthcare, Dr. Robert Amyot, as well as download any of the presentation slides from the meeting!

About JoDee:

Dr. JoDee Anderson completed her pediatric residency and neonatal-perinatal fellowship at Stanford University where she focused on the development of simulation-based curricula in neonatal resuscitation, pediatric advanced life support, ECMO crisis management, and crisis resource management behaviors. She serves as the Director of Pediatric Simulation Education at OHSU. She obtained a masters degree in education through University of Cincinnati as she worked to validate expert modeling as a strategy to improve skill acquisition in simulation. She serves as Chair of the Education Committee for the Society for Simulation in Healthcare; she was a member of the Board of Directors for the Oregon Simulation Alliance; and she was an investigator in the EXPRESS trial. She has more than 16 years of experience in simulation and she has developed interprofessional simulation curricula to improve the performance of interprofessional teams in high-risk environments. In 2011, she was appointed as the Medical Director for The S.T.A.B.L.E Simulation Program, an internationally renowned resuscitation-training program in neonatal care. She was also instrumental in the development of the Simulation Instructor DVD for The AAP Neonatal Resuscitation Program. Together with colleagues she developed and validated the Behavioral Assessment Tool (BAT) for simulation, a widely used and accepted instrument in simulation education and research. As a native Oregonian she enjoys all the outdoors have to offer; she spends her free time with her family skiing, camping, biking, and traveling.

About the HPSN2014 Keynote Address:

When a baby is born in distress, a medical team has only a few critical moments to revive the newborn to prevent permanent neurological damage, or even death. Dr. JoDee Anderson has devoted her career to improving outcomes in the most vulnerable newborns. Anderson is associate professor of neonatology at Oregon Health and Science University in Portland, Oregon, where she is also medical director of the hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit. As an advocate of inter-professional training for neonatal resuscitation teams, she has developed learning tools to improve team behaviors.

At HPSN, Anderson delivered a compelling, multi-media keynote address about how simulation is altering team behavior in pediatrics. During her talk, she showed video of a real-life neonatal resuscitation. “It’s not well-coordinated, we don’t use the protocols very well, and there isn’t good teamwork,” Anderson says. “It’s a striking and emotional video, and I point out the ways the team isn’t working together.” Anderson learned the value of simulation during her internship at Stanford University Hospital. “My first experience with neonatal resuscitation was a simulation during my internship at the Stanford VA Simulation center.

I had a really hard case – meconium aspiration and asphyxiation.” Anderson found the simulation challenging, but she didn’t know how much it had impacted her learning until three days later. “I was on call at the county hospital and the exact same case came up. I knew what to do as an intern. It was amazing to me that this transfer of learning had happened, and I knew what to do for a real patient. That changed everything.”

Learn more at the HPSN 2014 Wrap Up Page

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Medical Simulation Product Review Website Konsiderate Opens Doors with Work Email Login


Last week, the world’s only medical simulation product and service peer-driven review website opened up its beta phase with a new way to login using your professional work email address.  During the private testing phase, 300+ Simulation Champions from around the world have already contributed over 150 reviews on more than 60 products ranging from $20 simulated medications to $100,000+ manikins and A/V recording systems. Starting today, any simulation user can sign into Konsiderate using their professional LinkedIn or work email accounts. This resource website was created to help new and experienced healthcare simulation users alike gain a better understanding about the “word of mouth” recommendations of our collective community. Konsiderate is now Open to you!

In order to maintain a professional and authentic community, Konsiderate requires you to sign in through a professional means. Users can now either immediately login through their professional LinkedIn account or create an account through their work email address which will be hand validated. These steps promote the legitimacy of reviews by creating an authentic end-user community. Vendors interested in signing up for new subscription opportunities should contact

Hundreds of alpha and beta users have been raving about Konsiderate for the past several months because it provides for a much needed resource where “need-to-know” testimonials are spread out across the entire globe.

Brooks Army Medical Center Simulation Coordinator Thomas Kai had this to say about Konsiderate:

“I am a big supporter of Konsiderate.  Often times we purchase Simulators that we see advertised, or demonstrated.  We hear from the Representative of the Company about how this item is the best thing since sliced bread and is going to change the way things are done.  Like children at Christmas were glassy eyed and filled with anticipation about acquiring this marvel, only to find out the limitations and issues later.  Konsiderate gives the real story from real users and not the marketing folks.  You can see the highs and lows so we as the user/consumers get a clear picture before investing in something that turns into a white elephant. Konsiderate is for users from users, no hype or gimmicks, just the facts.”


Join Konsiderate Today to Share and Read Reviews From Champions Just Like You! 

Performance Analysis Results When Teaching with Simulated EHR


Sharing this publication that B-Line Medical posted last week entitled Simulated Electronic Health Record (Sim-EHR) Curriculum: Teaching EHR Skills and Use of the EHR for Disease Management and Prevention (Dr. Christina E. Milano, MD, Dr. Joseph A. Hardman, MD, [...], and Dr. Frances E. Biagioli, MD) which found simulated training moderately increased student performance with placing orders and updating charts.  Eventually all aspects of healthcare training will be accomplished through simulated training, from charting to patient communication, skill practice, and everything in between.

Excerpt of the article:

“Identifying strengths and gaps in the status quo:

In September 2012, we conducted a preliminary analysis of student score data. When comparing data for students who completed the Sim-EHR exercise early versus later in their third year, we identified modest improvement in the more experienced students’ ability to place orders and update the chart, including the allergy section and medication list. However, we found no difference between the earlier and later students’ ability to use a health maintenance tool to create routine disease screening, prevention, and management alerts. We also found no difference in performance between all of the students and incoming interns, but we had data for only a small number of interns.

Such an analysis of score data may serve as a proxy for prioritizing which EHR skills need to be explicitly taught prior to graduation. We found universally low performance among both students and interns on specific objectives related to the knowledge of disease prevention, which suggests that there may be gaps in the predoctoral curriculum relating to the use of clinical decision support tools and the identification of evidence-based prevention guidelines. During our small-group sessions, students practice manipulating commonly used online tools and guidelines such as the World Health Organization’s Fracture Risk Assessment Tool (FRAX) and the University of Edinburgh’s cardiovascular risk calculator. Potential enhancements to the Sim-EHR curriculum include placing an increased emphasis on training students to use these and other similar decision support tools in tandem with their EHR work.”

Read the full article on the The National Center for Biotechnology Website.

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SSH President Announces Passing of Dr. Abrahamson, Medical Simulation Pioneer

From Pam Jeffries, SSH President:

Dr. AbrahamsonDr. Steve Abrahamson, Pioneer in Healthcare Simulation, (1921 – 2014)

July 15, 2014: Dr. Stephen Abrahamson, a pioneer in healthcare simulation who helped to develop Sim One, the first healthcare manikin, passed away Monday, July 14. He was 93.

The path to healthcare simulation started in 1964 when Dr. Abrahamson, then Director of the Division of Research at the University of Southern CaliforniaSchool of Medicine, was challenged to use computers in the medical school. Dr. Abrahamson saw the potential to use computers to help medical school educators improve education and outcomes.  His idea that an anesthesia student could learn from data rather than using a patient was unprecedented.

A collaborative effort among engineers, physicians, researchers and educators, Sim One allowed anesthesiologists to experience life-like interaction with a computer-driven manikin. A 1967 film of Sim One brought Dr. Abrahamson’s work to the attention of national media including interviews by Time Magazine, Life Magazine and Newsweek Magazine. While Sim One made national headlines, the medical community responded negatively, doubting the value of healthcare simulation.

Dr. Abrahamson lived to see his groundbreaking work become standard and widely accepted. Today, healthcare simulation is included in training of healthcare professionals worldwide.

Some notable awards that Dr. Abrahamson had received included:

  • Samuel C Harvey Memorial Lecture Award – 1981 – American Association for Cancer Education
  • Hubbard Award 1986- National Board of Medical Examiners
  • Merrell Flair Award in Medical Education – 1992 – Association of American Medical Colleges
  • Gravenstein award – 2000 -Society for Technology in Anesthesia
  • Simulation Innovation Award -2014 – Society for Simulation in Healthcare

On behalf of SSH and those within the simulation community, we want to express our condolences to the Abrahamsons family and friends.  The Society for Simulation in Healthcare is so pleased to have honored Dr. Abrahamson last year at IMSH in San Francisco.  Personal notes and condolences can be sent to Phil Abrahamson (, son of Dr. Abrahamson, who accepted his father’s award last January.

Shown here is the interview which played at IMSH 2014 between Dr. Abrahamson and Dr. Gaba, which highlighted Steve’s amazing story about building SimONE:

Mount Sinai “Director of Simulation Education” Featured Job Listing

simulation job new york

Institution: Mount Sinai

Job Title: Director of Simulation Education
Job Location: NY

Careers at Mount Sinai: The Possibilities are Limitless Join our extraordinary new world of health care At the Mount Sinai Health System, our passion for excellence and entrepreneurial spirit is providing patients with the best care possible through groundbreaking research, advanced biomedical education and compassionate patient care. Mount Sinai St. Luke’s and Mount Sinai Roosevelt, member hospitals of the Health System, are driven by a shared purpose to heal, teach and advance medicine for the benefit of our local neighbors and global community.

In regards to clinical Quality, Research & Education, people from all walks of life have benefited from the learning and medical discoveries pioneered at our hospitals. We offer a wealth of career opportunities to work with outstanding multidisciplinary clinical research teams, alongside physicians and MDs/PhDs at our highly regarded medical research institutes, centers, laboratories and other member hospitals.

We currently have an opportunity for a Director of Simulation Education to join our interdisciplinary team.

What We Offer:

  • A state-of-the-art Simulation Center with three training labs developed in 2007 that features sophisticated audiovisual (A/V) equipment & several cameras located in various positions to capture accurate and detailed images of all events recorded in the Simulation Lab
  • Several high-fidelity manikins and other task trainers and virtual simulators
  • Designated faculty and simulation center staff with years of experience and a strong commitment to high quality teaching and patient safety
  • An environment that promotes research in quality improvement and patient safety by leveraging technology, education and innovation

What You’ll Do:

  • Spearhead the development, implementation and evaluation of educational programming, and oversee and provide guidance for educational research projects at the Center for Advanced Medical Simulation (CAMS)
  • Promote excellence in teaching through respectful behavior, role modeling and serving as a simulation mentor to clinicians, staff and management team
  • Conduct research in simulation education, as well as collaborate with multidisciplinary faculty to develop innovative research in education including design of study protocol, identification of funding sources, assistance with collection and analysis of data, and reporting results of research projects
  • Work with the CAMS Director and leadership to provide short- and long-range comprehensive strategic and operational planning in support of the center and to refine priorities and implement policies, procedures and practice standards consistent with the mission and educational objectives of the center.

What You Need:

  • Master’s Degree in Education
  • 2 years of experience in simulation (preferred) • Experience in healthcare, higher education will be considered • Demonstrated leadership abilities and exceptional analytical and problem solving skills.

Post and Read More on the HealthySim Medical Simulation Jobs Page

Learn More About this Position at:

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University of Queensland Simulates Time Travel

simulating time travel

As an interesting aside from medical simulation, Engadget covered the recent publication from University of Queensland faculty on their experimental simulation of time travel. We cover this and similar stories from time to time to point out the increased utilization of simulations in a multitude of disciplines to better convey that simulation is becoming the reality of the future. Take for example, our articles on Simulating the Universe, Simulated Training in Industrial Plants, or the 3D Environment Simulation Possibilities with the Oculus Rift.

Engadget’s Take:

We may never see practical time travel in our lifetimes, if it’s possible at all. However, a team at the University of Queensland has given the Doc Browns of the world a faint glimmer of hope by simulating time travel on a very, very small scale. Their study used individual photons to replicate a quantum particle traveling through a space-time loop (like the one you see above) to arrive where and when it began. Since these particles are inherently uncertain, there wasn’t room for the paradoxes that normally thwart this sort of research. The particle couldn’t destroy itself before it went on its journey, for example.

As you might have gathered from the “simulation” term, sci-fi isn’t about to become reality just yet. The scientists haven’t actually warped through time — they’ve only shown how it can work.

From the Abstract Posted on “Experimental simulation of closed timelike curves:

Closed timelike curves are among the most controversial features of modern physics. As legitimate solutions to Einstein’s field equations, they allow for time travel, which instinctively seems paradoxical. However, in the quantum regime these paradoxes can be resolved, leaving closed timelike curves consistent with relativity. The study of these systems therefore provides valuable insight into nonlinearities and the emergence of causal structures in quantum mechanics—essential for any formulation of a quantum theory of gravity. Here we experimentally simulate the nonlinear behaviour of a qubit interacting unitarily with an older version of itself, addressing some of the fascinating effects that arise in systems traversing a closed timelike curve. These include perfect discrimination of non-orthogonal states and, most intriguingly, the ability to distinguish nominally equivalent ways of preparing pure quantum states. Finally, we examine the dependence of these effects on the initial qubit state, the form of the unitary interaction and the influence of decoherence.

Have a similar interest story of simulation succeeding in other industries? Email us and we’ll share it!

Simulation Programs Continue to Gain Regional News Attention

news in medical simulation

From time to time we like to share the latest updates regarding new simulation centers and local news coverage of expanding healthcare simulation programs. Here’s a look at a handful of the latest stories that cover medical simulation programs popping up around the world:

Have some news you’d like to share with the international medical simulation community? Email us!

If you are looking to bring in local media to your simulation program, check out my article on “Start the Presses – How to Bring News Agencies to Your Sim Program“.