Mixed and Augmented Reality Can Facilitate Seamless Medical Communication

ar-healthcare-simulation

MedicalResearch.com recently interviewed Birmingham City University Associate Professor Dr. Ian Williams PhD about the work of the DMT lab on mixed and augmented reality for healthcare simulated training. Make no mistake, VR and AR are the future of healthcare simulated training:

Dr. Williams: Our work at the DMT Lab (dmtlab.bcu.ac.uk) focuses on developing a novel Mixed Reality (MR) medical presentation platform which allows practitioners to interact with patient data and virtual anatomical models in real time. The system enables the presentation of medical data, models and procedures to patients with the aim of educating them on pending procedures or the effects of lifestyle choices (for example the effects of smoking or excessive alcohol consumption).

The system employs an exocentric mixed reality environment which can be deployed in any room. It integrates a medical practitioner in real time with multimodal patient data and the corresponding result is a real time co-located visualisation of both the practitioner and the data, which they can interact with in real time.  We implement a natural interaction method into the system which improves a user’s level of direct interaction with the virtual models and provides a more realistic control of the data.

The system can also be used in a fun educational setting where patients, students, children or any naive user, can learn about medical anatomical information via a real-time interactive mixed reality “body scanner”. This fun system overlays the MR information onto their own body in real-time and shows them scaled and interactive virtual organs, anatomy and corresponding medical information. We are aiming for this system to be used not only in patient education but also in engaging and informing people on lifestyle choices.


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MedicalResearch.com: What types of medical or surgical problems do you envision can be enhanced with the use of free hand gestures to manipulate patient data?

Dr. Williams: Mixed reality has enormous potential within the medical field, with healthcare being profoundly affected by some recent developments. Mixed reality technology can also provide the platform for facilitating a seamless doctor-patient communications in real time. The system we are developing can provide a real time augmented view of the patient’s data which can be overlaid onto the patient, or interacted with via freehand interaction without the use of complex wearable devices.

Many current mixed reality systems rely on bespoke sensors and cumbersome wearable devices (for example haptic gloves) whereas we work in freehand interaction without the need for a medical practitioner or patient to wear any complex wearable device. This interaction method enables a more natural virtual interface and via the use of naturally inspired physical interaction models (for example common real grasping types) we bridge the gap between users and technology. This form of natural interaction can also enable an interaction which can be perceived as more realistic to the observer.


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A Sim Tech Shares Why You Should Come to SimGHOSTS 2017 USA

simghosts sim training

Simulation Operator Rachel Bailey  recently shared with the simulation community why she suggests attending SimGHOSTS.


There is still time to register for the 2017 USA Event
Next month at WakeMed in Raleigh, NC August 1st-4th

From Rachel: SimGHOSTS is a community of hard working technicians that adapt to any environment given to them.    As technicians we work over 8 hours a day, and when we are not working, we are thinking about what we can do better in the simulation community.  We volunteer for projects, we come in early and stay late.  You have to love the job in order to stay in the field.  The hours we work and the constant struggle to ensure things operate well, can weigh heavily.  Sometimes we are in a no- win situation but it never prevents us from thinking of how to improve simulations for educators and learners.


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Being a sim tech is not the easiest job, nor the most rewarding, we do the job because we love it.  The demand of the job can leave us discouraged and burnt out, but when August comes around, we get to meet with people that are just like us and experience the same highs and lows of simulation operations.  I have attended several SimGHOSTS conferences, I get the pleasure of meeting new technicians, hearing their ideas, and seeing there fabrications.  The passion of this community is something to experience.  It is not about where you went to college, it is not about who you know, this conference is strictly about the job that we all love.

A fellow sim tech stated her experience at SimGHOSTS, as her “date night” with her job.  I couldn’t agree with her more.  This conference is more than educational, it is empowering.  When I thought I could not take one more reminder of what didn’t work , or how much time I spend at my job, that a select few really understand, I go to SimGHOSTS as a reminder that I really love what I do, and I love the community I am involved in.  I have attended SimGHOSTS as a presenter and a participant, and the community is the most inquisitive, intelligent, and involved in simulation technology that I have ever experienced.  People are proud and willing to share ideas and projects.  Every time I attend I am empowered to do my job for another year.

Whether you are tech, educator, coordinator, or director, the education you receive at SimGHOSTS is as unique as the people sharing what they have learned.  If you haven’t been to a conference, I urge you to try to persuade your leadership to invest in your education and your professional development.  See you in Carolina!

Learn more about joining Rachel at SimGHOSTS 2017 USA this Aug. 1-4!

Modern Healthcare Covers Growth of Healthcare Simulation Field

modern healthcare simulation

In the most recent addition of Modern Healthcare, the publisher covered the growing field of healthcare simulation with key interviews to help outsiders better understand the benefits of the emerging methodologies and technologies. This is a GREAT article to introduce others to the field of healthcare simulation, so be sure to share this link!

Simulation can save lives and limit patient harm by ensuring physicians young and old alike follow protocols and complete all the necessary steps in order to safely perform a procedure. In a study of 44 final-year medical students in Frankfurt, Germany, students who participated in a three-day simulation-based training course were found to have more thoroughly followed protocols for CPR and a trauma enactment in comparison to students who shadowed emergency physicians for three days. Students trained on simulators scored an average of 90% on their ability to complete steps required on a standard CPR checklist, while the other students scored 62%.

It’s not just students. Another study found that anesthesiologists who engaged in simulation-based training on how to properly wean patients from cardiopulmonary bypass performed better in real-life procedures than those who received traditional interactive seminars. Simulation-trained physicians scored over five percentage points higher when assessed two weeks later by senior staff on their ability to adequately complete necessary steps on a technical checklist. Similar results were shown five weeks after training. Researchers seeking to understand whether simulation could help improve training for ultrasound-guided central venous catheter cannulation found that 51% of simulation-trained residents were successful on the first try of cannulating a patient, as compared with the traditionally trained group’s success rate of 37%, according to a study published in the journal of the Association of American Medical Colleges.


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Medical malpractice payouts have begun climbing upward since 2012, reaching $3.9 billion in 2016. Connecticut’s payout rate per capita is among the highest in the nation. In hopes of reversing this trend and reducing risk, Connecticut-based Hartford HealthCare sought to improve simulation-based training for obstetricians, who are at a particularly high risk for malpractice suits. The health system’s Center for Education, Simulation and Innovation (CESI) developed a simulation-based training program that evaluates physician effectiveness in preventing shoulder dystocia, a high-risk labor complication in which labor is obstructed by the infant’s shoulder. The project utilized technology that measures the amount of force being applied to a simulated baby, eliminating the subjectivity of a doctor-to-doctor evaluation. “Verdicts in the state of Connecticut have been steadily increasing, with some exceeding $20 million,” said CESI Director Stephen Donahue. The device has given physicians more confidence in their abilities, and protected them from preventable risk that can result in lawsuits.

Read the full Modern Healthcare Simulation Article here!


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Simulaids Unveils Industry’s First Patient Communication Simulator ALEX

alex patient communication simulator simulaids

Recently we covered the innovative ‘Next Gen Geri’ as seen at IMSH 2017 — but even more recently Simulaids unveiled the industries first “Patient Communication Simulator (PCS)”! Newly launched, ALEX recognizes questions and responds with scripted answers related to his condition allowing simulation educators to use speech synthesis or your own voice for responses. Alex is also the first patient simulator with an HD camera streaming live, low latency video from his right eye. Debrief with a patient point-of-view experience! Check out this video below to see more:


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  • Develop critical thinking, decision making and priority setting skills
  • Conduct initial patient assessments and clinical interviews
  • Acquire foundational nursing skills
  • Meet high-level simulation goals
  • Evaluate Nursing competencies in procedures such as injections, IV administration, and wound care
Core Features of Alex:
  • Breathing: Moving chest in sync with set respiratory rate. Set various respiratory profiles with varying depth of breath.
  • Airway: Oral, digital, and nasal intubation, as well as all other standard airway procedures.
  • BVM Ventilation: Rising chest measures and records airflow over time when done during CPR.
  • Circulation: Pulses (carotid x 2, brachial x 2, radial x 2 and pedal x 2): sensing touch and providing pulse sensation in sync with set heart rate and blood pressure.
  • CPR: CPR abilities with metrics of chest compression force/depth and timing. Automatic detection and logging of CPR procedures.
  • IV Injection Arm: Practice intravenous injections and positioning a butterfly catheter. Puncture veins and dorsal venous network of hand.
  • Patient Monitor: Direct control of HR, RR, SpO2 and TEMP to set target value and transition length.
  • Waveforms: Normal and abnormal simulated cardio, respiratory and SpO2 waveforms in virtual patient monitor.
  • Blood Pressure: Measure blood pressure with any sphygmomanometer attached to the included SmartCuff™, equipped with wireless pressure sensor.
  • IRISCAM: An HD camera built into the eye of ALEX, providing digital video for live streaming and recorded review. (patent pending)
  • SPEECH: Advanced speech recognition and speech synthesis to support fully automated medical interviewing exercises. (patent pending)
  • SOUNDS: Listen to normal or various abnormal lung/heart/bowel sounds and Korotkoff sounds using any stethoscope when attached to the included SmartScope™ accessory.

Simulaids began producing trauma moulage products in the town of Woodstock in 1963 and now operates out of an 83,000-square-foot facility in Saugerties New York.

Learn more about Simulaids Innovative Products on their website today!

Canadian-Based Western University Launches New Healthcare Simulation Suite

Western's new robots offer nursing students life-like medical experience

Canadian-based Western University Gazette recently shared about the new Western’s Arthur Labatt Family School of Nursing program simulation suite! Looking to get similar attention to your healthcare simulation program? Read our comprehensive Media guide!

The new simulation suite in the recently opened FIMS and Nursing building and has been in the works for years. The faculty’s first simulation suite opened in 2005, according to Barbara Sinclair, coordinator for simulated clinical education at the Arthur Labatt Family School of Nursing. “You can’t just send students in after giving them a little bit of theory and a little bit of lab practice and expect that they’re going to be able to provide care for people,” Sinclair said. “Things are just far too complex.”

The new simulation suite is much larger than its predecessor with 16 hospital beds. Sinclair said students learn a variety skills from the simulation set up that go beyond the teachings of a textbook as they work on communication skills, critical thinking and problem solving.


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Nursing student Sachia Grogran recalled hearing patients scream “I can’t breathe, I’m going to die,” during the simulations. “It teaches you how to handle real life situations in a safe environment,” Grogan said. The robotic patients within the simulation hospital have a variety of illnesses and backstories that make each of them unique. “They get to understand the trajectory of chronic illness,” Sinclair said. “We looked at what the common things were that we were seeing — things like diabetes, stroke and lung disease; we wanted to get a good cross section of things students would see.”

In addition to the robotic patients, 50 per cent of the time students in the lab work with standardized patients who are played by actors. The actors have prepared stories, case histories and personality types which Sinclair said adds a different level of realism.

Read the full article: Western’s new robots offer nursing students life-like medical experience


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Regional EMS Cadet Competition Utilizes Simulation For Recognition of Leading Students

South Orange Rescue Squad Cadets Bring Home Gold

Shouldnt all EMS programs utilize simulation for demonstration and training to new recruits on the lessons of first responding? Village Green NJ recently reported how last Saturday the South Orange Rescue Squad won the 5th Annual Bayshore EMS Cadet Competition in Keyport, New Jersey at the Keyport First Aid Squad. What a great way to utilize simulations to encourage healthcare professionals of tomorrow!

This event brought Emergency Medical Services cadet teams from New York and New Jersey together for a two day event that combines EMS skill competitions, educational experiences, training, and socializing with like-minded peers. Many volunteer ambulance squads across the state have cadet programs where teenagers train alongside adult members to provide emergency medical care to their community. Explained South Orange Rescue Squad President Troy Balog, “these cadet groups are valuable feeder programs to help critical volunteer shortages in squads.”


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He added, “we’ve had our cadet program for three years and many former cadets are now active adult members, including our current 1st Lieutenant! We are all volunteer, do not charge for our services and exist on donations, so people who give so much of their time are highly valued.” Competing against 35 other cadet teams, the South Orange Rescue Squad team won both first place in the “Advanced Team” category as well as the “Grand Champion” award for highest all around score. This is the first time the South Orange squad has entered the competition. “I wasn’t sure what to expect.” said team member EMT Cole Fitzsimmons, “we train a lot at South Orange so I felt that we were ready for it.”

Cadet teams could enter the “Basic” level competition or the “Advanced” level. Basic teams consisted of CPR or first aid trained cadets and were evaluated in stations consisting of Vital Sign, CPR, and bleeding control. The “Advanced” teams had to have at least two Emergency Medical Technicians and their three stations consisted of a simulated fall down to flights of stairs with two broken legs, a Heart Attack/Cardiac Arrest simulation, and a serious car accident where two critical patients were entrapped in the vehicle. “For the car accident station we had to work with the fire department to use the Jaws of Life to remove doors from the vehicle,” shared EMT team member Victor Rothstein. The victims in each of the scenarios were either role played by a volunteer with medical make-up or a high-tech simulator mannequin. Cadets were evaluated in each station by Paramedics, EMT Instructors, or Physicians who provided detailed feedback to the teens after each test.

Summary of Product Demo Video Interviews from IMSH 2017 Trade Show Floor

imsh 2017

Hey Simulation Champions! Today we are sharing a comprehensive review of all the product demonstration interviews HealthySimulation produced exclusively from the International Meeting for Simulation in Healthcare 2017 Orlando Tradeshow floor! These videos will help you to catch up with the latest news and information about innovative new products and services entering the field of healthcare simulation, so be sure to watch them all!


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Exclusive IMSH 2017 Exhibit Hall Video Interviews:

Finally, here is the HealthySim staff writeup about our favorite products from IMSH 2017!


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SimGHOSTS President Dr. Scott Crawford Closes 23rd Annual SESAM 2017 Conference In Paris

simghosts sesam

Today in Paris France, Dr. Scott Crawford, Volunteer President of SimGHOSTS (The Gathering of Healthcare Simulation Technology Specialists) provided the closing keynote address for the 23rd annual SESAM Event. For the first time, The Society in Europe for Simulation Applied to Medicine partnered with SimGHOSTS this year to provide healthcare simulation technology specialist operations tracks.

Scott reminded the audience that simulation education requires a triangle of operations with three key categories: management, coordination, and technology. Dr. Crawford went into detail explaining the key areas for the successful operation of a healthcare simulation program including operations (policies and procedures), space and resources, and systems integration. The operations/technology specialist covers:

  • Logistics supervision
  • Cost containment
  • Data collection
  • Personnel coordination
  • Modality selection
  • Innovation
  • Integration

Scott reminded the audience about the need to consider the “Technology Adoption Model” and the “Perceived Ease of Usefulness”, key requirements that enable healthcare professionals to consider, adopt, and expand the use of simulated, or other advanced, learning technologies. He then covered important considerations for key emerging technologies such as 3D printing, Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, equirectangular video recording, moulage staging, advanced scenario development, innovative simulated task trainer development, and support of emerging technologies such as eye tracking systems.


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Scott had the audience consider that it was only in 2007 that the first smart phone device was released with the iphone, and in only under 10 years, internet traffic has shifted from desktop to primarily mobile. Furthermore, only 1% of Doctors interviewing in 2016 had ever worn of VR headset. Scott asked that if technology allows for advanced specialized training to be recorded and transmitted around the world instantly — why are we not utilizing those opportunities more frequently?

Scott closed by suggesting that these technologies can be integrated over time, but to more forward without addressing a plan for their integration would be to become lost in the evolution of the medicine.

Learn more by visiting the SESAM and SimGHOSTS websites!

SimforHealth Introduces MedicActiV: Innovative Platform to Create & Share Virtual Clinical Cases, at SESAM 2017 Paris

medicactiv

During the opening of SESAM 2017 in Paris this week, SimforHealth is unveiling MedicActiV, an innovative new platform to consult, create & share virtual clinical cases. Learn how for a LIMITED TIME you can gain free access to this new global resource by reading more below…

We all know there is a gap between theoretical clinical training and physicians’ real-life experience. Students and health professionals must be given the opportunity to work on as many real-life cases as possible, before facing a real patient. Current classical training methods do not fit the rapid growth of medical knowledge. And clearly, medical education needs more realistic and immersive instructional technologies to prepare tomorrow’s clinicians.

SimforHealth, a leading provider of virtual solutions for medical education has created a new way to enhance medical education: The MedicActiV Platform.

MedicActiV is a digital simulation platform, like an international library of virtual clinical cases in any discipline. Healthcare education institutions or healthcare professionals can consult them, and also have the opportunity to create their own virtual clinical case with MedicActiV authoring tool. Once created, they can share it on the platform.


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The best way to understand how a virtual clinical case looks like on that platform is to watch a video of a vascular medicine case created with the cooperation of Doctor Aalami, Clinical Associate Professor and Vascular Surgeon at the prestigious University of Stanford Medicine. This video is a great way to understand the potential of MedicActiV’s and its compatibility with virtual reality using HTC Vive.

With this launch of the new version of the MedicActiV platform, SimforHealth calls healthcare professionals and institutions to participate in the project, by creating virtual clinical cases and sharing them with the healthcare community. Such a global resource can quickly increase the volume and quality of international medical knowledge.

Those attending SESAM 2017 Paris should stop by SimforHealth Booth EX31 to demo MedicActiV.

Gain FREE access to the system and its already strong library of resources until September!

Learn more on the MedicActiV.com website today!

Curtin & George Washington Universities Collaborate to Build Jim: Simulated Virtual Reality Patient

jim empathy simulator

Recently the website Study International spent some time with the Faculty of Health Sciences at Curtin University in Australia to learn more about their collaborative project Jim. Build with George Washington University in the US, Jim is a virtual reality creation, designed to simulate patients for healthcare sector trainees.

Study International Interview Excerpt:


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Ranked in the world’s top two percent by the Academic Ranking of World Universities 2016, Curtin University has trained more health professionals than any other tertiary institution in Western Australia. The use of state-of-the-art training tools and high-tech simulation experiences is central to the curriculum at Curtin’s Faculty of Health Sciences. Such technologies enable students to gain confidence and competence in their clinical skills without putting actual patients at risk, challenging them to deal with real-world clinical situations in a safe and supportive environment. 

“Jim gives students the opportunity to practice in a safe, controlled, repeated way, so they’re less at risk to the general public when they go into their clinic training,” says Dr Janet Beilby from the School of Psychology and Speech Pathology. Students studying Speech Pathology, Psychology, and Physiotherapy, along with many other health degrees, get the chance to interact with Jim and learn from their mistakes before encountering real patients. The Faculty takes virtual reality a step further with their Virtual Home Visit (VHV) Training Tool, or as Curtin calls it, “a serious game”.

This innovation from the Curtin research team, in partnership with software developer Learnbrite, is a game-based learning system that allows physiotherapy students to simulate a home visit to elderly people, offering support to allow them to remain at home and independent. The learner interacts with client avatars, identifies fall risks and hazards and then formulates a specific management plan that will allow the client to remain at home. Students can do this online, or via a laptop or iPad, but – even better than that – can immerse themselves in the virtual world with a VR headset.

Read more about Jim and the Curtin Simulation Program on the Study International Website!