Road Blocks to Technology Transformation in Healthcare

adoption of medical simulation

As a simulation champion reading this website, I consider you an early-adopter. Countless presentations at medical simulation conferences over the past ten years have reminded us that we are “pioneers”, “innovators” and “early-adopters” who must face a brunt of scorn and dismissal from the early-majority and late majority groups. While medical simulation is a large component of the revolution of medical education technology, the methodology is but a small component of transformative technologies within healthcare in general. I therefore believe as medical simulation champions we must contextualize and compare ourselves to other sectors of healthcare that are being transformed by new technologies in an attempt to reduce friction and increase adoption.

Cyracom provides us with some statistics from Health IT since 2012:

  • The collection of data at the bedside has increased from 30% to 45%.
  • Remote monitoring of data from medical devices has increase from 27% to 34%.
  • Allowing patients to access their own electronic medical records on a mobile device has increased from 32% to 36%.
  • 52% of us now gather health information on our smart phones.
  • 70% of the “most wired” hospitals in the U.S. now provide Telehealth.
  • Smartphones are #9 on the Health Tech Hazards list due to texting during surgery.

The Most Common Types of mHealth APPs Are:

  • Exercise, fitness, pedometer or heart rate monitor
  • Diet, food, calorie counters
  • Weight
  • Blood pressure
  • WebMD
  • Blood sugar
  • Medication management

Top Areas for Future Growth in the TeleHealth Market Include:

  • Home-based care and disease management
  • Remote physician or specialist services
  • Personal emergency response systems
  • Video diagnostic consultations
  • Remote cardiac services

Some of the Predictions for the Future with Health Care Technology Are:

  • 3 million people area expected to be using smartphone powered remote patient monitoring devices by 2016.
  • 44 million mobile health apps will be downloaded this year – 142 million will be downloaded in 2016.
  • The TeleHealth market will grow from the $7 million dollars spent in 2012 to $16 billion in 2016.

While progress continues, how are we on the big picture scale? From the recent 17th annual PwC (PriceWaterHouseCoopers) survey of Global Healthcare CEOs the most interesting take away of “Key Findings in the Healthcare Industry” was that 86% of healthcare CEOs believe technological advances will transform their businesses in the next five years. And they’re far more conscious than other CEOs of the huge role demographics will play – 84% see it as a transformative trend, compared to just 60% across the sample.” The research results continue explaining that “Technology is already having a far-reaching impact on healthcare delivery and CEOs are already planning ways to take advantage of this trend: 89% plan to improve their ability to innovate; 93% plan to change their technology investments; and 95% are exploring better ways of using and managing big data. But there’s a big gap between where healthcare CEOs are now, and where they want to be. Only 25% have already started or completed changes to make their companies more innovative; merely 33% have altered their technology investments, and just 36% have made any headway in getting to grips with big data.” Read the full PwC Global Healthcare CEO Survey here.

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Here we can see that the future is known to Healthcare providers, but one telling fact behind the low adoption is that “57% of these Healthcare CEOs worry about the speed of technological change”. Seeing as technology refresh cycles make my six-year old laptop obsolete I think this is a fair reason to be concerned. Heavy capital investments into hardware are out-of-date the day they are installed, which I believe will cause healthcare organizations to reassess budget structures to include more technical staff for preventative maintenance fixes as well as increased line items for annual refresh cycles of departmentalized aging infrastructure. (Note: if you don’t know about how technology refresh cycles work for swapping out technology sectionally, visit as the topic was discussed in those videos a great deal!).

The other component of friction to technology adoption is more human. From a US News report “How Technology is Transforming Healthcare” writer Eric Topol explains:

“The gridlock of the medical community, government and the life science industry will not facilitate change or a willingness to embrace and adopt innovation. The U.S. government has been preoccupied with health care “reform,” but this refers to improving access and insurance coverage and has little or nothing to do with innovation. Medicine is currently set up to be maximally imprecise. Private practice physicians render “by the yard” and are rewarded for doing more procedures. Medical care is largely shaped by guidelines, indexed to a population rather than an individual. And the evidence from clinical research is derived from populations that do not translate to the real world of persons. The life science industry has no motivation to design drugs or devices that are only effective, however strikingly, for a small, well-defined population segment. At the same time, the regulatory agencies are entirely risk-averse and, as a result, are suppressing remarkably innovative, and even frugal, opportunities to change medicine. The end result is that most of our screening tests and treatments are overused and applied to the wrong individuals, promoting vast waste. And virtually nothing is being done to accelerate true prevention of disease.”

He then concludes with by calling for “A revolution in technology that is based on the primacy of individuals mandates a revolution by consumers in order for new medicine to take hold. We desperately need medicine to be Schumpetered, to be radically transformed. We need the digital world to invade the medical cocoon and to exploit the newfound and exciting technological capabilities of digitizing human beings.”

I believe the medical cocoon will be broken open by continued improvements within technology, which is why I urge those within the medical simulation champion community to explore how technology is disruptive to healthcare in general. This is an effort to better connect with a larger discussion on the topic, which hopefully will make our lives easier and more fulfilling! Best place to start? Singularity’s University for Exponential Medicine would be my recommendation… more on that soon!


Paint and Powder Cosmetics Provides Quick Application TraumaSkin FX Sculpt Model Gel

medical simulation moulage gel

Looking for quick ways to apply trauma moulage in the field or simulation lab without clunky unrealistic rubber wounds?  Suzanne Patterson from fame recently sent me some of her TraumaSkin FX™ Silicone Sculpt and Model Gel. Within 5 minutes I had a realistic wound even with my minimal moulage training experience! Suzanne told me she created these gels so that mass casualty or military training exercise medical training educators could quickly create realistic moulage presence “without expensive, bulky or unrealistic prosthetics”.  With heavy use by the DoD’s MSTC simulation training programs through the U.S. Army, the TraumaSkin FX product has been very much appreciated.  Suzanne also has extensive experience in the movie business, and focuses her more civilian businesses through

fast trauma moulage

More about the TraumaFX Product:

This Silicone Sculpt and Model Gel is a simple two part (A and B) platinum silicone paste system that is mixed together in equal amounts by weight or volume to create a thick textured gel. No more messy liquids and dripping containers as this paste-like silicone has the texture of a firm yet soft scar wax that is easily pliable. Once mixed it’s ready to use to sculpt or model into all kinds of 3-D wound effects, scars, or any kind of disfigurements for ultra realistic looking results!

This product is so easy to use that even a beginner artist can create fantastic real-to-the-eye results for all kinds of casualty simulation effects. You don’t need any special tools or equipment to mix and apply this product, and you mix up only what you need so there is no wasting of material. Simply blend equal amounts of Part A and Part B together thoroughly (for about 45 seconds) on a non-porous palette-like surface, and then it’s ready to freehand sculpt on the palette or mold directly on skin into durable wear appliances that bend and flex, and look just like real skin!

trauma moulage gel was created in 2006 by Emmy Award Winning Makeup Artist, Suzanne Patterson, to directly serve the demand for high performing makeup and skin care products for makeup artists and actors working in the film and High Definition Television industry. Having worked heavily in HDTV for the past 8 years she is considered one of the country’s top High Definition Makeup experts, and the professional products offered through the store have been directly tested and performance approved to be HD compatible. The novice artist will find helpful product descriptions and details that are designed to be informative in furthering their product knowledge, decision buying, and application.

(The first person to comment on this post in the HealthySim LinkedIn group will receive by mail the remaining Trauma FX Moulage product sample I received!)

Learn more about the Silicone Trauma Gel at and more about Suzanne at!

Tweet Competition For Free Subscriptions to HealthySimAdmin

healthcare simulation twitter

Scan the @HealthySim twitter feed for to retweet and win a free pass to watch all 15 hours of HD-recorded HealthySimAdmin presentations! Learn the “How-To” of simulation program administration with eight awesome videos!

SimGHOSTS 2014 USA Registration Opens Next Week

sim tech training

“Secure Early-Bird Pricing While Supplies Last!”

SimGHOSTS, aka The Gathering of Healthcare Simulation Technology Specialists announced that next week they will be launching registration of their 4th annual hands-on training and community event. This year the world’s first and only organization dedicated specifically to those operating medical simulation technology is being hosted by the American College of Chest Physicians August 5th-8th, in their brand new simulation building in Greater Chicago Illinois. Event Director Ryan Eling told us “This year we are revolutionizing the event with new course structures, powerful new community sessions, and global community leadership opportunities like never before!”. SimGHOSTS has successfully supported thousands of Sim Techs from around the world and in 2014 is providing two community events in both Australia and the United States.

SimGHOSTS’ new Interim President James Cypert is rumored to provide the opening keynote address which will give the Healthcare Simulation Technology Community a strong perspective on what the technical group must begin to do in-order to gain more support and professional development inside and outside the clinical community.

What are the SimGHOSTS Learning Opportunities?

  • Meet with other Simulation Technicians and share best practices
  • Network and build long term industry relationships with peers and vendors
  • Receive specialized training in:
    • High-fidelity manikin hardware & software operation, maintenance and repair
    • Audiovisual production techniques and debugging
    • Learning Management System troubleshooting
    • IT networking
    • Team leadership and communication techniques
    • Manikin moulage and makeup
    • Basic medical terminology, physiology, pharmacology and the latest in healthcare education practices.
  • Discuss and develop professional community needs and standards.

Be sure to check all next week for the registration to launch as you don’t want to miss early-bird rates. Unlike other events, SimGHOSTS only provides a limited-supply of discounted passes to their three day training workshop symposium – and once those sell out registration will stay at full price!

Learn more about the SimGHOSTS 2014 USA event page here, or visit the SimGHOSTS 2014 Australia event page here if you are in the Asia-Pacific region!

Medical Simulation Program Administrators: “Dealing with Healthcare Simulation IT Issues” Session Free for One Week Only!

administration resource medical simulation

If you manage or coordinate a healthcare simulation lab program then this is no April fool’s joke!

We continue to celebrate yesterday’s 500th article on by sharing here the 2-Hour HD recorded session from HealthySimAdmin on IT Issues & Structures for Healthcare Simulation Program Administrators, led by James Cypert, Technology Director for California Baptist University and currently Interim President for SimGHOSTS aka The Gathering of Healthcare Simulation Technology Specialists. Valued at $150, for the next week you can now stream this video presentation from — but hurry it will go offline next week! Schedule some time to watch this powerful presentation by James followed by a panel discussion of eight simulation program administrators on the topic of IT. Click the link below to watch the 2 hour session!

HealthySimAdmin Was Sponsored By:

UNLV School of Nursing

b-line medical logo

pocket nurse


HealthySimAdmin was the world’s first broadcasted event providing an open and online discussion to share administrative solutions for the “how to” of medical simulation. During the live taping, more than 105 simulation program administrators from around the world participated in-person or online with the HealthySimAdmin panel of sim lab management experts from hospital, military, community college and university nursing programs, medical schools, EMS providers as well as medical simulation consultant groups to cover eight community-selected topics which included: Collaborative simulation program development, Funding sources & models, Faculty/educator buy-in, Research coordination, Daily operations, IT issues & support, Increasing utilization & Business development!

“IT Structures & Issues”: While the methodology of medical simulation has expanded exponentially in clinical education programs around the world, the understanding of the technical requirements necessary to operate these labs has remained somewhat linear. James Cypert leads our discussion of IT issues and support structures. He will provide valuable insights that will help your program avoid short and long-term technical failures. This conversation will include considerations for manikin, audiovisual, network, and computer desktop/laptop hardware needs. Our expert panel will then join James to discuss topics related to operating this new technology including: pitfalls to avoid when designing a new simulation space, lab security and how to control access to sensitive information, the most commonly preventable IT issues, IT support models, maximizing and protecting IT staff time, documentation development and distribution, and currently available training resources. This session will also introduce us to the benefits and recommendations when hiring simulation and IT staff as well as gaining their input on simulation-based equipment purchases. We will also discuss the critical need to consider and develop a plan for technology refresh cycles. Audience question and answer period to follow lecture and panel discussion. This session will help us learn how to successfully navigate the technology support needs of managing medical simulation.

Session Presentation Lead By:

James Dylan Cypert, BAP, BAIT, MCSE, MCT, MCP, MOUS, A+
Technology Director
California Baptist University School of Nursing

Balancing technological skills with interpersonal skills have always been the key to James Cypert’s success in technology. Earning degrees in Information Technology and another in Psychology stretched forth from his fundamental view that nearly all technology problems are really people issues. After spending 8 years in manufacturing, in 1997 James earned his first computer technology certification, and followed it with 14 more. James found great success for 12 in technical education by having a voracious appetite for learning and a unique ability explain complicated technological concepts in ways that were easily understood. In 2010, James accepted his current position as Technical Director for the School of Nursing at California Baptist University. He stepped into a simulation museum, with lots of bells and whistles and not used very often, structural design issues, the complexity of the systems, and lack of buy-in from IT made it difficult for the nursing content experts to get the desire outcomes from the technology. Working closely nursing content experts to develop scenarios, implementing faculty/staff development, and establishing buy-in with the universities IT department, the school of nursing has successfully transformed the simulation center from 2 simulations covering OB and Pediatrics for a total of 16 hours of simulation time, to a simulation center that now has 22 different simulations covering OB, Pediatrics, Adult Health, Mental Health, Critical Care, Community Health, Fundamentals, Physical Assessment, and Geriatrics for a total of 200+ hours of simulation time per semester. Recently James was appointed Interim President of the SimGHOSTS sim tech community support 501(c)3 non profit organization.

HealthySimAdmin IT Structures & Issues Session Now Offline!

If this session helps you, be sure to subscribe to’s free monthly newsletter and to get discounted access to the rest of HealthySimAdmin‘s streamable content!

500th Posted Article For!

500 medical simulation articles

Thanks to your continued support is posting its 500th article today! Since April of 2010 this website has provided more than 500 free articles to the growing community of healthcare simulation champions from around the world. All this week we will be celebrating with some major free giveaways – so stay tuned to the website, the @HealthySim twitter feed, and the HealthySim LinkedIn Group! Back in 2010 we were only getting around 30 visitors a month reading the website — but that number has continued to grow and now more than 8,200 visitors read the website this month alone! Below is a photo of countries which have read the website over the past four years. We’d like to thank you for your continued support of the website and we hope you will continue to share it with fellow simulation champions, by offering some free giveaways this week!

healthcare simulation international

Here are a few of my favorite articles out of the 500:

  1. Welcome Home Simulation Champions – HealthySim’s First Post ever!
  2. Top Ten Most Read Articles From - This is the master list for getting started at HealthySim!
  3. Simulab’s TraumaMan In-Situ at LSU OR - This video is very visual and shows just how powerful Simulab training products can be
  4. The #1 Hiring Mistake in Healthcare Simulation Programs - This recent article got huge response from our community.
  5. Aviation Simulation Industry Comparison Interviews - We must continue to learn from the Aviation Industry.
  6. Driving Simulators – The Real Deal, Driving simulators will soon be everywhere.
  7. What to REALLY look for when Hiring a Sim Tech - Second post ever written!)
  8. NASA’s Flight Simulator Took Up a Whole Building! - I wish I had seen this in real life.
  9. Top Reasons To Attend SimGHOSTS Event. Wow — How far SimGHOSTS has come!

Prizes and Freebies to be distributed this week:

  1. Free streaming access to the “IT Issues & Structures” 2-Hour HD recorded session from HealthySimAdmin – a 2-day recorded event covering the “how-to” of healthcare simulation program administration.
  2. 10 FREE subscriptions all eight HealthySimAdmin sessions (15 hours of administrative content!)
  3. 1 hour of medical simulation consulting by phone regarding any issue your program is facing!
  4. Free Medical Simulation Books! We’ll be sending out some books to help you build your simulation library!

Keep watching the website, the @HealthySim twitter feed, and the HealthySim LinkedIn Group for a chance for these giveaways and more!

Could Computers Replace Doctors?

computers replace doctors - bart cooke

An interesting question was recently sparked by a Simulation Technician who asked “Will computers replace Doctors?”. Considering that the innovations of technology continue to grow through the development of exponential processing power the reality is anything is possible. While not so much about medical simulation, I think there is a serious need in healthcare to restructure itself around the use of technology which is clearly disrupting how the field has long since operated. I searched the internet to find some fascinating articles about this very topic:

  1. The Robot Will See You Now - “IBM’s Watson—the same machine that beat Ken Jennings at Jeopardy—is now churning through case histories at Memorial Sloan-Kettering, learning to make diagnoses and treatment recommendations. This is one in a series of developments suggesting that technology may be about to disrupt health care in the same way it has disrupted so many other industries. Are doctors necessary? Just how far might the automation of medicine go?”

  2. Technology will replace 80% of what doctors do“Much of what physicians do (checkups, testing, diagnosis, prescription, behavior modification, etc.) can be done better by sensors, passive and active data collection, and analytics. But, doctors aren’t supposed to just measure. They’re supposed to consume all that data, consider it in context of the latest medical findings and the patient’s history, and figure out if something’s wrong. Computers can take on much of that diagnosis and treatment and even do these functions better than the average doctor (while considering more options and making fewer errors). Most doctors couldn’t possibly read and digest all of the latest 5,000 research articles on heart disease. And, most of the average doctor’s medical knowledge is from when they were in medical school, while cognitive limitations prevent them from remembering the 10,000+ diseases humans can get.

    Computers are better at organizing and recalling complex information than a hotshot Harvard MD. They’re also better at integrating and balancing considerations of patient symptoms, history, demeanor, environmental factors, and population management guidelines than the average physician. Besides, 50% of MDs are below average! Computers also have much lower error rates. Shouldn’t we take advantage of that when it comes to our health?!”

  3. For Second Opinion, Consult a Computer? - 

    Just how special is [a Doctor's] talent? More to the point, what can [they] do that a computer cannot? Will a computer ever successfully stand in for a skill that is based not simply on a vast fund of knowledge but also on more intangible factors like intuition?

    The history of computer-assisted diagnostics is long and rich. In the 1970s, researchers at the University of Pittsburgh developed software to diagnose complex problems in general internal medicine; the project eventually resulted in a commercial program called Quick Medical Reference. Since the 1980s, Massachusetts General Hospital has been developing and refining DXplain, a program that provides a ranked list of clinical diagnoses from a set of symptoms and laboratory data.

Clearly the implications for data-assessment are here, but what of the intuition necessary to guide conscious decisions? Let us know your thoughts by leaving a comment!

Share Your Simulation Story With Our Global HealthySim Audience!

healthcare simulation news

Simulation Champion: Do you have a medical simulation story, resource, video or link with the global Healthcare Simulation community? We want to hear it! provides more than 8,000 unique visitors a month from around the world with daily news and updates regarding the medical simulation community and industry — and we are here for you! Submit your story simply by emailing it to today. Have an opinion about something? Write an op-ed piece and we will review it.

Medical Simulation Topics We Cover:

  • Industry News
  • Success stories
  • Lessons learned
  • Sim Lab Program Local or National News Coverage
  • Videos
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  • Moulage recipes and techniques
  • And much more!

Are You A Vendor? will promote new innovations, companies and projects in the medical simulation space. Permanent banner advertising is available also by emailing Lance.

iSimulate ALSi Patient Monitor Continues to Innovate Healthcare Simulation Space

simulation monitor healthcare

During IMSH 2014, iSimulate’s CEO Peter McKie introduced me to all the latest updates for their patient monitoring system, which can dramatically increase the realism of your low-fidelity manikins or standardized patients. With the option to purchase an ongoing licensing agreement, users can take full advantage of all these recent updates and those still yet to come. Watch the video to see why iSimulate’s ALSi has continued to innovate healthcare simulation:

What is ALSi?

ALSi provides an economical, highly advanced and realistic patient condition simulation package. It is so easy to use you’ll be up and running in less than two minutes and can act as a fully featured multi parameter monitor, AED & defibrillator.

Run off only two iPads, its simple setup makes it great for in-situ training. ALSi provides a super realistic simulation experience, enabling hi fidelity simulation even in low fidelity situations. 

iSimulate is the Platinum Sponsor of SimGHOSTS 2014 Australia, taking place June 25th-27th at the University of the Sunshine Coast.

Updates Available Now:

  • Scenarios Now Run in Line: Ability to add more annotations faster.
  • Timed Events: Build in a delay to changed vital signs before they take place.
  • New Waveforms: CO2 and a new range of wavelengths for ECG.
  • Improved Interface: Easier to see and manipulate the software.
  • Send Data to Second Screen: X-ray scans, data, and other forms can now be sent to the learner iPad.
  • Sounds: Import your own recorded sounds to add more fidelity to the learner environment

Watch the video to learn about pricing and purchasing options!

Looking to learn more about ALSi? Read and watch our comprehensive ALSi product breakdown with iPad screen capture technology so you can get a full understanding of the training opportunities that iSimulate provides.

And of course, for complete info and free trials of all their software, check out the website for more on their products and services!

“VIRTSIM” From Motion Reality Provides Virtual Reality Physical Environment Simulator


VIRTSIM from Motion Reality is a basketball sized arena virtual reality real-time simulator for military combat training. Learners wear special tracking systems and VR googles so that they can be fully immersed in a virtual reality 3d simulated training environment, which allows them to freely move and interact with the space physically.  The implications here are strong for us in medical simulation within military and EMS/Fire Services. The entire 3d environment is digitally recorded for playback debriefing from a multitude of angles so that instructors can provide full perspectives. Currently the system is being utilized for military, police and golfing applications.

From the Motion Reality Website:

VIRTSIM trainees are fully immersed “head-to-toe” in training scenarios requiring the execution of basic individual maneuvers, complex unit tactics, and mission rehearsals.  They are able to train as individuals, in teams, or in full squads. Trainees have complete freedom of movement to run, jump, or crawl throughout the full volume (up to 5,000 square feet – equivalent to a basketball court), unrestricted by wires or tethers. The VIRTSIM system allows training in a range of reconfigurable environments. User-customizable scenarios can be configured within these environments to train individuals in direct action, counter-terrorism, react to contact, or other Tactics, Techniques and Procedures (TTPs) based on the Current Operating Environment (COE).

military vr simulator

Each trainee’s performance is summarized in a database for the team leader’s easy access. VIRTSIM After Action Report (AAR) capability addresses trainees’ performance ranging from basic individual maneuvers to the more complex nature of team and squad maneuvers and mission rehearsals. This 3D AAR provides playback of all actions and shots from every angle, as well as from each participant’s individual perspective. All trainee body motions and all shots fired by every participant are recorded and displayed, and every training session is automatically catalogued and stored in an accessible database. These sessions are available for replay at any time. Trainers can evaluate weapon discipline, sector responsibility, use of cover, and every shot a trainee has fired, allowing them to address safety concerns and tactical errors throughout the process.

This system clearly has potential for medics in military situations to better train for evacuations during hostile engagements. As well, Fire and EMS personnel can benefit from practicing rescue scenarios in dangerous situations such as fire consumed buildings.

Learn more at the Motion Reality website!