Cherry Vanderbeke, COO, SIMTICS
Healthcare technology is evolving rapidly, however the education world does not always move as fast. The medical sector needs to prepare more and more professionals to meet the needs of the world’s aging population, but with limited opportunity for real patient encounters, innovative solutions are required. Education technology can play an important role in this.
Medical schools and allied health colleges have been investing heavily in simulation centers with physical equipment and high-end mannequins. Yet even the largest and best-equipped center has scheduling and space constraints affecting student access, plus potential travel time and expense. Bricks-and-mortar facilities also have associated operational and maintenance costs and requirements which may be out of reach for some institutions.
The good news is that such challenges with physical locations and equipment can be mitigated by utilizing medical simulation software, now proven to be an invaluable learning resource.
A pioneer in this space, SIMTICS has been providing web-based simulations to the medical education sector since 2008. The company leverages cognitive simulation with scenario-based training to address the need to learn and practice medical procedures. Cognitive simulation is not focused on teaching psychomotor skills per se, but on the cognitive knowledge of the context (e.g. what anatomy will be encountered) and the steps for carrying out each procedure accurately, reliably and safely. SIMTICS simulation scenarios allow students to practice at their own convenience, risk-free, undistracted by technical skill requirements and without needing equipment.
“Our customers tell us that SIMTICS gives their students and faculty many advantages,” says Cherry Vanderbeke, COO. “In particular, they find that when used in conjunction with a physical simulation lab, SIMTICS makes things much more efficient, more streamlined.
SIMTICS has no access limitations and can support learners in any location, on any internet-connected device, and still monitor their competence
After using the simulations, students gain an initial level of competence, so in the lab they can hone and perfect those skills. The instructor can invest more of their face-to-face time on higher-value things like discussion of specific cases and application of the procedures.”
SIMTICS is interactive, user-friendly and accessible on any device. It caters to different levels of knowledge and, through repeated practice, learners can boost their confidence which lessens performance anxiety during live training. Furthermore, students can continue using SIMTICS throughout their program, with spaced repetition, to reduce the learning decay that would normally happen over time.
The company offers a comprehensive range of over 170 modules covering medical procedures, ultrasound assessments, and basic life support, to name a few. Each module contains a video of an expert performing the procedure, and a step by step text description with key terms, illustrations and hyperlinked references. The interactive simulator supports both learning and testing: “learn mode” simulations guide students through the procedure with prompts and hints, while “test mode” requires them to demonstrate competence. Applied anatomy and a quiz are included.
SIMTICS records activity times and scores in each student’s personal logbook, plus simulation errors so they can identify knowledge gaps needing improvement. A reporting system provides analytics allowing faculty to track activity for their entire class, identify exceptions, and review individual results.
The platform is user-friendly and doesn’t need special hardware. The company continuously updates it as well as enhancing the reporting features and LMS integration. It is also looking to add new procedure simulations in the future. The platform is very affordable, having been developed with the noble intention of making medical education accessible around the world.
“Technology has the power to expand the capacity, flexibility and reach of medical education. SIMTICS has no access limitations and can support learners in any location, on any internet-connected device, and still monitor their competence. We are proud to be able to support the healthcare sector with a proven solution that expands the opportunity for effective medical learning.”