Tech tools give real lessons through fake patients
Researchers are working on an advanced suite of diagnostic simulation tools in South Australia.
‘SimTools’ is a suite of diagnostic simulation tools that provide realistic feedback for training medical practitioners, developed by Dr Cyle Sprick at Flinders University.
The initial SimTools suite of devices – which includes a stethoscope, glucometer, thermometer, pulse oximeter and ECG/defibrillator – act and function like real medical devices by providing simulated information on vital signs, such as heart rate and blood pressure.
SimTools can be used with actors or on mannequins.
Dr Sprick said the devices are controlled via Bluetooth, allowing teachers and assessors to create any desired medical scenario.
“We can simulate deteriorating or compromised vital signs to replicate ‘real’ patient scenarios, giving trainers greater ability to teach medical students and healthcare workers,” Dr Sprick said.
“With a simple swipe of the finger using an Android tablet, the trainer can control the vital signs of the diagnostic tools while another tablet displays the vital signs as they would appear in a real environment.
“To the student, the devices appear to function like the real thing.”
Minister for Manufacturing and Innovation Kyam Maher said the South Australian Government’s Medical Technologies Program is enabling the experts to bring the product closer to market.
“SimTools provides the first all-in-one package, with multiple individual simulated diagnostic tools that can be controlled wirelessly by one single control system,” Mr Maher said.
“The research and development assistance from the MDPP has taken the product a step closer to commercialisation by modernising the software interface and undertaking app development, which has created a better, more reliable interface with increased functionality.”