May 18, 2021By Lance Baily

How PerSim Helps Learners Overcome ER Training Barriers

In many instances, the COVID-19 pandemic changed the ways educators are able to provide instruction to learners. Prior to COVID-19, team emergency training could take place in-situ clinical spaces, but now educators must be more creative when finding ways to host medical simulation experiences. Instead of being limited by death-by-powerpoint zoom meetings, or virtual patients trapped in specific environments, what if we could once again safely populate cases in the actual environments our providers work in? MedCognition’s PerSim, a holographic patient, can be used under restrictive circumstances to help frontline healthcare professionals save more lives. This intuitive Augmented Reality (AR) system, built by practicing clinicians, allows learners to care for critically-ill patients at the actual site of care, in the back of an ambulance, in the ER or the OR, or anywhere.

Nothing beats the learning you get from taking care of real patients. Unfortunately, access to actual patients has become scarce, and training for common patient presentations has become nearly as challenging as preparing for low frequency, high-risk cases.

PerSim presents a solution to this issue, as the system allows educators to create dynamically realistic low-frequency, high-risk events on demand. In addition, the combination of bringing the Simulation-based Training (SBT) to the actual work environment (ambulance, mock apartments, public spaces) adds realism unmatched by virtual environments found in Virtual Reality (VR) applications which represent imagined clinical spaces. In situ medical simulation allows EMS learners to better understand the limitations of their clinical work environment as well, as doing CPR in the back of an ambulance is much different than performing CPR in an spacious ED room.

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Learners can break into small groups on the PerSim system in the clinical surroundings they actually work in, with an instructor or a peer training partner who can further help guide the experience. PerSim is an ideal solution for educational and clinical programs limited by space, budget or time. For an example of PerSim’s adaptability and portability, one must consider that the holographic patient system weighs just 35 pounds — unlike patient simulators which can be up to 180lbs. At this smaller size, and with the inclusion of a highly-protective case, the entire system can even be checked in as luggage on flights. MedCognition adds that PerSim is easy to use and can be deployed in under an hour for beginners. For those with more experience, the technology can be deployed in just minutes.

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Each PerSim holographic patient clinical simulation is instructor-led, and cases can change in real-time at the tap of a finger. PerSim replicates complex disease conditions that are otherwise impossible to create in real-time and on-demand situations with mannequins, other AR systems or even VR systems. For example, in respiratory distress simulations, the healthcare simulator slowly increases respiratory rate and engages accessory muscles realistically to demonstrate an increased effort to breathe, and the instructor can modify the sim patient’s condition based on the trainee’s management choices.

MedCognition treats PerSim as living and breathing technology, with room for constant innovation and improvement. Each time the company interacts with a client or gives a demonstration, a new world of possibilities opens up through the perspective of a new user. Ultimately, MedCognition hopes to employ PerSim as a universal healthcare simulation solution that revolutionizes patient care by increasing patient safety outcomes.

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While most medical simulation companies tackle fidelity and realism, MedCognition chose to use their background working the frontlines of healthcare to think about how clinical decisions are made. Dr. Hector Hector Caraballo, MD, Chief Medical Officer of MedCognition shared with that “We asked ourselves a simple question, ‘How could we teach trainees to understand their clinical decision-making better?’ Awareness and understanding of one’s thought process is called metacognition. And in fact, our company’s name is a play on the term medical metacognition, hence MedCognition. Our premise is better clinical decision-making reduces medical error and saves more lives. But, how do you teach someone to make better clinical decisions? The simple answer: make clinical training intuitive.”

Intuitive clinical training makes learning to care for patients easier, safer, and more time-efficient, which is why MedCognition PerSim challenges learners to use critical thinking skills, integrate their knowledge, and exercise the art of rapid visual assessment. By design, the AR patient encounters leverage a trainee’s senses requiring them to look, listen, ‘palpate’, assess, decide, intervene and re-assess. Integral to PerSim’s intuitive learning is the ability to dynamically change the clinical condition of the sim patient in a manner that does not require the use of verbal cueing. Educators can easily create standardized cases or customized cases in minutes without any coding.

PerSim is ultra-portable, clinically intuitive, easy to use, and has unlimited potential allowing educators to create 10,000+ simulation case combinations.

More about MedCognition

Founded in 2016, MedCognition is a Texas-based medical simulation education training company developed by emergency medicine clinicians, educators and computer scientists through a partnership with University of Texas Health San Antonio and the University of Texas at San Antonio. The mission of MedCognition is to help frontline healthcare workers reduce medical errors and save more lives by providing realistic medical simulation both in the classroom and in the clinical workspace.

The company’s AR training platform, PerSim, is the first-of-its-kind patient simulator specifically designed to help medical providers enhance critical thinking and mitigate potential mistakes. By leveraging the latest in AR and holographic technology, PerSim represents a leap forward in realism, portability and affordability, allowing medical professionals to train for those critical times when being their best saves more lives. The company’s founders include a nationally-known speaker on cognitive errors in emergency medicine, nationally recognized emergency medicine educators, U.S. Army combat veterans, and an internationally recognized expert in AR technology.

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