5 Features that Make ALEX the Smartest Simulator Out There
When companies market healthcare simulators, they use descriptors like “high fidelity” and “advanced,” but there’s only one company that can confidently call their manikin “smart.” The next generation of simulators that has, over the last four years, been quietly and steadily gaining momentum and widespread use. From high school health programs to medical and nursing simulation centers, this untethered, stand-alone simulator is everywhere. Simply unpack, and you’re ready to train – anytime, anywhere! So, what makes ALEX so smart, and why is ALEX’s popularity increasing exponentially in a post-COVID-19 world?
1. Conversational AI: ALEX remains the only simulator with speech recognition with artificial intelligence. This is just a jargony way of saying that ALEX can participate autonomously in any type of health assessment. ALEX understands over 3,000 health assessment topics and screenings. Substance abuse screening? Got it. Depression? Yep. Medication adherence? You know it! ALEX has a baseline of over 40,000 questions you can add to and remains the best – and only – non-human teaching/assessment platform you can conduct a clinical interview with. ALEX can respond with verbal answers based on the selected scenario.
2. Virtual ALEX: ALEX is the only simulator on the market today that traverses both the real world and the virtual world. ALEX uses PCS’ single, cloud-based platform to run scenarios on both the physical manikin and/or as a digital patient. End users seem to be split on how they utilize this functionality. Half seem to program a single, continuous patient experience with both interactions. This involves the physical and virtual functionality where learners perform interventions on the manikin physically and follow-up “face to face” with the patient virtually. Other end users will use the manikin and virtual patient as two separate, unrelated simulations delivered at different times and environments; for example, using manikins during Simulation Lab time and digital patients for homework.
3. TeamSpace: Learning in isolation is a waste of time when the learning doesn’t lead to the desired educational outcome. This is why Virtual ALEX also includes a feature called “TeamSpace” – this is where healthcare simulation meets multiplayer gaming technology. When we can’t always guarantee learners will be in the same physical location, we can create a virtual space for everyone to connect. While in TeamSpace, learners can participate in a group chat and hear each other as they take turns interviewing ALEX (and hearing ALEX’s answers). TeamSpace is like Call of Duty if the “duty” was patient care training.
4. Learner-Driven Simulation: Here, “smart” means efficient. ALEX gives learners control to start and stop their own real-world or digital-world simulations. With increased demands on simulationists, we know you can’t afford to wait for either self-cloning or your institutional administration providing adequate human resources. Lou Holtz aptly said, “It is not the load that breaks you down; it’s the way you carry it.”
5. Model-Driven Physiology with Drug Treatments: ALEX runs on a fully automated, model-driven physiology engine that enables drug treatments to interact with the physiology as they would a human patient. This frees up simulation technician time by not requiring them to manually adjust vitals when a learner administers treatment. From the learner’s perspective, they can explore freely how drug treatments affect patients based on age, weight, pre-existing conditions and medications.
ALEX is a collaborative-build effort between Nasco Healthcare, the medical simulation giant now celebrating its 80th anniversary, and PCS, a Bay Area tech start-up bringing the newest and most advanced technologies to healthcare simulation. If you had to describe ALEX in five words, they’d be: be ready for smarter simulation.
More About Nasco Healthcare
Based in Saugerties, NY, and Fort Atkinson, WI, Nasco Healthcare provides a wide range of innovative and affordable healthcare simulation products to healthcare professionals worldwide. The company was started in 1941 by Norman Eckley, an agricultural teacher who developed educational tools from his farm. Eighty years later, Nasco Healthcare now has the largest range of healthcare simulation solutions in the world with over 6,000 rugged, reliable, and realistic products. Their mission is to prepare frontline healthcare workers to be ready.
Ready to answer the call.
Ready to make split-second decisions.
Ready to deliver when it counts.
Ready for any situation.
Ready to save lives.
The company works to meet the ever-changing needs of frontline healthcare workers by offering a comprehensive portfolio of simulation products that fulfill a broad range of low and high-fidelity requirements, including virtual patients and artificial intelligence (AI). The company’s top products include:
Casualty Care Rescue Randy – a rugged, affordable full-body manikin for realistic training in treating the three most preventable causes of death: massive bleeding, tension pneumothorax and airway obstruction.
ALEX – the first patient communication simulator that sees, listens and responds using artificial intelligence.
AXEL – a patient simulator with manual real-time speech and built-in audio-visual recording capabilities.
TERi – a comprehensive elderly patient care trainer with a highly realistic look and feel that accurately represents human anatomy.
Guided by a deep heritage in education, Nasco Healthcare has made these products both affordable and accessible in order to prepare healthcare heroes worldwide for critical, in-the-moment decisions when lives are at stake.
Nasco Healthcare is passionate about developing training solutions that reflect diversity as racial and ethnic minorities tend to receive lower quality access to healthcare. The company strongly believes that diversity in simulation helps ensure that healthcare workers are both knowledgeable and caring about the communities they will work in. This includes incorporating different skin tones into their products that reflect the unique populations that healthcare workers serve.
As an ISO 9001 certified organization, every Nasco Healthcare product is reliable, life-like, 100% hand-made in the United States, compliant with healthcare regulations and covered by up to a 5-year warranty. Plus, easily upgradeable and replaceable parts mean you can have a Nasco Healthcare product for life. Eighty years after Norman Eckley’s modest start, Nasco Healthcare continues to passionately serve the needs of healthcare professionals worldwide so they can be ready.
Today’s article was guest authored by Nick Stoick, Vice President of Sales at PCS.
Have a story to share with the global healthcare simulation community? Submit your simulation news and resources here!