Build Your Own Simulated Virtual Patient Encounter With the SimX Virtual Manikin Series
The launch of the new SimX Virtual Manikin tool, with custom case creation technology, is revolutionizing medical simulation education worldwide. For decades, patient manikins have evolved to incorporate varying degrees of sophistication paired with back-end technology to enhance the simulation experience. While effective, the manikins require a significant initial investment, as well as comprehensive staff training and maintenance costs. Over the past 10 years, SimX has successfully enhanced traditional training with virtual patient encounters. The SimX Virtual Manikin Series marks the next evolution in Virtual Reality healthcare training. This HealthySimulation.com article will explore the SimX Virtual Manikin Series, and the patient encounters can be designed to meet your needs.
The Virtual Manikin Series Makes Medical Training Faster, Easier, and More Realistic
While high-fidelity manikins have come a long way in relation to realism, they are still severely limited. For example, a medical manikin can never emulate neurological deficits such as unilateral weakness or dynamic facial droop. A manikin cannot break out in hives or a desquamating rash. A manikin can never pace around the room while trying to sign out of your hospital against medical advice or have a grand mal seizure followed by hematemesis. The inflexible nature of manikins means they will never reach the level of realism required to truly recreate a clinical patient encounter.
Along with the manikins themselves, traditional medical simulation also requires a large number of associated medical tools and devices. By the time a healthcare simulationist scavenges ventilators, chest tubes, medication vials, drapes, cardiac monitors, code carts, etc., you realize the cost of a fully simulated environment. In virtual reality, learners can use any tool necessary for any patient. Additionally, learners have immense freedom to assess patients, find the right tools, and experience various virtual environments.
What is the SimX Virtual Manikin Series?
In contrast with traditional medical manikins, the SimX Virtual Manikin Series is a customizable collection of simulated patient encounters that allows educators to select patient avatars, environments, and scenario outcomes to create unique simulations. The Virtual Manikin can respond to and interact with learners in an effort to gain true-to-life clinical experience. Unlike physical manikins, the Virtual Manikin can be set up in less than 5 minutes.
How SimX Virtual Manikin Series Works:
1) Choose Your Encounter Type, Patient, and Environment: Currently, the SimX Virtual Manikin Series offers two encounters: one focused on pediatric pathologies and the other on adults with chest pain-related complaints. Before the scenario begins, instructors choose the patient type and virtual environment that will best meet their learning objectives:
- Pediatric Respiratory: Select from two different pediatric avatars: male or female. Then, select either a hospital or Ambulance setting.
- Adult Chest Pain: Select from four different patient avatars with varying demographics and age groups. Then, select either a hospital or Ambulance setting.
- More Virtual Manikin subtypes are in development and will be available on the SimX Marketplaceas they are finalized, tested, and integrated into the series.
2) Build Custom Patient Encounters in Real Time: With no rigid learning objectives, critical actions, or predetermined outcomes, simulation instructors can adjust scenarios in real time to meet learner needs. Instructors can customize and control:
- Patient appearance (demographic, age, and sex)
- Encounter location (hospital or ambulance)
- Patient vitals
- Patient animations
- Lab and imaging results
- Physical exam findings
- Patient and non-player character (NPC) dialogue
- The final diagnosis
For example, a SimX virtual manikin can be made to feel sudden chest pain. A facilitator can then change cardiac rhythms on the monitor, change EKGs in a virtual EMR, and even modify the tactile pulse. More than that, they can move between giving the manikin chest x-rays and live ultrasound, which they can change to reflect a pneumothorax, CHF, or pneumonia. The SimX Virtual Manikin series allows you to author countless scenarios, diagnoses, and treatment options. Additionally, the Virtual Manikin series significantly reduces faculty workload and only takes minutes to launch.
3) Save Encounter States for the Future: All encounters in the Virtual Manikin Series can be customized in real time to meet the needs of educators and learners. An instructor’s favorite patient settings and states can be selected and saved as a preset grouping for future simulations to improve efficiency. The SimX Virtual Manikin preset feature eliminates the need to rebuild encounters and allows sim educators to train facilitators to administer virtual training and evaluations easily. Each Virtual Manikin scenario comes with a handful of SimX-authored configured presets to get you started. True high-fidelity simulation has never been this fast, easy, or uncomplicated.
4) Run the SimX Virtual Simulation Again and Again: The SimX Virtual Manikin Series is a repeatable and customizable experience that allows learners to experience hundreds of unique and immersive patient encounters in one training platform. Learners can run through patient encounters repeatedly with different presets or real-time vitals adjustments to test their skills and prepare for real-life patient encounters.
Unlike manikins, patients in Virtual Reality can be made to reflect realistic demographics with varying symptoms, physical exam findings, and psychosocial stressors. Rather than a static body on a table, learners interact with dynamic characters to gain and retain knowledge, unlike any other training technique. The easy-to-use design of the SimX Virtual Manikin Series allows you to invest your time where educators and simulationists really belong: in learning, practicing, and improving essential life-saving skills.
More About SimX
SimX, previously called SimXAR, is a healthcare software company specializing in medical simulation, virtual reality, augmented reality, and medical training and education. The company brings virtual and augmented reality into the realm of healthcare simulation and training.
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The company was founded by physicians in training at Stanford, the University of California at San Francisco, and the University of California at Los Angeles. They understood that simulation practice and training are extremely beneficial to both learners and clinicians and hoped to use virtual reality to make simulation cheaper and more accessible, to reduce medical error, and to increase patient safety ultimately.
Seeking to push simulation forward, SimX developed a software system that was the first comprehensive professional-grade VR medical simulation system product available on the market. Founded in 2013 and headquartered in Mountain View, California, the platform allows medical teams to replace expensive manikins with incredibly flexible simulated patients backed by a robust case creation engine.