SimConverse believes that every clinician can be an expert communicator, and so the company has developed clinical training tools needed to practice this difficult, yet vital, skill. Using machine learning and Artificial Intelligence, SimConverse provides a multitude of simulated virtual patients complete with medical history, chief complaint, and physical examination findings. SimConverse is an Australian-based company with a medical simulation platform that uses generative AI to play the role of any patient or healthcare colleague for healthcare communications training. SimConverse currently operates in over 50 clinical institutions across the United Kingdom, Australia and United States. The SimConverse mission is to enhance verbal communication skills training and empower clinical educators with the technology required to provide clinical learners the stage-based communication training they need.
SimConverse was founded in 2020 by CEO Aiden Roberts and CGO Will Pamment. Their idea for the company began with the realization while studying healthcare that medical curricula often focuses on several key clinical domains, but lacked a specific focus on communication-based skills. With a majority of medical errors coming from ineffective communication, the team decided that Aiden’s decade of experience in AI and medical technology combined with Will’s studies at University of Sydney’s Medical program made them uniquely able to tackle this problem. Thus, SimConverse was born.
By incorporating skills-based learning theory into verbal communication training SimConverse allows learners to practice one of the most difficult aspects of a patient encounter. Specifically, SimConverse was designed to operate within a simulated environment that is safe, repeatable, reflective, and customizable. SimConverse’s scenarios are able to be accessed from any device, by any learner, from any location with their mobile or PC cloud applications. The AI language model that SimConverse has developed is adaptable to any level of clinical learner and can portray any patient or simulated participant role that a scenario requires. C vf v v
SimConverse Utilizes Real-Time AI to Train Communication Skills
Similar to how an actor trains for a role, SimConverse is able to adapt their proprietary AI to provide context to a variety of potential patients that can be utilized by any faculty, for any level of learner, anywhere in the world. With the ability to verbally communicate directly via conversational speech with SimConverse, healthcare learners can ask clinical questions and receive accurate simulated patient responses immediately. Such functionality enables learners to practice robust clinical assessment interviews in real-time and provides for realistic decision-making practice that educators can evaluate. With an open-ended dialogue not constrained to selecting from multiple-choice responses, learners are free to direct the conversation in any direction based on their clinical judgment and prioritization goals in an a natural conversational manner.
Not just a communication training tool, learner’s in a SimConverse encounter can also perform actions like medication administration, physical examinations, physical tests, and laboratory test results. Clinical learners can then witness how SimConverse’s simulated patients respond to various medical interventions. These additional features allow clinical educators to evaluate learners beyond communication skill sets for more comprehensive training and evaluation. SimConverse’s ability to give the learner the opportunity to reflect on past encounters completes the cycle of theory to practice, to evaluation. SimConverse enables learners to reflect on previous patient encounters to further iterate the cycle of learning theory, to reflective practice, and finally, deliberative evaluation.
With the ability to view conversational transcripts, perform automatic summative or formative grading, and utilize AI for assisted feedback, SimConverse ensures that learners will experience tangible improvements in their communication skill sets. After the learners have completed a session, the faculty can track performance at an individual or cohort level, export utilization reports, and receive commentary feedback from learners. SimConverse also provides the ability to customize many aspects on their platform including patients, scenarios, and analytics. SimConverse can create a curriculum for any institution from scratch, integrate into any existing curricula, or allow faculty to build customized simulated patient populations themselves. Some of SimConverse’s current clients include institutions like King’s College London, UNSW Sydney, Emory University, and the Australian Defence Force.
The power of SimConverse platform is the ability to adapt workflows based on the demonstrated needs of the learner as they progress through their healthcare education journey. Below is an example of the range of curriculum training opportunities available from SimConverse:
- Early Degree: The focus here is on being comfortable speaking to patients in a clinical environment and includes applications like primary survey, patient identification and building patient rapport.
- Mid-Degree: Where information extraction combined with natural progression of conversation become the highlight. The learner will also learn skills like: Risk and psychosocial assessments, early care and intervention, and identification of a deteriorating patient.
- Late-Degree: Introduces more complex scenarios to prepare students for professional practice with skills like delivering bad news, adolescent care, management of non-compliant patients, and interprofessional communication.
- Post-Graduate: Provides tools necessary for continued professional development.
- Advanced breaking bad news
- De-escalation tactics
- Mass Casualty
- Re-accreditation opportunities
Not limited to nursing, SimConverse has similar programs for medical schools, pharmacy programs, social work, and physical therapy learners to ensure that any learner can receive communication training.
With the successful closing of a Seed Funding Round of 1.5M AUD in 2023 by Folklove Ventures and Artesian, Sim Converse aims to utilize this funding to expand the team with positions open in New York, Sydney, and London that will help attract more institutions across the United States and UK.
Increasing communication is at the heart of everything SimConverse does, as CEO Aiden Roberts says “Communication is the number one determinant of the quality of care a patient will receive. Without good communication you cannot treat, you cannot diagnose, and you cannot provide care.” SimConverse is positioned to help healthcare educators equip learners with the tools necessary to communicate effectively with future patients.
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