Flinders SimTools to enhance medical training experience

The new SimTools can be used with an actor as well as a mannekin.
The new SimTools, which look and act like real instruments, can be used with an actor.

A suite of diagnostic simulation tools has received expert help from Flinders University’s Medical Device Partnering Program (MDPP).

With funding from the South Australian Government’s Medical Technologies Program, ‘SimTools’ received up to 250 hours of research and development assistance from the MDPP, modernising the software and providing a baseline for customised medical scenarios.

Developed by Dr Cyle Sprick, Director Simulation Unit at Flinders University, ‘SimTools’ is a suite of multiple replica diagnostic simulation tools that provide realistic feedback for training medical practitioners.

As reported on by the Seven Network last weekend, 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.

Negating the need to purchase manikins separately, SimTools can be used with actors or on any existing manikins.

Dr Sprick said the devices are controlled wirelessly 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.”

Flinders MDPP Director, Professor Karen Reynolds, said the South Australian Government’s Medical Technologies Program is enabling the MDPP to help to bring the SimTools 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,” Professor Reynolds 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.”

The team are currently exploring opportunities for commercialisation.

You can also watch the Seven Network’s news report on the SimTools here.

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