Medical simulation apps come in many different shapes and sizes. Some contain cases which students and trainees can use to practice their management.
Some are more technical and represent monitors which are used to track physiological parameters.
These are clever and allow educators to create a range of situations which force trainees to react.
By combining a mobile app and a low fidelity dummy, it is possible to create a relatively high tech simulated environment without an expensive initial outlay.
SimMon is a medical simulator app that takes the form of a simple patient monitor. There are a number of physiological parameters that can be measured including ECG, arterial waveform, oxygen saturation, BP and more. One of the strengths of this app is that it can be remotely controlled by another iPhone or iPad.
One device acts to control the other and any of the parameters can be remotely adjusted. This is clever as it can comment over Bluetooth or WiFi and allows a facilitator to manage a scenario remotely.
The quality of the various traces is fairly accurate and there is enough distinction to work out what the different conditions are. As you can see from the screenshot, there isn’t a huge range available but there is definitely enough to run a number of scenarios. It is easy to change the parameters, although careful planning would be needed to make sure each scenario is physiologically accurate!
One feature which is missing is the ability to preset a range of conditions or scenarios. As it currently stands, the facilitator with the remote has to change each paramater individually. This is not a huge problem but does mean that the scenario is not always quite as realistic as it could be e.g. changing the ECG trace to VF would normally cause the BP and saturation to fall however these must be changed individually.
- Ability to remotely control a device and change the physiological parameters
- A good range of present traces for each parameter
- User interface looks like a patient monitor
- Only one lead ECG available
- Have to enter every physiological parameter manually in order to change them. No preset scenarios
Healthcare providers that would benefit from the app
- Trainees and medical students who want to simulate a range of medical scenarios. Medical educators may find this particularly intersting to combine with a low fidelity mannequin to create more realistic scenarios
- SimMon is a great example of the educational potential of mobile technology. This is a good app for simulating a range of scenarios but there are a few improvements that would enable it to compete with some of the more technical medical simulators.
Rating: (1 to 5 stars)
- User interface – 2
- Multimedia usage – 3
- Price – 3
- Real world applicability – 4