Recently iMedicalApps has reviewed a number of medical simulation apps.
Thes apps range from case based scenarios such as Resuscitation to more detailed physiological monitors such as SimMon. This review will focus on another medical simulator called SimMonitor.
This app is similar to SimMon in the sense that it displays a range of physiological parameters which can be altered using the same app on a remote device. Read on to see how SimMonitor stacks up.
SimMonitor opens with a nice introduction movie which explains how to use the app and what it can offer. Quintessentially, it recreates a patient monitor with ECG trace, BP, O2 sats, capnography, Resp rate and more. The app can be used as a standalone tool to teach the basics of ECG reading or alternatively it can be paired with another mobile device held by a facilitator which enables students and trainees to react to a changing situation.
The remote feature only works when both devices are on a shared WiFi network. Physiological parameters can be changed by the facilitator quite easily and one unique feature to SimMonitor is the ability to intubate which leads to multiple capnography options such as:
One of the strengths of SimMonitor is the range of scenarios and ECG traces that are preloaded. There are 29 different ECGs that can be selected and for the most part these are relatively accurate and I was able to distinguish all the salient features of each trace. For each trace that comes loaded, some of the physiological parameters are also loaded.
For example, loading Long QT syndrome locks the heart rate at 60. Similarly, activating a VT trace automatically brings the heart rate up. This is useful as it means the facilitator can focus on the other physiological parameters sun as BP etc.
One of the other features which really sets SimMonitor apart from the competition is the ability to access lab results. The facilitator can access ABGs, Biochemistry, and haematology results and adjust them to support the scenario. Furthermore, they can ‘push’ these to the simulated patient monitor which the students can then review. This is a brilliant resource and really helps students and trainees work through the problem set.
Perhaps the only downside is that the facilitator needs to be clear on all the physiological parameters they are ‘pushing’ out to the student to make sure that the scenario is plausible.
The only real negative and potential improvement is the fact that this is an iPhone only app. While it can be magnified to 2xthe size, this doesn’t do the app justice and a native iPad version would surely offer a range of improvements. That said, the app itself is intuitive and straightforward and easy to use.
Aside from this, SimMonitor suffers from a number of afflictions common to other apps in this genre, there is only one ECG trace and for the most part physiological parameters have to be changed individually. It does circumvent this problem by allowing you to preload the next ECG trace in to the SimMonitor
- Ability to remotely control a device and change the physiological parameters
- Ability to ‘push’ lab results direct to student monitor
- Fantastic range of present traces for each parameter
- User interface looks like a patient monitor
- No iPad version!
- 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
SimMonitor is a great example of the educational potential of mobile technology. The wide range of ECG trace options and the powerful link to a remote device means trainees and students can practice ACLS scenarios with this app in an efficient and effective manner.
Rating: 4.5 (1 to 5 stars)
- User interface – 4
- Multimedia usage – 5
- Price -5
- Real world applicability – 4