Mobile games are big business for app developers. One look through the Apple or Android app stores will convince you of this fact. There are literally thousands of games available for download. The recent international success of Pokemon GO demonstrates the appetite for games on mobile devices. What about the use of serious games in medicine? Here on iMedicalApps we have reviewed a number of games for healthcare providers including Ward Round and various quiz games for board exam preparation. Games to practice critical procedural skills and resuscitation skills are less numerous. One of the most popular, the award-winning Resuscitation!, allows providers to practice ACLS skills and team management via a virtual simulator embedded in the app. Medical apps such as Ward Round and Resuscitation! use game-play features to entertain, motivate and sustain the attention of players. The goal is to make learning fun.
The latest entry into this increasingly crowded field of serious games is ACLS Sim 2016 from Anesoft. Founded in 1987 by a lawyer and an anesthesiologist, Anesoft has been making computer software for anesthesia simulation and code management for decades. The company also makes a number of apps that utilize the same technology as their computer software. Anesoft has published a number of studies showing positive outcomes from the use of their software in anesthesia, ACLS and PALS codes.
Evidence based medicine
ACLS Sim 2016’s scenarios use the current 2015 ACLS algorithms. Anesoft has published a number of articles showing retention of ACLS algorithms through use of the computer software. There did not appear to be any evidence published on the apps, but they utilize the same scenarios as the computer version.
What patients/providers would benefit from this Medical App?
Students, residents, mid-levels, primary care, emergency medicine or any healthcare provider who is interested in a game to improve their resuscitation skills.
Disclaimer: The views expressed are those of the author(s) and do not reflect the official policy of the Department of the Army, the Department of Defense or the U.S. Government.
- $4.99 for 12 scenarios for iOS/Android. $69.99 for Mac/Windows (allows for development of scenarios).
- Written by medical expert with critical care and computer background.
- Uses current 2015 AHA/ACC ACLS guidelines.
- Includes Debrief function for feedback.
- Available for Android.
- Font small in some sections of the app and no landscape view makes screen crowded.
- Experienced several app crashes for unknown reasons.
- Can be confusing as to what can/can’t be done at certain steps.
ACLS Simulator 2016 is a nice addition to the medical app store as a quality resuscitation simulator. Although I found the interface less than desired, the goals of the medical app are commendable. The ACLS app has expert input and follows the current ACLS guidelines. The medical app would be improved with more available scenarios and some fine-tuning of the user interface.
- Overall Score
- User Interface
Interface feels cramped and some tasks/options are not well-explained or intuitive.
- Multimedia Usage
Realistic simulations in “real-time” makes for a game-like feel.
Price for iOS/Android is $4.99 for 12 scenarios whereas the Mac/Windows version is considerably more at $69.99, but does allow the user to develop their own scenarios (not evaluated in this review).
- Real World Applicability
ACLS Sim 2016 is another option to the popular Resuscitation! though it felt more difficult to navigate and follow the action. With practice, these game based resuscitation apps may sharpen skills, memory and perhaps improve patient outcomes. The app is probably best suited to providers who perform resuscitations regularly, but could benefit any provider who may be faced with such situations.
- Device Used For Review
iPhone 6S running iOS 9.3.5
- Available for DownloadAndroidiPhoneiPad