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  • Istituto DIRPOLIS
  • Istituto di Management
  • MeS
  • Istituto di Scienze della Vita
  • Istituto TeCIP

virtual patient simulations, medical education and real time feedback models for students and healthcare professionals: Sant’Anna school announced new training device “Simulabo”

Publication date: 14.12.2018
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The development of new training devices and educational techniques for medical students together with continuing education settings for doctors and healthcare professionals provide better opportunity for practice procedures, enhance skills and achievements, and reduce risk of medical erros. Sant’Anna School (premises at via Cardinale Maffi) inaugurated “Simulabo”, a new medical simulation laboratory that enables trainees to develop realistic scenarios for diagnosing a patient and formulating a treatment plan. Practicing the diagnosis complex task is essential, and students can practice on paediatric and adult virtual patients during training sessions recreating the medical decision-making process.

Sant’Anna School researchers from the Institutes of Life Sciences, TeCIP, Management, and Dirpolis, under the scientific supervision of Michele Emdin and Claudio Passino, professors of cardiovascular medicine, supported by Pierdomenico Perata, rector of Sant’Anna School, developed this medical simulation laboratory using mathematics, computer science, and bioengineering tools for interdisciplinary cooperation encompassing clinical, biomedical, and theoretical methods for simulation. Medical students of Sant’Anna School and the University of Pisa, experts and healthcare professionals across Tuscany and Italy will be allowed to increase their ability to manage clinical cases within safe virtual learning environments.

“Simulabo” will develop digital tools for computer modelling and manikin-based simulation that serve as key training infrastructure for cardiovascular applications. This high fidelity manikin-based simulation tool will offer students an educational intervention versus traditional learning to perform the roles on a multidisciplinary team, to practice clinical reasoning skills, to reflect on the consequences of their decisions and the impact of these interventions in terms of sustainability and cost-effectiveness.

These high fidelity simulators has realistic anatomy and clinical functionality to challenge and test students’ clinical and decision-making skills during realistic patient-care scenarios. Patient care scenarios include, breathing, cardiac circulation, vascular, sound features IV Placement / IO or IM Injections, and venous catheters.

Researchers at Sant’Anna School are working on a growing number of research projects, not limited to cardiovascular applications, such as “E-schoolapius” platform funded with 100,000 euro by the Italian Ministry of Education, University and Research through the “Talentitaly initiative.

Stefano Taddei, professor of Pisa University and Luciano Ciucci, director of Fondazione Toscana Gabriele Monasterio, are currently involved with Sant’Anna School faculty members Massimo Bergamasco, Marcello Carrozzino, Sabina Nuti and Nicola Bellè and experts from Sant’Anna School information technology department to implement this software and manikin-based Virtual Patient system designed both for practice and assessment of medical students. Simulabo will use interactive dialogue to perform physical examination, including recognition of visual findings and heart sounds. The system will provide feedback about the patient’s condition and compare the clinical competence of real health professionals and trainees.