The Evolution of Manikin Sim Training

Oct 12, 2022

The space, equipment, and manpower required to run physical manikin simulations is demanding and expensive to the point that most manikin sims are inaccessible to the majority of learners and educators. Traditional manikin sims range from low to high-fidelity. High fidelity manikins may include technology such as simulated breathing, pupil dilation, all while exhibiting more advanced symptoms. Low-fidelity manikins are segmented and serve a singular purpose (i.e. a manikin arm for IV practice).

The demand for high quality manikin simulation continues to increase as many realize how impactful sim training can be in the effort to decrease medical errors, and ultimately save lives. Inaccessible manikin simulation technology means less opportunities for the average learner to practice and repeat essential life-saving skills; and increasing the quality of the manikins doesn’t solve the problem. Recent technological innovation can help take manikins from physical to virtual, changing entirely the way we do medical simulation training.

From Plastic to Graphic

The draws of either low or high fidelity manikins are simplicity and realism. If one needs to practice a core skill like IV insertion, having a manikin arm to practice on makes it simple and straightforward to repeat the needed movements that are then applied on real patients. The realism of high fidelity manikins also can’t be overlooked as learners can fully experience a simulated patient exhibiting appropriate symptoms in the same space and in real time.

How can all these features truly translate to the virtual space in a way that reflects the true value of familiar physical manikins? SimX’s virtual manikin cases apply what we love about manikins and take away everything that makes manikin simulation inaccessible, expensive, and ineffective.

Real-Time Customization

A rigid, plastic manikin is only customizable according to the manufacturer. Of course, the greater the investment, the more options you have to modify your manikin. On the other hand, VR manikins can be quickly modified and customized to meet the needs of learners and educators alike.

The SimX virtual manikin series utilizes facilitator tools for quick customization to meet your learning objectives. Whereas one physical manikin may have a set scenario that a learner must assess and solve, the virtual manikin sim can be modified in real time by the case facilitator who has complete control over the scenario outcome.

Facilitators can control the manikin’s vitals, exam results, final diagnosis, and even various manikin animations. They can also respond in real time to what learners need as they navigate the scenario and react to any prompts, events, or NPC dialogue. Instead of a fixed manikin with a lengthy set-up and limited options, the SimX virtual manikin sim series allows you to choose many different scenarios, diagnoses, and treatment options and it takes less than 5 minutes to launch, which significantly reduces faculty workload.

Non Co-located Team Training

The VR manikin sim series not only provides greater customization, it also provides a more accessible experience across the board. Bulky manikins aren’t just expensive to customize, they are also near-impossible to travel with or relocate. Because of this, many large institutions have entire simulation centers that require trainees to travel or gather to the manikins.

Simulation centers are nearly obsolete with virtual manikin sims. In VR, students, educators, and medical personnel of any kind can access the manikin scenarios they need for all required training and practice. Training can then be done in an office, in a bedroom, or in any spare room available. All you need is a capable headset.

Simulation centers can accommodate groups of students and entire teams as they learn together and demonstrate varying skills. Similarly, in VR, multiple participants can join the same virtual space at any time for lectures, special demonstrations, or any group scenario in which one would need a manikin. The SimX system also allows for non co-located team training, that is, team members are not required to be in the same physical space for them to share the same virtual space. Guest lecturers, fellow learners, and facilitators can all be in different locations–different countries, even–and still learn and train together.

The familiarity and simplicity of a physical manikin cannot be overlooked, but now, with the right technology, it can be applied in a more accessible virtual format. The SimX virtual manikin series allows you to invest your time where it really belongs; in learning, practicing, and progressing essential life-saving skills.

To see more of our virtual manikin series, watch our intro video:

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