Health care professionals now have a new way of accessing ultrasound training in a mobile and affordable manner using the DR Doppler Dynamic Ultrasonography Training System (DR Doppler), a training tool from SIMnext, LLC, a medical simulation research and development company based in Peoria, Ill.
The company formally introduced its first product today at a press event at the MATTER health care incubator in the Merchandise Mart in Chicago.
DR Doppler is the industry's first dynamic ultrasound training solution replicating irregular blood flow and velocity patterns based on real human data through a series of customized, application (app) driven training modules and the supporting anatomies. Unlike static anatomic phantoms, computer based training (CBT) and virtual reality products, DR Doppler provides clinicians with nuanced simulations of pathological blood flow that they very often do not have the opportunity to witness during their training outside of actual patient encounters.
The DR Doppler system is driven by SIMnext's patented waveform emulator, which houses a proprietary system that communicates via wireless communications to access specific training modules available through the DR Doppler app. The wireless communications also eliminate the need for additional hardware, allowing all software updates to be done directly through the waveform emulator. The system pumps SIMnext's proprietary DR Doppler blood mimicking fluid (BMF) to simulate blood flow associated with the desired pathology being taught in the training module to a growing line of anatomies that are compatible with any existing diagnostic ultrasound equipment. This unique approach to ultrasound training allows clinicians to experience actual conditions in real time through a connected anatomic phantom and a measureable, curriculum-based learning program designed to fully gauge their abilities and prepare them for live patient applications.
Because of its portable design and price point, DR Doppler can be utilized in a hospital system to train clinicians in the use of ultrasound at the point of diagnosis to help reduce medical errors and improve overall patient experiences and outcomes. The mobile nature of DR Doppler also makes it an ideal solution for underserved and third world locations where training for diagnostic technology is often unavailable.
Ultrasound is used to diagnose a wide variety of diseases and conditions and is valuable because it is mobile, inexpensive and emits no radiation like CT scans.
Available training modules for DR Doppler currently include the Core Competency Trainer (CCT) for general ultrasound technique. New training modules and anatomic phantoms being released in 2016-2017 include Carotid (Stenosis), Femoral (DVT), Testicular (Torsion), and Cerebral (TCD). SIMnext is also currently developing new training modules with the supporting anatomic phantoms for Appendix, Vertebral, Pregnancy, Kidney, Hepatic, Pulmonary, Transvaginal, and Full Abdomen pathologies.
"The DR Doppler system offers several advantages for clinicians and students," said Thomas J. Cusack, MD, FACR, Clinical Professor of Radiology at the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria. Cusack led the development of the curriculum that supports the training modules. "It is fully customizable to create real time healthcare situations using actual patient data and existing ultrasound equipment. This approach creates the most effective simulated teaching environment for developing the muscle memory necessary for gaining competency in ultrasound use."
SIMnext has partnered with Limbs & Things, Inc., headquartered in Bristol, United Kingdom, to distribute DR Doppler. The global sales and distribution partnership is an important step in SIMnext's strategic vision to pursue, discover, and implement leading-edge technologies and designs that will actively affect how training and simulation are used to improve patient outcomes and add to the overall wellness of the healthcare industry.
"We are very excited to be working with the Limbs & Things team on the launch of DR Doppler," said Paul Pribaz, the Executive Director of SIMnext. "The launch of this system completely changes the way clinicians develop their skill set and diagnostic abilities using ultrasound, offering them a more realistic training environment than ever before. By partnering with Limbs & Things to bring DR Doppler to market, we will be able to make an immediate impact through their global marketing and sales network."
Limbs & Things is recognized worldwide as one of the medical simulation industry's largest designers and distributors of simulators for physical examination and procedural skills, anatomical models, and multimedia education materials. The new partnership will make the DR Doppler system available in several countries beginning in the first quarter of 2016.
"The DR Doppler platform is a welcome addition to the ultrasound training marketplace," said Nic Riley, Managing Director of Limbs & Things. "Existing simulators are either static or virtual, which leads to trade-offs in training. This offers a dynamic, yet real-world experience, so clinicians can gain skill by practicing with their own equipment, yet encounter multiple pathologies, which creates an ideal learning environment."