Simulation Solutions: Introducing the SimPad

Dan White // June 1, 2012

For many years, EMS patient simulation was an "a la carte" affair. You had CPR manikins, ECG simulators, and airway trainers. Each skill was taught separately; integrating the different parts into a realistic EMS simulation was challenging.

Today, medical simulation has gone high-tech. Training centers are building sophisticated new simulation laboratories. Integrating all the required treatment skills into each scenario provides more realistic education.

While being tied by a wire to a computer system and remaining confined to a room is fine for tertiary medical staff, EMS is different. What EMS educators needed was a way to cut the cord. Laerdal Medical has done just that with their new SimPad.

The SimPad is a powerful hand-held wireless simulation controller. It is a comprehensive yet completely mobile teaching tool. Think of it as a tablet computer for EMS instructors. It offers an expandable selection of individual training scenarios clustered in core EMS learning competencies.

The 5.7" color touch pad screen is easy to use and the SimPad's programming is highly intuitive. If you own a smartphone, you can probably use the SimPad right out of the box.

The SimPad offers a comprehensive library of physiological patient parameters, including vital signs, ECG recordings, and organ and patient sounds. The SimPad system can be operated in automatic mode, using existing pre-designed scenarios, or in manual mode, allowing instructors to customize simulations.

The log function allows instructors to keep track of and review simulation performance. It records when each task or objective is performed. Afterwards, it makes a great de-briefing tool for improved student retention.

SimPad's wireless portability gives the instructor total creative freedom in scenario staging. Going mobile can help make training much more realistic -- you can take the classroom anywhere.

The Li-ion battery gives you 3 to 4 hours operating time and wireless external monitor options include both a 12" and 17" display.

Compatibility with Laerdal simulators and manikins allows institutions to integrate the SimPad cost effectively. You can also use it for non-manikin activities to create and manage dynamic scenarios with simulated or moulaged victims.

The SimPad shines brightest when used with Laerdal VitalSim manikins, where the full range of its capabilities can be utilized. It can control carotid, brachial, radial, and umbilical pulses, 3 or 4 lead ECGs, blood pressure, heart sounds, lung sounds, bowel sounds, and even vocal sounds.

In addition, you can upload scenarios and themes from a PC via a USB, or download scenarios directly from the "SimStore."

SimPad can also access the Laerdal SimCenter online library, which offers scenarios from some of the health care industry's leading organizations such as the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Heart Association, and the National League for Nursing. As the library grows, so too will the SimPad's potential applications.

Right now, the company is offering a pretty tempting trade-in program. If you own an older VitalSim, you can get more than $1,400 for them on a new Laerdal SimPad. For access to the trade in request form, click here.


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