newsletter - february 15, 2018

I received an email from Jason Irving - a sim recruiter you should keep tabs on if you're looking for a new opportunity! Check out / bookmark for safe keeping his website here:

...he also made the very first donation to thesimtech - thanks for the support Jason!

The amazing west coast sim tech Mark Searra threw a rough guide together for making a fluid exchanging drainage setup for manikins - basically a solution set with the filter inverted so you can swap out full and empty bags using the IV spikes. Easy and useful! Download the .pdf here.

I've added MedEdPORTAL to the link section.
MedEdPORTAL is a peer-reviewed online publication of instructional materials for medical education. Currently, a quick search of their database using the keyword "simulation" brings up 777 published modules. Check it out...

Angina from VirtaMed sent me this update:

VirtaMed has signed a preferred and exclusive partnership with the Arthroscopy Association of North America (AANA). As a first step, the Orthopaedic Learning Center in Rosemont will be equipped with VirtaMed simulators, giving residents across the country better access to the tools. Even more importantly, together we will develop a standardized national curriculum for arthroscopy simulation training. The curriculum will obviously be based on education expert experiences but also heavily on the data pulled from the simulators.
Read the news here:

Matthew Jubelius from Amoveo Training has started a simulation blog - you can check it out here:

The new 2018 Gaumard catalog is out - read or request one here:
And on the topic of Gaumard, check out this video of the new Pediatric Hal S2225. Great to see some new innovation!

Laerdal has released their top 10 articles of 2017:

In 2017, we published a variety of research-based articles about medical simulation. We want to give you a chance to read any that you may have missed. So, we've created a list of our top ten articles for you as selected by your peers. You can find them here:

Fellow Canadians... never too early to save the date:

Ferooz Sekanderpoor, President at SimGHOSTS mentioned this on LinkedIn. I thought I would share it here:

SimGHOSTS launches an award for the healthcare simulation technology community in recognition of exemplary performance as a healthcare simulation technology specialist or significant contribution to the field of healthcare simulation technology. If you like to nominate anyone from your team please kindly do so by clicking on the link below.

I received an email introducing me to Debriefly video capture. I've never used it, but looks like it might be a useful budget friendly tool. Any one out there try it? (I've also added it to the AV links found here)

Debriefly is designed to be the easiest to use, most portable, and most cost-effective capture and debrief solution that works with the iOS devices you use every day. Debriefly can be set up in less than five minutes to start capturing HD video, audio, and vitals signs. Our turn-key package of hardware and software makes it incredibly easy.
Anyone can download Debriefly for Mac, along with one of our sample scenarios (EMS-style with iSimulate vitals, or Hospital-style with Laerdal vitals), to see our video debriefing features. To check out our capture capabilities, you can download the free Debriefly Cam app for your iOS device from the App Store, and contact us to activate a free 30 day trial.
More info can also be found on our website. newsletter - december 01, 2017

Happy December Sim Techs!

I recently received an email from Dan Vuksanovich (a partner at Gravity & Momentum). He claimed they make the only stage blood in the world that is both safe enough to get in your mouth and will wash out of / off of anything with just warm water.


I'm not sure about all the other fake blood products out there - but this sounded great.
He offered to send me some samples - an offer I couldn't pass up.
Sure enough, they arrived a few days later.

From their website:

Blood Jam - Blood Jam is an “all-in-one” stage blood product which can be manipulated in a number of different ways. Out of the jar Blood Jam is a very thick stage blood which can be used as-is for makeup and gore effects that do not run or drip. It’s great for skin, costume, set dressing, or even for zombie crawls where you don’t want to worry about blood getting everywhere. Blood Jam can also be thinned with water, heated and/or frozen to create a variety of useful effects.

Blood Juice - If you’ve ever tried diluting a thicker blood product for maximum splatter you know that there’s a point past which the color simply disappears. Blood Juice stage blood is incredibly thin… so thin you can spray it with a spray bottle, and it still maintains its realistic coloring. Blood Juice is splatter-rific, perfect for exploding, gushing, fast running, or dripping blood effects.

Blood Syrup - Blood Syrup stage blood sits in the middle of our blood product line from a consistency standpoint. While Blood Jam won’t run at all and Blood Juice runs all over the place, Blood Syrup oozes and is perfect for slow to moderately bleeding wounds.

Here is a pic of the samples

Gravity and Momentum samples.jpg

I decided to test on a piece of spare task trainer latex and on a microfiber cloth.
The Blood Juice was a little more 'greenish' then I had hoped, but I loved the Syrup and the Jam.

From left to right we have: Blood Juice, Blood Syrup and Blood Jam. I poured some on each material and let them sit/soak in overnight.

From left to right we have: Blood Juice, Blood Syrup and Blood Jam. I poured some on each material and let them sit/soak in overnight.

The next day I hand washed with warm water, and some hand soap. It all came out - fairly easily. To be honest, I was a little surprised. There was zero staining.

I haven't tested any other fake blood products in regards to staining, but I have used Ben Nye in the past and remember liking it. I know it can be used in humans mouths as well.

24 hours later, a quick wash - totally clean / no stains!

24 hours later, a quick wash - totally clean / no stains!

All in all this stuff was really impressive (except for the slightly greenish Blood Juice), and I can fully recommend it. I have added their link to the moulage page for future reference.

UPDATE - Dan tells me the Blood Juice isn't supposed to look that that - and that they will do a better job at making sure that samples don't go out like that again. Any customers that received off color product would get an immediate free replacement at no charge. Good to know!

Please remember I get no financial or other type of compensation for any review or comments I make. These are just my thoughts and feelings - take em or leave em. : )


I just heard about this company - OSSimTech. I've added them to the Links page.

OSSimTech designs, manufactures and sells VR open surgery simulators. We are a high technology firm with strong intellectual property and unique knowledge of VR. Our core business is training simulators for open surgeries.

Looks like Gaumard has a cool new portable video capture system - Care In Motion

CARE IN MOTION™ is an innovative video recording and playback platform designed to maximize learning through video-assisted debriefing. Developed with a focus on usability, functionality, and reliability, Care In Motion finally makes recording and debriefing simple so you can focus on what's important—achieving better outcomes.

equipment we use - vol 2 - online booking calendar

For vol 2 of 'equipment we use' I thought I would post what we have developed to handle a few problems we encountered over scheduling, booking, evaluation and statistics.

Our current simulation program has three locations - two simulation centres and a skills centre. Each of the three locations used to have paper calendars, no online presence, and users would have to call or email each respective location requesting a date and time.
Often requesting dates that are already booked, you can imagine the excessive correspondence back and forth. This process was inefficient and led to a poor user experience.

We decided to hire a developer to build our simulation program a website including an integrated online booking solution.

We started with an overview calendar (img1) on our websites front page. This gave users an opportunity to have a quick glance at location schedules (less detailed).

Overview Calendar (img1)

We color coded our locations to help differentiate them from one another.
Once users identified the location they want to book, they click on that locations button, bringing them to the site specific calendar (img2).

Site Specific Calendar (img2)

On the site specific calendar you get a more detailed view of the daily schedule. Once you identify an available date and time you start the booking process by clicking the 'Book Now' text on the upper left corner of the date you want. That launches our request form (img3).

Request Form (img3)

The request form is too long to show here, but we capture all the information we need to run the course, invoice (if applicable) and collect statistics.
Once the form is completed and submitted by the requester, three things happen:
1. the requester gets a confirmation email that their request has been made
2. the sim staff get an email notifying them that someone has submitted a request
3. The time requested goes into 'pending mode' on the online calendar - so other users see that a request for that time has already been submitted. We follow a 'first-come-first-serve' policy.

The next step is for the sim staff to login to the back-end booking request list (img4) and review the request. Any requests that are 'pending' will be highlighted in red.

Back-end - Booking Requests List (img4)

Once they open the booking request (img5), they can edit the form if needed and most importantly - they can add the setup and cleanup time.

Booking request (img5)

Setup and Cleanup times (img6) show users that the location is busy from 11:00 AM to 5:00 PM, even though the course is from 12:00 PM to 4:00 PM.

Setup and Cleanup times (img6)

Once everything is reviewed, staff will approve the request. The approval automatically sends a confirmation email to the requester and the calendar goes from pending to booked.

We also have a 'reminder' emails automatically sent... 31 days and 8 days prior to their booking.

The final automated process is an online evaluation form (img7) that is emailed to the user a few hours after their session end time. This is an opportunity to receive feedback on our strengths and weaknesses, assisting us with continued development of the program staff, facilities, equipment and processes. 

Online Evaluation Form (img7)

This new system also collects all the information submitted into a database, which we can manipulate for various statistics - from number of learners, hours booked, cadaver use, department statistics, etc... 

Hopefully you found some interest and use in this edition of 'equipment we use'.
It is a tool that we are continuing to develop based on need and user feedback, but overall it has been extremely successful.

Please feel free to leave a comment below on your thoughts or your own solutions.
Thanks for reading.

FYI, you can check out equipment we use - vol 1 - communication with confederates / patient simulator voice here. newsletter - september 11, 2017 - Healthcare Simulation Week!

Happy Healthcare Simulation Week!
SSH info and events here.


I've been contacted by two new places to purchase moulage makeup/equipment:

Amoveo, founded by Matthew Jubelius (based in Canada), offers various simulated wounds (click here for their brochure and check out their video below)

The Makeup Armoury (based in the UK). Check out their brochure here, and send Alice an email asking for a discount if you see anything you fancy

SynDaver Labs, an advanced biotechnology company specializing in the creation of sophisticated synthetic humans and animals, announced the formation of a new international strategic partnership with medical manikin manufacturer Lifecast Body Simulation.

The new partnership will allow SynDaver and Lifecast Body Simulation to utilize each company’s unique proprietary technology to expand their capabilities to create ultra-realistic, next-generation synthetic bodies. Future human and animal models engineered by the two companies will combine the fully-functioning anatomy and life-like tissues of SynDaver surgical humans with the movie-ready realistic visual appearance pioneered by Lifecast Body Simulation.

Full press release here

This looks neat - a web-based scenario builder... IRIS -

iRIS is a unique web-based platform to help you design high quality scenarios and offer the best learning experience possible, as well as helping you get the best value from the investments you have made in manikins and other resources. iRIS will support you in:
• ensuring your scenarios are developed in a standardised, high quality manner
• creating significant efficiencies in terms of the time required for designing scenarios and collating simulation resources
• reducing the time and effort required to train colleagues in the design and authoring of scenarios
• building engagement with a wider range of clinicians to harness their expertise in developing new scenarios
• driving interprofessional collaboration and sharing of content with other simulation professionals
Authors can collaborate on scenarios together internally, or in partnership with other organisations, without the need to send scenarios and their related resources to each other via email. iRIS supports the entire simulation team offering benefits for authors, facilitators, simulation technicians and learners that drives operational performance, cost reduction, increased efficiency and continuous improvement. relaunches medical simulation resource website & newsletter with new features.


Guest article from David Halliwell - Manikin Mentality: Please don't abuse your manikins...

David Halliwell gave me permission to re-post an article he wrote on LinkedIn. Check it out below - and follow him on LinkedIn to keep up with all his great articles.

Whilst showcasing our new manikin products at conferences around the world this year our team at Lifecast have become obsessed by trying to understand the mindset of the user - trying to get to grips with why they behave differently with x manikin vs manikin y.

Is it realism of the features? Is it weight or warmth or touch? What exactly is making the difference? What can we do to increase Realism?

Smell, colour and fine detail...

I understand the manikin is only one small part of the training event - and the skills of the educator, the environment, the props, the learning contract, the debrief are all key components.

I have always been a fan of the "magician and the wand" discussion - please see below... BECAUSE if your manikin is an expensive Wand - then your magician needs to look after it!

I understand that there are different simulation tools for different jobs... and that with the right tools and people we can get the student to 'suspend their disbelief '.

Emotional Attachment / Buy in - are all concepts we have explored as we continue our journey to build tools that will transform simulation. Working with great brains to re-think the traditional simulation concepts.

As Educators / Trainers we need to try and explore the way tools are used - how and why they work - and long term to explore - how do they benefit student outcomes?

Recently I've noticed that there are a great deal of manikin abusers out there! 

Medical Manikin's are usually expensive tools - increasingly engineered to look and feel real - with new features being designed by companies around the world each week - yet as I watch people use them I sometimes feel concerned by the lack of care or attention they are given by participants.

In my previous NHS roles I would often spend £100,000+ a year (Every year) to replace broken manikins.

There are some common observations....

Rough intubation - a "I will get this tube down if it kills me!” mentality. Not every person is easy to intubate - not every manikin should be easy - maybe the educators are actually looking at how you cope when you can’t quite see the perfect view with ease.

If you continue to DIG around in the Away - rather than fall back, regroup and use plan B techniques - you are maybe not the right person to be playing with Airways.. 

Maybe its a positioning issue? Maybe its the tool you are using? Standard blade vs difficult airway blade - size of blade etc... Maybe the manikin is designed to be somewhat awkward.

Shoving OP airways in (without care…) Sufficient Attention is not given to OP Airway insertion - If you insert an airway with the little attention to detail that we see in manikins you really could be causing significant damage - to teeth and to soft tissues.

You may not know but the OP Airway causes more damage to teeth in Anaesthetised patients than the Metal Blade of the Laryngoscope -

Shoving fingers in places where fingers shouldn’t go! - Recently I’ve seen many people "Shoving their fingers down the Lady manikins throat"... Why? I don’t get it.. Is it sexual? because ... it sure as hell isn’t clinical!

When I ask them what they are doing they say - "I was having a feel of the anatomy" - (Really? - Do you do that with your patients?) "

"I was seeing if I could digitally intubate" -  When did you last do that to a patient in your theatres? I understand that these skills exist - and maybe for 0.005% of patients and clinicians these may be skills you need, but maybe we could save hundreds of thousands of pounds to the NHS by just thinking differently...

Please try and 'Treat your manikins with the same care and respect with which you would like to be treated...'

Its a simple message - Please look after your manikin like you would expect to be looked after... Manual handling, Clinical skills, Skin care, the list goes on...

I feel we need a shift in mentality - TREAT YOUR MANIKIN LIKE YOU WOULD A PATIENT! newsletter - june 29, 2017

I received a nice email Michelle Castleberry, who is part of a small team responsible for ALEX: the first patient communication simulator.

ALEX is comparatively quite unique to other simulators. He's 100% cloud connected, he has an HD camera in his right eye, he uses bluetooth tech for crystal clear sounds (anterior & posterior lungs, heart, and bowel), and he's integrated with Google Cloud Speech API for speech recognition (and then some of our engineering magic for speech response!).

Lifecast's website is now live:

Introducing a step change in realism for the medical training industry.
Lifecast Body Simulation is developing a range of high accurate and life like “bodies” which will transform the way medical training is both delivered and absorbed. Designed and produced in Great Britain to the highest quality, the range currently includes a newborn baby, toddler/child and adult male with a geriatric to follow later in 2017, all available in a wide range of ethnicity options.
Wow! Looks so real...

Wow! Looks so real...

Gaumard's Victoria Patient Simulator now comes with interactive eyes...

From their website:

Victoria’s new eye movement and automatic tracking features can illustrate signs of stress, stroke, head trauma, drug use, nerve impairment, and many other diseases and conditions.

  • Accommodation test: automatic horizontal tracking and manual vertical tracking
  • Strabismus: exotropia and esotropia
  • Nystagmus: eyeball twitching
  • Blepharospasm: eyelid twitching
  • Ptosis: eyelid droop
  • Realistic idle eye movement
  • Independent pupillary light reflex
  • Mydriasis: blown pupil
  • Anisocoria: unequal pupil sizes
  • Programmable blinking rate
  • Consensual pupillary light reflex
  • Real-time eye movement control via software joystick

I've mentioned Figure1 before, but wanted to remind people its a great place to get images and case ideas...



I just came across this useful site:

Welcome to the HomeGrown Simulation Solution area of the Simulation Innovation Resource Center (SIRC) website. Created by education professionals to address tricky issues in simulation, HomeGrown Simulation Solutions comprises self-made items, creative adaptations to existing items, simulation recipes, and ideas that add to the suspension of disbelief in simulation. Each item includes objectives for use, ideas to integrate it into the curriculum, and step-by-step instructions that provide a roadmap for replication.

Saw this on the SUN forum - fill it out to win a chance at a prize!

Interested in influencing product development in the healthcare simulation industry? We are looking to gain insight into how the current market of simulation equipment is meeting your needs. If you can, please take this 20 min. or less International Simulation Survey to share your experience and influence the future of healthcare simulation product development. Participants will be entered into a drawing to win an Apple Watch, iPad Mini, or Echo Dot!
Make your voice heard and perhaps win a prize -- We sincerely appreciate your participation:

And last but not least, I will plug this article on sim and funding we just received to build a small high fidelity pod with control room, debrief room, sim room, skills/cadaver room. Exciting news for us.... with more to come.

Fourth-year resident, Dr. Samantha Jang-Stewart (left), participates in a simulation training exercise at the Simulation Bay at the QEII Health Sciences Centre. (RPM Productions)

Fourth-year resident, Dr. Samantha Jang-Stewart (left), participates in a simulation training exercise at the Simulation Bay at the QEII Health Sciences Centre. (RPM Productions) newsletter - april 21, 2017

Watch this great TEDtalk from Peter Weinstock, the Director of the Pediatric Simulator Program at Boston Children's Hospital/Harvard Medical School. Amazing stuff.

SimGHOSTS 2017 USA Early-Bird Registration has opened.
This year it is being hosted at the WakeMed Center for Innovative Learning in Raleigh, North Carolina, from August 1-4.
I'm excited to say I'll be going to this - my first time... yay!

Cool - I didnt know about these 'Symeyes' from CAE for Lucina and Athena

Operative Experience were doing a demo at the IWK (a near by Hospital) so I grabbed a few pics. Check out their website or contact Jane O'Reilly , their VP of Global Sales at if you have any questions.

Miguel Correia sent me some info from Body Interact

This software launched it 3 years ago, and last year won the Best Product in Show at IMSH16.
The simulation scenarios are made in partnership with various associations like American Heart Association, American College of Cardiology, some of the biggest Hospitals in the US and some other European institutions/associations. It's also constantly being updated to meet various guidelines requirements.

Simbodies has launched their website - go check out the most realistic simulators i've ever seen.

Attention: Gaumard customers of Canada - just an FYI in case you didn't hear:

Minogue Medical has become the exclusive distributor for Gaumard’s high & mid fidelity simulators in Canada. Minogue offers personalized service and outstanding technical field and telephone support. Minogue's 30+ years of service excellence will provide you with the experience and well-established presence across Canada to best support your needs. Minogue built its reputation serving customers of many other leading medical product companies, including da Vinci, SCHILLER, ClearFlow and EDAP TMS.

Together, Gaumard and Minogue are here whenever you need us. See the newest high-fidelity, wireless and tetherless simulators anytime at, visit or call Minogue toll-free at 1-800-665-6466 for customer service and help in selecting the best new Gaumard simulators for your needs. newsletter - march 14, 2017

Dan Raemer, who I met a few months ago while he was in Halifax teaching a CMS course, has started a great side project with

Go buy some stickers like I did! (and no... I don't make any money from them)

From his site:
The spread of simulation throughout the healthcare world has been a wonderful technique to improve education, teamwork, and patient safety.  Thousands of programs around the world are actively innovating every day to deliver high quality simulation sessions in a variety of settings with a wide array of educational goals.  Promoting this evolution must not stop, as the aspirations and achievements are truly remarkable.

However, there are dangers lurking.  As with anything new, unanticipated and subtle hazards exist and can be difficult to manage.  In healthcare simulation we are introducing programs with its array of real and simulated equipment, supplies, and medications.  We also bring a certain degree of deception, asking people to act as if things that are not real are true and things that are real are not.  All of these introductions are into a healthcare world that has its own difficulties maintaining a safe and error free environment.  The chance that this new world of simulation will lead to an accidental misuse of some simulated entity on a real patient or healthcare worker is real and worrisome.

On this website, we will try to present accidents and “near misses” from healthcare simulation that come to our attention.  We will try to use the collective wisdom of the field to present best practices and mitigation strategies to help the simulation community reduce the potential for harm.  Working together we hope to make the chance of a simulation related injury vanishing small.

I just heard about this company - Operative Experience.
Looks neat - anyone have any experiences with any of these?

Operative Experience Inc is on a mission to revolutionize surgical and medical team training. Using medical simulators with unprecedented anatomical and surgical fidelity within a rigorous experiential instructional paradigm, OEI will reduce training costs while increasing training effectiveness and retention. OEI is dedicated to applying this technology throughout the continuum of care, from tactical operations in the field to emergency procedures in the OR.

Intelligent Video Solutions has a video debriefing solution -

Here at IVS we’ve approached the simulation video observation, recording and debriefing challenge from a different perspective. We’re a video company that truly listens to our clinical education customers.  We’ve taken their feedback and developed a new tool to address an old challenge.

At it’s core the VALT solution is an incredibly simple but powerful tool.  The interface can be learned in minutes and the basic observation and recording tasks are often picked up intuitively without any extensive training or tech support.  We aim to minimize complexity and points of failure so that your recording system is always there when you need it for critical educational tasks.

That simplicity does not come at the cost of enterprise level features though. With VALT you can scale to any number of cameras and users all while incurring no per client, confusing ‘pay per feature’ license structures or budget crushing annual maintenance contracts.  We have built in critical data security measures and integrate into your existing user management and authentication systems to efficiently manage multiple departments, programs and ever changing groups of users. newsletter - february 02, 2017

News from Gaumard -
"Super Tory is the first and only newborn simulator specifically developed to meet the needs of neonatal intensive care professionals training in real environments. Super Tory introduces a host of technological breakthroughs in addition to its lifelike look. New advanced robotics and simulated physiology allow Super Tory to simulate true-to-life clinical presentations and respond to intervention with unparalleled realism."

A big thank you to Katie Gordon, Simulation Educator with the University of Maryland, for again sharing some of her scenarios with thesimtech community. She has sent a pediatric drowning case and a pediatric anaphylaxis reaction to a bee sting case. You can find them in the scenario section.

Also along the lines of free scenarios - Rob Cheeseman, Simulation practitioner with QuEST at the Frimley Health Foundation trust, shared with me this great resource of over 130 free scenarios:
The Health Education England - Thames Valley (HEE TV) ‘Clinical Simulation Scenarios’ library
I will add this great resource to the links page.

Samantha Gower shared this great article with me: Escobar Technologies’ Medical Simulator Is a Real Disrupter

When you are done reading the article go check out more on the Escobar brothers - exciting stuff -

Big news for simulation in Canada. The two major healthcare simulation organizations, SIM-one and the Canadian Network for Simulation in Healthcare (CNSH), have agreed to integrate by September, 2017.
The Boards of Directors of SIM-one and CNSH have signed a guiding principles document providing a time frame and process for integrating Canada’s largest healthcare simulation networks. This integration will create an interprofessional and interdisciplinary network to improve and expand programs and services for the simulation community across the country.