Doctor’s Practice

VitalSims is good practice for doctors

VitalSims is good practice for doctors

Learning from mistakes is great – unless you’re a doctor. That botched ACL repair may make the next one better, but try explaining that to the guy with the limp.

Thankfully, technology has some answers.

Minneapolis-based VitalSims offers health care providers the opportunity to work with a virtual patient in a fully simulated environment. The platform gives doctors and nurses the chance to try different theories and treatments, and learn from mistakes – with far less significant consequences.

“We call ourselves a flight simulator for health care,” Chris Duncan, the company’s CEO, told us.

Working with the University of Minnesota and HealthPartners, and with grants from the NIH, the company offers two simulator modules in diabetes care and patient safety.

The platform is available on the web, tablets, and smartphones. Because it’s online, new procedures can be added seamlessly, and training does not need to take place in a specially-built simulator center.

As a result the company is a unique mix of video game developers and health care professionals. “We have a team of 12 people – coders, artists, and developers as well as a medical-advisory team,” Duncan said.

If this cuts down on surgical fat-fingering, we’re all in.

Now go forth (and measure twice, cut once).

Nitty Gritty:

1965: Year the game Operation was released from Milton Bradley

Cavity Sam: Nickname for the patient in Operation

200: Points awarded for removing “Writer’s Cramp”, a pencil in the forearm