The growing amount of medical information and research makes it difficult for medical education to stay current for too long.
Despite numerous changes in curriculum and educational methods and techniques, there is still an evident disconnection between the classroom and the clinical environment.
Many students are concerned that they don't get adequate medical training in physical examination, history taking, diagnosis, and management of the patient.
The patients are also concerned that students and residents are using them for practice, which forced clinical medicine to become focused more on patient safety and quality.
One of the techniques that was proposed to bridge the educational gap and resolve all safety and quality concerns was medical simulation.
Medical simulation (also dubbed as healthcare simulation, patient simulation, nursing simulation, surgical simulation and clinical simulation) became a big part of modern medical education for healthcare professionals through the use of advanced educational methods.
Basically, medical simulation allows for the safe training of learners engaging in activities that would otherwise be too dangerous to practice, for example surgery. The idea that learners can simulate a case as if it was real is useful method in helping medical students and residents develop their own skills, regarding diagnosis, treatment and patient management.
Introducing simulation technique into medical education does not only promote patient safety and better healthcare quality, but also provides better learning method to healthcare professionals, which is close to the real-life experience.
The most common method of medical simulation is a manikin, which is a low- or high-fidelity patient simulator that safely allows for the training of clinical skills in a professional setting.
The advent of mobile technology over the last couple of years also brought medical simulation closer, at our fingertips. There are various medical apps for both Android and iPhone that help medical students and professionals stay on top of their clinical skills by allowing them to simulate medical cases on their smartphones.
On SteadyHealth we already reviewed one such app called Prognosis: Your Diagnosis, which is a fun and interactive way to test your skills through the use of clinical case simulation.
Another similar app that we review today is Resuscitation! app developed by EM Gladiators for medical students and professionals who are interested in learning patient care by playing the role of the ED physician.
Upon starting the app you'll see several options including Play that takes you to the cases, My Progress that, as its name suggests, allows you to see your current progress, and Feedback and Help that tell you more about the app and its features, and allow you to contact the developers.
If you tap on Play, you'll have an option to pick a case from the list, allow app to choose a random case for you, or purchase additional cases that range from $3.99 to $9.99, depending on module. For example, Labor and Delivery cases cost the least, while additional Emergency Medicine modules will require $9.99. However, there are enough sample cases in free version of the app that would keep you occupied for some time.
All cases are listed by module, topic, rank or setting. Modules include Emergency Medicine 1-5, Emergency Neurology, Gynecology Clinic, EMS Paramedic, among others. You can also choose cases by setting, for example those that happen in ambulance (on-scene), in ED, Gynecology Clinic, Labor and Delivery, or Pediatric ED or Hospital.
When you've chosen the case, the Resuscitation! app would provide you with a case presentation of a patient who is ill. You will see the brief description of the patient's problem that occupies the screen and disappears after couple of seconds.
Each case features interactive animation showing the patient on bed with interactive elements that you'd use to perform a physical exam, form a differential diagnosis and administer therapy to treat the patient's underlying problem. There is a window in the left part of the screen that will keep you informed about the current progress and actions you performed.
First thing is of course, checking the patient's history by tapping on the History button. Here you can read more detailed description of the patient's problem, including his past medical history, family and social history, medications they may use, or known allergies.
After, that you'll be taken to the Exam section that provides basic exam finding, including breathing, airway, HEENT, cardiovascular, and so on, as well as detailed findings that would give you a hint what may be wrong with your patient.
It should be noted that users without medical or clinical experience may find this app too advanced because it's designed mainly for medical students and healthcare professionals.
After performing a physical exam, users are supposed to take actions based on the findings. For example, you can place the patient on a monitor that would show changes (for example lowering the BP if you administered antihypertensive drug), you can start IV's, perform various procedures and treatment options, administer medications, obtain EKGs, and many more.
The aim of Resuscitation! app is to help users develop diagnostic management skills and it facilitates this by giving points for good decisions and removing points for bad decisions. There's not limit on how much times you can play the cases, so you can do that repeatedly trying to get the best possible result and thus improve your diagnostic management skills.
Resuscitation! app, however, will keep track of all your attempts to go through the cases and highlight your weak spots. This isn't frustrating. On contrary, the app is fun and addictive, allowing you to play cases repeatedly in order to correct your mistakes and improve your diagnostic management skills. And this is a great way to learn things.
Some may find illustrations too simple and cartoony, but I don't find this a downside at all, especially when you indulge yourself in solving cases.
The cases may also include other images, such as ECG, but they're not of a particularly high resolution when you zoom in, so interpreting them could be difficult.
The level of detail and information within the cases is good, and each case provides enough content. However, the Resuscitation! app lacks references, as well as guidelines on the proper management for each case.
Overall, I'm very satisfied with Resuscitation! app, which is a great tool for simulating cases, particularly in the emergency room setting. It offers wide range of options that would keep medical students and professionals occupied trying to improve their diagnostic management skills in emergency department.
Benefit: The app is designed primarily for medical students and professionals