Stanford University medical students are practicing medical techniques on robotic patients in a Web-based virtual hospital, which allows trauma team members to remotely rehearse emergency department situations, the San Jose Mercury News reports.
The program, called 3D World, is a video game version of dummy patients at some U.S. medical centers' simulation facilities for more than 10 years. The Web-based system is cheaper than simulation facilities, which have setup costs from $300,000 to several million dollars and daily training fees of $800 to $2,000 per clinician, the Mercury News reports. Medical faculty at the Stanford University School of Medicine and Sweden's Karolinska Institute worked together to develop the emergency scenarios.
For example, a computer scenario could have a patient come into the ED with a fractured leg, chest wound and extremely high heart rate after a car crash. Each team member can click on an on-screen menu to select from a series of medical interventions, such as "check airway" and "take blood pressure." The patient's vital signs will alter depending on what intervention is selected, and the trainees can communicate in real time on headphones, the Mercury News reports.
"The potential is huge," said Dr. Phillip Harter, a Stanford emergency medicine physician who led 16 students in a pilot of the tool. "We can train people from all over the world in various parts of medicine ... different types of illnesses and injuries that they may not see frequently enough to keep up their skills" (Landhuis, San Jose Mercury News, 1/16).