Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Surgical Simulators Improve Training

Surgical training simulators provide residents with a highly realistic and safe approach for learning complicated surgical procedures. As surgeries become more technically advanced, and rely on video-assisted surgical procedures, the training for these types of surgeries needs to become more advanced as well. Surgical training simulations allow students to preform virtual operations as many times as necessary until mastery is achieved, without ever putting an actual patient at risk.

This summer NYU Langone Medical Center, in partnership with BioDigital, created a touch-enabled medical training simulation to teach the skills that are necessary to preform a video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery lobectomy. The Right Upper Lobe Resection Cognitive Task Trainer allows surgical trainees to interact with the software through the use of a haptic device. Delivering vibration and resistance forces to the user, haptic technology allows surgeons to feel the anatomy of a simulated patient just as they would a live patient.

Surgery Training Simulator
Right Upper Lobe Resection Cognitive Task Trainer

Over the past 10 years video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery lobectomy operations have replaced more traditional open lung surgeries. With the limited visibility available to surgeons during video-assisted surgery, training for this type of procedure has become increasingly difficult and complicated. Traditional cadaver training is possible for this type of procedure, but is an expensive option since cadaver organs can only be used once. Simulators remove this expense and allow trainees to practice a procedure repeatedly until they have mastered it.

Surgical Training Simulation
Video-Assisted Thoracoscopic Surgery Lobectomy Training Simulator

The Right Upper Lobe Resection Cognitive Task Trainer teaches residents to identify important physical structures like the right pulmonary artery, superior and inferior pulmonary veins, and the right pulmonary ligament. Students are able to learn and practices proper placement of the camera port, dissector port, and stapler port in safe and cost-effective environment.

Simbionix is another company that develops medical training simulators and clinical devices for minimally invasive surgical operations. Medical training simulators offer clinicians a virtual hands-on experience without putting patients at risk. Medical professionals are able to practice their existing skills and learn new procedures quickly and effectively, essential elements of ensuring quality outcomes in real-world medical procedures.

Simbionix Suturing Training Simulator

Since surgical training simulators are computer-based, they can act as both a training tool and an assessment device. Trainees are able to learn all of the skills necessary to master their craft and become proficient at a variety of procedures, while trainers are able to evaluate their performance based on a quantifiable metric of competence. The bottom line is that surgical simulators increase clinical proficiency and decrease medical errors and costs.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Training Simulations Maximize Insurance Company's Operational Eficiency

It's common knowledge that training simulators and serious games help to improve an organization's performance and profitability. Usually when people think of simulation-based training they picture heavy equipment operator training, flight simulators, or medical procedure instruction, but not insurance training. However any industry that requires teamwork, problem solving, and the development of evolving sales and marketing strategies can benefit from simulation-based training.

BTS Group (NASDAQ OMX Exchange Stockholm: BTS q), a global leader in accelerating strategic alignment and execution, provides business training simulation tools that allow companies to develop the skills and capabilities within all levels of their organization to improve business results. Their Insurance Business Simulation allows companies to learn, practice and apply the principles, behaviors and skills necessary to manage their business successfully.

Insurance Training Simulation

BTS recently announced a strategic partnership with Humana Inc. (NYSE: HUM), one of the largest publicly-traded health benefits companies, to provide a simulation-based training initiative for their executives. This simulation-based training tool will enable Humana's leaders to carry out the company's strategy of solving employer's cost problems through a consumer-centric value proposition. This insurance business training simulation will transform Humana's product and service offerings to meet changing market trends, grow revenue by balancing distribution channels, and reduce costs by implementing operational excellence initiatives.

Read more about BTS Business Simulations

Swiss Re (VTX:RUKN), the world's largest reinsurance company, offers an insurance management simulation product to their clients. Users of the simulation get training on the complete decision-making process involved in operating an insurance company. They learn by doing, a technique acknowledged as one of the most effective learning methods when it comes to education, training, and instruction. Swiss Re’s insurance training simulation provides the opportunity for users to play the role of an insurance company’s senior management team.

Swiss Re's insurance management simulator tasks users with trying to optimize the market position and build shareholder value for a fictitious insurance company. Multiple competing insurance companies interact within the software that simulates the current economic market and competitive environment. The team for each company must develops and execute a business strategy and plan to manages their company over the course of several simulated years.

Read more about Swiss Re's Insurance Management Simulation

Farmers Insurance, the third largest insurance group in the US, hired ForgeFX to develop a 3D training simulation to train their insurance claims agents, and are also using IMB's INNOV8 to train their 11,500 call center employees. INNOV8 is a 3D business process management simulation game that allows players to quickly see how simple practical process improvements can help improve profitability, customer satisfaction and environmental goals. Through the use of simulation-based training software, Farmers is able to reduce claim costs, claim frequency and the average cost of claims per policy.

Read more about IBM's INNOV8

"Tell me and I'll forget, show me and I may remember, involve me and I'll understand." (Chinese proverb)

Regardless of your industry or business, training simulations can offer your organization many benefits that you might not otherwise achieve. Simulation-based training allows you to view and understand all the major aspects of your business, understand the fundamentals of creating and executing your business strategy, improve the skills necessary in analyzing and interpreting financial statements, and strengthen teamwork skills.