Monday, December 03, 2012

Medical Device Simulators Increase Sales

If you're in the business of developing and selling medical devices, you're all too aware of the difficulties of demonstrating your product to prospective customers. Sure you can hook it up to a live patient that is suffering from the ailment that your device helps to treat, but that's not very convenient when you're on a sales call or the floor of a conference hall. Medical device simulators, a proven tool for training, are excellent when it comes to demonstrating your product. Virtual medical device simulators allow you to demonstrate your product to anyone, anywhere, and at any time - critical features for any sales person.

CAE Healthcare recently announced that they had sold their 1,000th iStan patient simulator to the Paris Simulation Center at the University of Louisville School of Medicine. This patient simulator costs approximately $150k and can be programmed to mimic medical conditions by displaying typical symptoms, and then responding to treatment. Includes realistic:
  • Bodily fluids and secretions
  • Jugular vein distention
  • Lung, heart, and bowel sounds
  • Articulated skeletal structure
It's common knowledge that you can have the greatest product in the world, but without an effective sales and marketing effort in place, you're success is far from guaranteed. If you're selling pens it's no problem to demonstrate your product under any circumstances,  but if your product is a piece of equipment that works in conjunction with a human body suffering from a disease, it's a lot harder to show someone how it works. This is where virtual simulators come into play, by providing the means to quickly and effectively show a lead your product in action, can directly lead to more sales.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Virtual Reality in Healthcare Market to Reach $2.43 Billion by 2018

Global Industry Analysts Report: Demand for Innovative and Efficient Surgical Systems Drives the Global Market for Virtual Reality in Healthcare.

Global Industry Analysts (GIA) recently announced the release of a global report on virtual reality in the healthcare industry. The report determines that the demand for simulation-based medical training will drive the market for virtual reality in healthcare, and projects that the global market for healthcare simulator-based training will reach US$2.43 billion by the year 2018. The report also points to the ever-increasing performance and reliability of training simulators, the decreasing cost of high-power computing, and the current adoption rate of virtual reality technology in the healthcare sector over the past decade.

Within the medical industry, the need to improve training and efficiency while reducing costs is as important as in any other industry. Virtual training simulators are one of the most effective methods to provide the necessary training and instruction, while removing many of the barriers to entry due to cost and risk.

The report is titled "Virtual Reality in Healthcare - A Global Strategic Business Report" and includes comprehensive analytics for the United States, Asia-Pacific, Canada, Europe, Japan, and 'The Rest of the World'. The report provides historic data for an insight into market evolution, growth drivers, market challenges, key issues, technology trends, and recent product innovations. The report also includes annual sales estimates and projections for the global market for the next 6 years (present - 2018).

Montefiore Medical Center: "Criterion-Based (Proficiency) Training to Improve Surgical Performance"

A recent report title "Criterion-Based (Proficiency) Training to Improve Surgical Performance" completed by Montefiore Medical Center is available from the Archives of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery. The report determines that current requirements for surgical proficiency do not properly address the individual surgical capabilities of students, and that simulation-based training could vastly improve the skills of these surgeons-in-training before they ever operate on a living patient. The study's Principle Investigator, Dr. Marvin P. Fried, MD, FACS, University Chairman Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at Montefiore Medical Center says:

"We have been studying this subject since 2000 and the results of each of our studies have shown that technical abilities are highly individualistic, skill levels progress at varying speeds. Simulation training is an invaluable tool in creating a competent surgeon in a safe and controlled environment, which ultimately helps to ensure patient safety and produce the best outcomes."

Surgical simulators allow for additional training without the need for live patients and operating rooms, vastly improving healthcare safety and efficiency.

3D Heartbeat Simulator Visualizes Pulsation and Disease

The National Cerebral and Cardiovascular Center in Osaka, Japan recently released a virtual heartbeat simulator running on typical off-the-shelf laptops, that is capable of simulating complex pulsations of the heart. Until now, accurately simulating heart pulsation in real-time 3D has taken offline super-computers to complete the job. With technology speed and power always increasing, off-the-shelf lap tops and gaming software-based simulators are now able to get the job done online, faster and more effectively.

Using a shape matching technology the software divides the heart into 7,000 individual shapes with bounding edges and constraints. The simulator allows trainees to simulate virtual heart attacks and heart diseases and take cross sections to examine and study a complex organ under a variety of conditions.

Medical training simulators can now provide highly realistic virtual learning environments that are safe and cost-effective, and allow for repeated practice-until-perfect, increasing the skill and proficiency of future surgeons. Training simulators include operator performance metric tracking systems, allowing trainees and instructurs to quickly identify what areas they need to focus on. In additional, sales and marketing staff can benefit from having a virtual product to demonstrate, rather than having to schedule real-world demonstrations on live patients.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Flight Simulators Skyrocket

The demand, use, and adoption of flight simulators is skyrocketing.

The aviation industry has always been a leader in the use of training simulators, and they continue to push simulators to the forefront of training. A recent BBC New article, Flight Simulator Development Set to Soar, includes an interview with David Ownes, senior director of flight crew training at Airbus, who predicts the number of full-flight simulators will double in the next 10 to 20 years.
  • There are currently 900 full-flight simulators in the world, estimated to double by 2032..
  • By 2032, the number of jet airliners will double, to 40,000.
  • By 2032, 517,000 new pilots will require training.
"The demand for training seems destined to increase significantly over the next 20 years as air travel grows, and the full-flight simulator is a vital part in the support of this growth."
Globally, as airline travel is predicted to continue to increase over the next 20 years, the aviation industry is forecasting unprecedented growth. Manufacturers that provide training for operators, airlines that have their own training centres, and third-party training facilities all around the world are all scrambling to buy as many simulators as they possibly can at the moment.

Get Adobe Flash player
Interview with David Ownes, Airbus Senior Director of Flight Crew Training

Crash Shows Need For Simulators

A recent Air France crash, in which an Air Bus A330-200 jetliner plunged from 38,000 feet into the Atlantic Ocean, demonstrates the need for more realistic flight simulators that are capable of simulating the violent nature of aerodynamic stalls. A recent Bloomberg News article, Air France Crash Shows Need for Realistic Flight Simulators, reports that the FAA may soon require simulators to realistically portray stalls so that pilots experience realistic virtual portrayals of stalls in their training and learn how to react correctly. Simulators have the ability to recreate the surprise and confusion pilots face in real-life situations, a component that is critical to proper training.

South Africa Air Force Helicopter Simulator Cuts Costs

A recent Engineering News article, Helicopter Simulator to Boost South African Air Force Training While Cutting Costs, reports that Eurocopter recently unveiled the first full flight helicopter simulator in South Africa, a full motion simulator with six degrees of freedom, allowing it to completely reproduce the motions of a Eurocopter AS332 Super Puma helicopter. The simulator will provide valuable training as well as significantly cut the helicopter training costs, since training in the simulator costs approximately 25% of training in a real-world helicopter.

Aviation Growth Equates to Simulator-Based Training Growth

With the surge in growth of the aviation industry, the simualtor-training industry is set to follow in close succession. If, as expected, the number of jetliners swells to 40,000 by 2032, the there will be a need for about 517,000 new pilots in the next 20 years, and flight simulators will provide a considerable amount of the training they will require. Flight simulators allow pilots to train on a more frequent basis and for more specific maneuvers and emergency procedures, training that is essential when it comes to aviation safety. With the average flight simulator costing $25 million USD to purchase, and another $1 Million to maintain anually, it's estimated that the flight simulator market will be worth at least $25 billion USD over the next 20 years.