The medical simulation centre at NTNU was referred to as a “blueprint for the future of medical simulation” when Caverion Norway, the team behind the smart solution, recently won first place in two categories at the Crestron Integration Awards.
Medical simulation is a teaching method that uses an advanced computer-controlled mannequin and realistic surroundings to recreate patient scenarios from the real world. The simulations are a vital means of helping healthcare professionals learn by trial and error without putting lives at risk.
Against all odds
When Caverion’s branch in Trondheim was given the challenge of developing a new simulation solution for the NTNU’s Faculty of Health and Social Science, it quickly became apparent that the desired solution would pose major engineering challenges that had never been solved before.
Caverion’s Project Manager, Thor Berg, explains that the challenge lay in the inability of existing solutions for medical simulations to communicate with existing audiovisual systems.
“I was convinced we would be able to overcome the problem and we proved the doubters wrong. But, we also put in over 500 hours on different options before we reached the final design,” he says.
Ulrika Eriksson, the Operations Manager at NTNU, says that in traditional centres for medical simulation, every single practice station is linked to a separate control room where experienced healthcare personnel monitor the students’ progress through a one-way mirror while they treat the ‘patient’.
“But Caverion’s solution for NTNU integrates the simulator solution to Lærdal via a complex audiovisual system. We now have a control room with four operator workstations allowing us to easily monitor and control the ‘patient’ at any of the six practice stations.”
“The personnel in the control room can see what is happening in the operating theatre on a giant screen with 4K resolution, and can switch between talking to the observer, talking the students or playing the ‘patient’,” explains Eriksson.
Furthermore, the simulations can be transmitted live to classrooms at NTNU, enabling other students to learn from what is happening in the practice room. They are also used actively for debriefing after the end of the session.
Important for humankind
When announcing the winners, the jury explained why the technical integration solution from Caverion deserved first place in the categories of ‘Unique Use’ and ‘Best Educational Project’.
“Caverion has created a potential blueprint for the future of medical simulation solutions. It’s an astonishing project that goes beyond the boundaries of commercial or residential integration, to achieve something far more important for humankind."
This is the first time that a Norwegian company has won this award, which were awarded at the Integrated Systems Europe trade fair in Amsterdam on 10 February.
Innovation is key
Executive Vice President & CEO of Caverion Division Denmark-Norway, Knut Gaaserud, praises his colleagues in Trondheim.
“The increasing need for smart and advanced technological solutions means we need people who don’t give up when others say it can’t be done. Berg and the team have shown that progress comes from thinking outside the box and innovation,” says Gaaserud.
“This is an excellent example of how collaboration and the right deployment of technology contributes to our common community.”
Caverion’s Project Manager points to what he calls “highly dedicated employees”.
“Building a solid network of our own dedicated technicians at Caverion is essential for us to be able to tackle such challenging projects. Without the knowledge of our employees, we would not have been able to deliver this important solution, which will actually help save lives,” concludes a delighted Berg.