Singapore Health Services and Duke-National University of Singapore have launched a new simulation facility for training healthcare professionals.
Located at the Academia in Singapore General Hospital, the SingHealth Duke-NUS Institute of Medical Simulation (SIMS) i3 Hub is equipped with a range of extended reality (XR) solutions and gaming equipment, providing immersive and interactive learning experiences for medical students to develop their clinical skills and competencies.
WHAT IT’S ABOUT
The i3 Hub features two training rooms. One room is the Inspire Room which hosts single-player games that teach skills such as resuscitation and managing pharmacy prescriptions.
The other is the Energise Room which has multi-player games on acute care management and response to cardiac arrest. It is also installed with a haptic floor that vibrates to heighten immersiveness.
The hub offers training in such areas as core clinical or procedural skills, crisis or disaster management, infection control, orientation to workplace safety measures, profession-specific work processes, and staff wellness.
After each training session, game data are extracted and turned into insights for further learning improvement. A debriefing space is also available where learners can discuss their performance post-training.
Moreover, the simulation facility has an array of XR headsets, such as Occulus Quest, HTC vive, and the Microsoft Hololens, as well as gaming computers and tablets.
WHY IT MATTERS
In his speech during the hub’s opening, Dr Koh Poh Koon, Singapore’s senior state minister of the Ministry of Health, noted that the addition of serious games in medical education “enhances the breadth of healthcare simulation capabilities”.
He also emphasised the need to continuously review the methods of engagement and modes of teaching given the change in learner profile, describing today’s generation of healthcare workers as digital natives or adept in the use of new technologies.
What is beneficial about serious games, Dr Koon said, is their ability to “simulate difficult or challenging scenarios” for students to practise critical skills in a safe environment. “For younger doctors, the opportunity for practice without actual risk to patients is reassuring and invaluable in preparing them to face future real-life scenarios,” he pointed out.
Being able to facilitate remote and virtual learning is another pertinent contribution of serious games especially during the ongoing pandemic, the state official added.
THE LARGER CONTEXT
Since its establishment in 2019, SIMS has set up four training facilities across Singapore, all accredited by the Society for Simulation in Healthcare. The centre can also conduct in-situ multidisciplinary team training outside these sites. To date, the centre has developed 18 serious games covering various skills and knowledge across healthcare professions.
In other news, SIMS has partnered with game developer Serious Games Asia to build the Healthcare Training and Assessment Hosting Platform or Health-TAP. Launched in June last year, the cloud-based software hosts serious games for up to 5,000 players. It collects data into a central repository which then generates insights into learning gaps and ideas for new serious games.
ON THE RECORD
“As a dedicated space where learners and educators can engage through new technologies and educational modalities, the i3 Hub will serve as a springboard to enable continual innovation that will transform the future of healthcare education in a safe and holistic manner,” Dr Koon concluded.