Simulation-based health professions education (SB-HPE) is an approach that focuses on practice, error-correction, and debriefing, which ultimately has a positive effect on patient safety. It enables the teaching of technical skills across many health professions, which has incited enthusiasm within the medical community. Thus, the field of simulation is evolving rapidly.
The increased demand for high quality, cost-effective simulators has led to the incorporation of three-dimensional (3D) printing into the field, and it is now changing the approach to SB-HPE. Computer-aided design (CAD) allows one to create novel anatomical models at a low cost, and this has increased the accessibility of simulation technologies. The integration of novel simulation tools allows educators to overcome barriers such as rare pathology and low patient volumes in developing a competency-based education environment.
The Additive Manufacturing Hub, part of maxSIMhealth network (Ontario Tech University and Lakeridge Hospital, Oshawa, Ontario, Canada) focuses on the development and production processes of a novel 3D printed simulators. The quality of a simulator is generally judged based on how well it matches the appearance and/or the behavior of the simulated anatomy and/or system - known as engineering fidelity. Engineering fidelity describes the physical characteristics of the model and its effectiveness in mimicking anatomical attributes. Consequently, to be truly transformational, our research crosses the disciplinary boundaries between the fields of health care delivery. education, psychology, materials engineering and additive manufacturing.
Our research in this area of digital innovation in health care simulation is available here: