A University of Florida (UF) faculty researcher whose innovative human-patient simulation training technology was once the fourth-leading source of royalty income for the University of Florida is again contributing to the advancement of new technologies that may revolutionize the health care simulation industry.
Samsun Lampotang, Ph.D., is the Joachim S. Gravenstein Professor of Anesthesiology at UF, where he also serves as director for the Center for Safety, Simulation & Advanced Learning Technologies (CSSALT), director for simulation innovation in the Office of Educational Affairs/Office of Medical Education, and director for the Clinical and Translational Science Institute Simulation Core.
In 1987, he was part of a team responsible for creating the first prototype of a Human Patient Simulator – a lifelike mannequin created to display vital signs and react to medical procedures – that today is used around the world for medical training. Lampotang has since shifted focus to increasing the accessibility of simulation, which he describes as “a risk-free, experiential training method.”
Like learning how to drive, he explained, medical training often requires both the student and instructor to be present. This can prove challenging, especially when instructors are medical professionals with busy schedules and patient care responsibilities that compete with time for teaching. Created in the CSSALT lab with funding from the Department of Defense, Lampotang’s latest innovation makes it possible for medical students, residents and deployed military medical personnel to learn a complicated central venous access (CVA) procedure without the guidance of an instructor. CVA is a life-saving skill as part of trauma or combat casualty care.
The CVA simulator includes a 3-D, mixed reality human torso model that is connected to a laptop. The simulator is turnkey, meaning that a person unfamiliar with it can unpack, set up and use it in seven minutes. As students perform the CVA procedure on the mannequin, the software platform records and reports on performance and provides feedback, including 3-D visualization of the procedure. Rather than measuring success based on the number of hours spent training, training continues until competency in the skill has been demonstrated on the simulator. In other words, training is competency-based instead of time-based, acknowledging that users learn at different speeds.