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OtoSim™ device’s integration into medical students’ curriculum to help improve diagnosis accuracy by 44 per cent

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A $200,000 donation led by Mr. Ralph Chiodo of Active Green + Ross will help establish a Student Training Fund in Otoscopy at U of T in partnership with OtoSim Inc.

TORONTO, ON (Feb. 5, 2014) — The University of Toronto (U of T) is creating a Student Training Fund in Otoscopy in partnership with OtoSim Inc., thanks to a $200,000 donation led by Mr. Ralph Chiodo, founder of Active Green + Ross. Other donors include some franchisees of Active Green + Ross and others among Chiodo’s friends and associates.

The Halldale Group, a publisher specializing in simulation and training information, covered this funding announcement.

Through the donation, undergraduate medical students will have access to better otoscopy training through the use of the OtoSim™ in their curriculum. Otoscopy, the diagnostic examination of the ear, is one of the most poorly-acquired medical skills in students, general practitioners and pediatricians, achieving a fifty per cent accuracy rate.

Ralph Chiodo’s donation allows OtoSim Inc. to provide 66 otoscopy training units, known as the OtoSim™, to U of T. The devices, which can be networked to facilitate mass training exercises, will help undergraduate medical students to be effectively trained to diagnose ear problems using an otoscope.

Watch how the OtoSim™ can be used in mass training exercises. Nearly 100 second-year medical students voluntarily attended the OtoSim™ training session to better prepare their otoscopy skills for the clinic.

“We are excited to be the first official OtoSim™ mass-training site and thank Mr. Ralph Chiodo for leading the charge on fundraising for this unique learning opportunity,” said Ian J. Witterick, professor and chair in U of T’s Department of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery.

“A clinical study demonstrated that with only a couple hours of group training, the accuracy of third-year medical students increased from 54 per cent to 78 per cent,” said Dr. Andrew Sinclair, OtoSim CEO and former senior director at MaRS Innovation. “Mr. Ralph Chiodo’s donation will help us to ensure that more medical students graduate with a much higher proficiency in this critical primary physical examination skill.”

“We have had great results with a half dozen OtoSim™ units, but this donation will allow us to teach large groups more efficiently,” said Dr. Albino (Al) Chiodo (no relation), director of U of T’s Undergraduate Medical Education and assistant professor, Department of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck.

In addition to being a core training practice at U of T, OtoSim Inc. reached a strategic milestone in 2013 by selling over 500 units to over 150 institutions in over 12 countries of its transformative training technology and software in its first two years.

The first OtoSim™ mass training event was held on January 30, 2014.

About Active Green + Ross
Active Green + Ross is a Canadian company that operates and franchises a chain of tire and auto centres, with over 70 locations in Ontario. It offers a full range of tires, wheels, and tire accessories, and provides complete automotive service and repairs.  Active Green + Ross operates a franchise program and has been a member of the Canadian Franchise Association for over 25 years.

About OtoSim Inc.
OtoSim Inc. is a Toronto-based medical simulation and training company founded upon technology developed by Drs. Vito Forte and Paolo Campisi, who are otolaryngologists at the Hospital of Sick Children and professors at the University of Toronto. Dr. Michael Hawke, professor emeritus at the University of Toronto, donated the ear images that the OtoSim™ uses. The company launched in 2011.

About the University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine
The University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine is at the heart of one of the great biomedical research, education and clinical care networks in the world. With nine fully affiliated hospitals and research institutes and 18 community-affiliated hospitals and clinical care sites, the Faculty of Medicine is a research powerhouse that offers unparalleled opportunities for its 6,800 faculty and 8,000-plus students at all levels. Nearly half of Ontario’s medical doctors and fully 25 per cent of all health and biomedical PhDs in Canada were trained by the Faculty of Medicine, which consistently ranks among the top medical schools worldwide.

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