Otoscopy, the diagnostic examination of the ear, is one of the most poorly acquired medical skills in students because traditional methods of study rely on lectures and print material. Using the OtoSim™ simulation unit allows students to interactively improve otoscopy skills before they reach the clinic.
OtoSim™ device’s integration into medical students’ curriculum to help improve diagnosis accuracy by 44 per cent
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.”
“If there’s one profession for which you don’t want students to have learning gaps, it’s medicine,” Rebecca Walberg wrote in the Smart Shift: Agenda for Innovation section in the Financial Post on May 7 (reprinted in the Vancouver Sun on May 9 and in the Calgary Herald on June 6, 2013). “Yet that’s exactly what Dr. Paolo Campisi saw while working with medical students at the University of Toronto.”
Walberg’s article, “Innovation in medical learning a Canadian business success story,” describes the process Campisi and his colleague and co-founder Dr. Vito Forte, both of the Hospital for Sick Children and cross-appointed to U of T, undertook to design the OtoSim device, which addresses the gap in how students were learning skills associated with otolaryngology (ear, nose and throat diseases or infections).
Here’s an excerpt (beginning with a quote from Dr. Forte):
“The answer wasn’t more time to lecture or show big pictures on a screen, but rather some kind of instrument that would mimic the experience of looking into an ear with an otoscope. And we went through a number of prototypes developing a simulator that can do just that.”
The result is the OtoSim, brought to market and sold by OtoSim Inc. The simulator consists of a rubber ear made to scale, and a computer display integrated into the model where the eardrum would be in a patient, which can display images of ear canals that correspond to a wide range of medical conditions.
OtoSim Night revolutionizes how students learn to identify ear pathologies
On Feb. 13, 2013, almost 100 second-year University of Toronto (U of T) medical students participated in an optional, intensive, one-hour otoscopy workshop using the OtoSim™ — a training and simulation system that is radically changing the way students in Canada and around the world learn this poorly-acquired medical skill.
And, if you want to use simulation technology to change the way medical professionals are taught, ear disease is a good place to start.
“Historically, otoscopy simulation involved looking at an image of an eardrum on a piece of film at the end of a rubber ear,” said Dr. Andrew Sinclair, CEO of OtoSim Inc. “OtoSim™ has a digital image bank that is orders of magnitude more extensive. The instructor can electronically point to areas within the image and confirm that the student sees the pathology of interest. Diagnostic accuracy goes up enormously.”
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