I met with my colleague Anthony Lewis and got to see an exciting new piece of iPad software he’s developed: iSimulate. It’s a patient monitor simulator to be used on its own or to enhance any mannequin set-up.

The system uses two iPads, one is the ‘student’ monitor that looks like any patient monitor in an ambulance, emergency room or ICU. The other iPad is used by the instructor to control the parameters and change the scenario as it develops.
Anthony Lewis is a consultant anaesthetist and retrieval specialist for Sydney HEMS, and has developed the software together with an experienced paramedic and a software company. I got to play around with the app and get an introduction to the system.

The student screen has succeeded in emulating the standard patient monitor screen with familiar traces, numbers and sounds and can easily be customized. The instructor screen changes parameters wirelessly in real time and is quick and intuitive to use, taking advantage of the iPad’s excellent user interface. The set-up can be used on its own, or with a live ‘patient’ or with any sort of mannequin. To prove that point, they used a giant teddy bear when showcasing iSimulate at 12th Annual International Meeting on Simulation in Healthcare, IMSH 2012 in San Diego.

The monitor version of the app is running on the iPad fitted inside the yellow bag to make it look more like a patient monitor, and for easy carrying around the whole set-up. The facilitator version of the app makes it easy to wirelessly control and change the scenario as it develops.

I’m pretty excited by this fairly low cost, but high-tech simulation program. It would be a great piece of equipment for quick training sessions or more elaborate scenarios in any department, but especially those that look after critical patients, including doctors and paramedics in pre-hospital services. I’m looking forward to seeing how it will evolve, as Anthony promises more simulation modules added in the future.

Anthony shows of iSimulate at the posh Sydney HEMS base.

Below is a video by, a blog and resource website for anything healthcare simulation.

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7 Responses to iSIMULATE

  1. I saw iSimulate demonstrated by a mate (Hugh Grantham) a few weeks back at an EMST course we were both teaching on

    It looks the dogs nuts.

    Only problem is the price – $2K per year alone is beyond the price of us rural docs, although the benefits for training students/registrars/nursing staff/ourselves are huge.

    But seems a lot of money to pay, when the same fee would presumably apply to a company that ran simulation everyday as there core business and charged clients for it.

    Bottomline – GREAT kit. But very very expensive and I HATE the idea of paying an annual fee of $2K

    • Thomas D says:

      Yeah, the app is very impressive. On the cost issue, if you look at the prices for simulation equipment from the big players like Laerdal and METI, a similar (but less flexible) set-up would probably cost you more. But 2 grand per year is still a lot of money if you’re not a big organisation or hospital. It will be interesting to follow the price of apps like these, as there will probably turn up other competitors in the marked along the way.
      At today’s price, it still seems like a good investment. But that’s easy for me to say, I’m not buying it – but I hope my hospital is.

  2. It is a great app. And yes, a ResusciAnne would cost over 2K. As a one off cost I would consider it…but 2K per year for an individual? Nuts. However its peanuts for a big tertiary hospital.

    Shame, as the stength of this app is that can run a simulation anywhere, anytime…great for smaller hospitals where the need for access to training is greater. But cost of 2K per year means they risk it only being bought by large institutions like ambulance and health services, who will then run out the usual turgid ALS sessions held three monthly at an inconvenient time.

    I would rather use this for teaching on the run in theatre or OT, but its too expensive for personal purchase, sadly.

  3. We’ve listened and we have a new price structure.
    Standard membership is $2000 with an annual fee of $500.
    Premium membership is $4900 with nothing more to pay.
    Membership gets you all the app updates, and a chance to decide on the future of the apps from iSimulate. What do you want ALSi to do? Tell us and we will listen.
    We believe this is the most cost effective way to do simulation anywhere, anytime.
    No more expensive manikins.
    Download the app now for a free trial until 2nd April at
    Anthony #i_simulate

  4. Thanks Anthony – this fee structure is certainly more affordable

    It’s an awesome app. Showing volatile gas MAC and perhaps having some preloaded scenarios akin to EMAC would be great

    There’s a lot of strength in this program.

    I reckon nows the time to buy up old iPad1s from ebay

    And would be interested in investment options for this product.

  5. Thanks for the reply Tim,
    We’re really keen to push the envelope on this app.
    I agree that volatile agents/MAC is a logical next step.
    We’re also going to have temp.
    Great idea re the iPad1s, especially when iPad3 comes out!

    As for investment….we’ll let you know!

    • Alex Cullen says:

      Curious as to whether there will be functionality for editing of 12 lead parameters? I think this app could change simulation in a huge way! We use SBME daily for training needs at a Medical Schools and Training Center and being able to edit 12 lead parameters would make the cost of this setup more worth the price tag. Currently 12 lead rhythm generators are clunky and quite limited in functionality or attached to a $40k+ manikin!

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