Information technology, developed for gaming and social networks, has given rise to the “virtual patient.” This simulation technology is being used for education and competency assessment for skills ranging from cultural competency to invasive procedures. Virtual patients offer greater standardization, scalability, and cost-effectiveness than other training methods. Utilizing virtual patients to teach or evaluate skills associated with palpation present unique challenges relating to the user interface such as tactile simulation, measurement, adaptability, and standardization. This presentation will review the state of the art of virtual patients with an emphasis on systems and form factors that are being utilized for palpation training and skill assessment. The status of several relevant projects from around the world will be discussed. Learning objectives: This presentation will help participants understand: 1. An overview of computer-based patient simulation. 2. Trends in the adoption of patient simulation technology for palpation. 3. Global efforts to develop virtual patient standards and their benefits.
Michael Zarski is the Chief information Officer of the American Osteopathic Association, responsible for the strategic integration of technology in all aspects of the AOA’s activities and serves as the staff representative for the AOA in health information technology initiatives. Mike also serves on the Executive Committee of MedBiquitous, an international standards setting body that creates technology standards to advance healthcare education and competence assessment. Prior to joining the AOA, Mike worked as an attorney for the American Medical Association and the United States Department of Health and Human Services. He received his Juris Doctor degree from DePaul University in Chicago.