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New iPad simulator makes scenarios seem real

The ALSi system lets you conduct training with naturalistic readings using cheap hardware

At the annual New York State EMS Conference Vital Signs, held in Buffalo October 23-27, 2013, an Australian simulation company unveiled their iPad-based advanced life support simulator that seems to offer quite literally everything you ever dreamed of.

ALSi by iSimulate is designed to run on an inexpensive Apple AirPort Express wireless network. An instructor iPad (see photo 1) controls a second iPad that is set up to look exactly like a monitor-defibrillator (see photo 2). Output can also be directed to a projector or larger monitor screen.

With ECG, blood pressure (non-invasive and arterial line), capnography, respirations, temperature, labs, diagnostic quality 12-leads, and quite literally anything else you could ever want to illustrate to a paramedic, ACLS, PALS or other critical care class – the iSimulate technology made me want to repeatedly pinch myself to make sure it was not all a dream.

The intuitive nature of the instructor controls allow anyone to master operation of the ALSi simulation software in a matter of minutes. Changes in vital signs can be entered to occur gradually over a specified time, or immediately when activated by the instructor.

There are 50 different rhythms, including pacing, all of which respond to whatever rate the instructor dials in. Unlike cheaper iPad-based simulation software you might have already experimented with, changing one parameter on iSimulate immediately results in the other waveforms matching the same rate. No more EKG rates of 145 while the pulse ox pleth continues to march along at 80/minute.

When CPR is initiated, the ECG changes to a CPR induced electrical pattern. Click on the video for a short demonstration of the iSimulate capabilities.

For training centers teaching fetal heart rate monitoring, the CTGi simulator is the very first complete fetal heart rate monitor simulator on the market, and it works with same intuitive interface found on the ALSi simulator.

Now that iSimulate has set up shop in the United States, you can request a 30-day trial (if you already own the required two iPads) or contact iSimulate for pricing and availability. columnist Mike McEvoy, is the EMS coordinator for Saratoga County and the EMS director on the Board of the New York State Association of Fire Chiefs. Mike is the Fire-EMS technical editor for Fire Engineering magazine and has authored numerous publications including the book, “Straight Talk About Stress for Emergency Responders.”