Medical simulation market to reach $1.9B by 2017

The market for medical simulation products and services is expected to be worth $1.9 billion by 2017, according to a new report from MarketsandMarkets.

These simulators, most often, are used to train students and healthcare practitioners, with the market for mannequin/patient simulators particularly hot, according to an announcement.

Increased focus on medical training, rising healthcare costs, growing focus on patient safety and availability of government funds has helped increase the purchasing power of academic institutions in particular, the largest market segment, the report says. Hospitals and the military are major customer segments as well.

Medical schools and nursing programs increasingly are investing in high-tech simulation centers to hone skills general medical skills and specialty skills such as surgery. Two of the most recent are the nursing programs of the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth and at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College.

The training goes beyond just technical skills, though. New York University School of Medicine, for example, pairs first-year med students and NYU nursing students on care for a virtual patient, and students there are assessed on their ability to work together.

Meanwhile, the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions (SCAI) is calling for expanded use of simulation and standardization in the use of the life-like training technology for both practicing cardiologists and fellows-in-training.

"Interventional cardiology is particularly well-suited for simulation because the procedures are complex, learning curves can be steep, and complications can be life-threatening. While simulation cannot replace real patient experience, it provides a safe arena to develop and refine skills that improves overall patient care," said Sandy M. Green, M.D., an interventional cardiologist at Geisinger Medical Center in Danville, Pa., and lead author of a paper published at Catheterization and Cardiovascular Interventions.

For instance, simulation can help teach low-volume procedures that doctors might encounter only rarely in practice, the SCAI Simulation Committee found in a survey of interventional cardiology programs.

Simulations were just one aspect of the OPENPediatrics platform that Boston Children's Hospital and IBM have developed to provide virtual training worldwide for providers who deal with critically ill children.

To learn more:
- find the announcement
- read about the Dartmouth program
- check out the Gulf Coast center
- here's the SCAI article