Group Editor Marty Kauchak provides insights of his recent discussion with Inbal Mazor, Simbionix’s vice president of global marketing.

This October MEdSim had an opportunity to speak with Simbionix’s Inbal Mazor in an ideal environment – away from the frenetic exhibition floor of a major community conference. In a brief, wide-ranging discussion, the industry veteran provided insights about developments across her company’s portfolio.

Simbionix’s PELVIC Mentor advanced simulator allows OB/GYNs, medical students and nurses to obtain detailed knowledge of pelvic anatomy and to acquire the comprehensive skills required to perform pelvic exams. The technology underpinnings for this device are new, Mazor said. “Until now most pelvic exams were conducted on a mannequin. What we are doing now is incorporating our innovative technologies with special sensors and special mannequins to provide hands-on training exams. This will be a nice solution for physicians and nurses to learn tactile skills and develop muscle memory competencies – using their fingers, let’s say.” The device’s special sensors fitted on the operator’s fingers will further be correlated and synchronized with the accompanying screen presentation.

The new device will be unveiled for the community at this November’s AAGL 2013 in Washington, DC and again at the January 2014 IMSH in San Francisco.

Following this year’s introduction of the U/S Mentor high-end medical simulator for the training of ultrasound-related examinations and interventions, Simbionix plans to offer a follow-on product, the TEE Ultrasound simulator. With the new product, the learning audience will be able to better learn and enhance their skills with enhanced 3-D anatomical representations and other system capabilities. “This is the perfect educational tool to enhance orientation, anatomical knowledge and understand the change of the image with the ultrasound,” Mazor pointed out.

Mazor further noted the U/S Mentor’s operational effectiveness is based, in part, on state-of-the art sensors. That statement generated this observation from MEdSim: the company appears to be focused on refining and improving its tracking technologies for use in many training devices. Mazor, responded, “Yes, with each product we’re trying to find the best, cost-effective sensor and the right haptic system to provide a specific feeling that is unique for a specific procedure.”

A prototype TEE Ultrasound simulator was scheduled to be introduced to the community at this coming ACEP Seattle, Washington. Simbionix had expectations to obtain end-user comments and other inputs from the conference delegates about the new product.

Simbionix is also addressing several other themes that are becoming increasingly important in MEdSim’s editorial program: team training and return on investment.

Mazor pointed out the company’s ANGIO Mentor suite is among its innovative virtual reality training simulators that were designed to provide hands-on practice for teams in a simulated environment – in this instance, for endovascular procedures.

“This is a mannequin-based system on an adjustable table. The accompanying monitors and other material allow the attending physicians and others on the team to walk around the mannequin to monitor the drugs, develop their communication skills and other competencies, and train authentic endovascular procedures and scenarios in a simulated cath lab or angio suite. This is new, ideal team training for the endovascular field,” Mazor said.

The ANGIO Mentor will be unveiled for the community at TCT 2013 in San Francisco this October and again at the 2014 IMSH.

Simbionix is also refining its MentorLearn on-line, Learning Management System (LMS) to help its customers gain efficiencies. Mazor was asked how this MentorLearn offering differs from legacy systems in community simulation centers. She responded, “This is a dedicated LMS to manage simulation systems. For example, a simulation center can use the MentorLearn to minimize the time on the course and system itself. It allows the learner to prepare themselves at their desks – learning the didactical material, reviewing reports and other content. So we save time, making learning much more efficient,” Mazor concluded.