New SingHealth Duke-NUS simulation facility uses serious games to train healthcare workers

Since its creation in the 1950s, video games have risen to become a big part of pop culture. With technology continuing to grow rapidly with smaller and faster computers, what video game developers are able to create continue to evolve as well. That said, there has always been an ongoing debate as to whether video games are a benefit or harm to society. However, a state of the art healthcare training facility seems to have settled this debate by using games to sharpen and grow the skills of healthcare professional so as to help society more.

The SingHealth Duke-NUS Institute of Medical Simulation (Sims) i3 Hub, located on College Road in Academia, officially opened on the 18th of January 2022. It features a variety of extended-reality solutions – immersive technology that allow the actual and virtual worlds to collide – as well as gaming equipment to aid learning.

One benefit of using such an approach in medical training would be this method’s capacity to mimic tough events in a secure learning environment for learners to practice critical thinking, decision-making, and practical skills. Furthermore, including serious games into teaching expands “the range of healthcare simulation capabilities,” providing more engaging and interactive learning possibilities for healthcare workers, allowing them to take greater ownership of their education.

As of now, the SingHealth Alice Lee Institute of Advanced Nursing has developed a total of 18 of such training games.

One of the games being used for training is known as the Basic Cardiac Life Support game which aims to teach students to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation. The game was developed by SingHealth Alice Lee Institute of Advanced Nursing. It is expected to play as many 5000 professionals within a year. Investing in newer methods of medical training is also more efficient in the long run as the duration required for actual practical training is estimated to reduce by as much as 25 percent. This allows manpower and finances to be saved. These games can also be used to teach skills like how to deal with Septic shocks or even how to properly dispense medications to patients in the pharmacy.

The SingHealth Duke-NUS Institute of Medical Simulation has teamed with game developer Serious Games Asia to establish a one-stop integrated platform that can host serious games for up to 5,000 players at any given time to assist the growth of serious games in healthcare education. The program, dubbed the Healthcare-Training and Assessment Hosting Platform, also collects data from the games into a single location, providing healthcare educators with important insights about learning gaps and sparking new ideas for game development. Allowing for such these to not only be even more efficient but to be able to meet the changing healthcare needs of society.

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