Hardware & Add-ons
High-End Technology for AV Simulations
Professional AV technology requires - especially in the field of simulation - a perfect interplay of many different parameters:
- perfect optics and acoustics,
- recording & transmission,
- flexible network structures,
- complex functionality &
- intuitive usability.
New AV technology must also be able to be integrated into already existing technical and systemic structures. And last but not least, technology must be understandable and, above all, applicable for the users.
For all these reasons, we are uncompromisingly committed to state-of-the-art in the selection, knowledge and use of technical components.
SIMStation Hardware Components
Solutions must be as versatile as the demands placed on them. That is why we use a modular principle for our product lines. This means that all SIMStation components are fully compatible especially with existing SIMStation solutions in order to be able to individualize and/or expand the actual solution as a combination of existing components - depending on the requirements and objectives of the users.
The following list provides an initial overview of the hardware components used as standard in SIMStation. The actual composition, however, usually only results from a consultation that defines in a first step the purpose, objectives and conditions of the desired simulation facility.
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Hardware Components in Detail
- Cameras of any shape and type
Due to the high quality and compatibility, SIMStation only uses cameras from AXIS in its systems. The choice of the respective cameras depends on the intended aim and room situation of the customer and thus can be flexibly coordinated. In practice, PTZ (pan-tilt-zoom) IP-Cameras are usually used, which can be controlled conveniently by the SIMStation software. In the usual equipment, these PTZ IP-Cameras are usually supplemented by wide-angle cameras (in small rooms), mobile cameras or special cameras fixed at eye level.
- Video Capturing Devices
These devices are strategically placed at all points where video signals from patient monitors and other imaging devices are to be transmitted and simultaneously recorded by the system.
- Room Microphones
The room microphones can easily be tuned to the intended aim and the room characteristics. Depending on the size, shape and acoustic conditions of the room, omni-directional room microphones or directional microphones are used.
- Radio Microphones
Due to background noise cancelling technology, permanently installed room microphones are usually adequate in conventional simulation scenarios. For larger settings with acoustically difficult conditions (reverberation, background noise, etc.) - such as open spaces, training halls, team training sessions (think of many participants speaking at the same time) - it is recommended as an optional extension to equip the participants with additional wireless microphones.
- In-Ear Radio Systems
In-ear radio systems have proven to be an essential component for successful simulation installations. Nevertheless, they are often forgotten during planning. In-ear radio systems allow direct connection to other simulation participants (co-instructors, training participants, "standardized patients") in the form of "Audio to Private" and thus often provide a versatile, often indispensable communication option in simulation scenarios.
- Audio to Room/Audio of Patient
Ceiling loudspeakers are installed as standard in all simulation and examination rooms (optionally also in the corridor). These loudspeakers, known as "Audio to Room"-loudspeakers (A2R), primarily perform the announcement function. They are optionally supplemented by the "Audio of Patient"-loudspeakers (AoP). In contrast to conventional hi-fi simulation systems from other manufacturers, SIMStation's AoP-loudspeakers are considerably more powerful and at the same time can be recorded directly from the AV system. In this way, AoP-loudspeakers - placed close to the simulated patient's head - are an enriching addition to simulation scenarios.
Push to Talk Microphones
The various acoustic functions (Audio of Room, Audio of Patient, Audio-to-Private) are controlled by "push-to-talk" microphones installed in the control room. On the other end of the communication channel the microphones function as a functionally complementary to the various loudspeakers in use.
VoIP Phone Sets
With the VoIP-Phone-Set (=Voice over IP) telephone calls can be simulated in the simulation room. If desired, the phones can also be equipped with a hands-free function. The calls are recognized by the system, which allows the relevant audio signals to be integrated into the system and thus into the recordings of the simulation training.
All video and audio functions are controlled via the SIMStation Software. This includes the general control of all channels: the display and recording of the cameras, the control of the various loudspeakers & microphones, as well as the transmission and recording volume of all audio channels. Since the software includes all of these functions, no additional hardware devices (such as video or audio matrix or mixer) are required in the control room
- Media Screens
The systematic use of media screens is a unique selling point of SIMStation, which has proven to be practical, user-friendly and almost indispensable in simulation practice. With this useful tool, specific data formats (documents, images or videos) can be transmitted directly from the control room to the training participants. The scenario can thus be quickly and easily expanded - by including parameters such as X-ray images, blood findings or ultrasound images.
- Exam Room Screens
The Exam Room Screens are media screens especially enhanced for the exam situation. With these screens, media relevant to the exam an/or patient records can be called up by the participants and also certain additional information - depending on the sequence defined in advance - is displayed automatically to the participants.
- Entrance Screens
The Entrance Screen is a practical extension for special examination rooms (e.g. OSCEs). Mounted outside the examination room, directly next to the door, the Entrance Screen provides a lot of valuable information for the examination candidates in advance. This information – e.g. room occupancy, patient data, etc. (Clinical Vignette) - is automatically displayed to the candidates, right at the required time.
In addition, the Entrance Screen can easily be supplemented with a QR or NFC scanner. This makes it possible to implement a simple and traceable candidate registration: crucial especially if the assessment has to take place retrospectively. The digital registration thus supports also an automated assignment of archived video material with the candidate data.
SIMStation Control PC
In the control room, we recommend using a SIMStation Control PC with 2 monitors for all SIMStation Enterprise systems. Although the software is also perfectly compatible with a single-monitor system, our new user interface from Q3/2021 allows a useful splitting of the view. The resulting separate placement of the camera images on one screen and the controls on a second screen significantly increases the overview. The user comfort and the handling of the already easy-to-use software will thus be improved even more.
SIMStation Debriefing PC
The standard equipment of the SIMStation Enterprise includes a SIMStation Debriefing PC located in the debriefing room. The SIMStation Debriefing PC is connected to a projector or large-screen TV and to suitable room loudspeakers to enable clear transmission and presentation of the simulation scenario. Experience has shown that it is advisable to equip the debriefing room also with a camera and microphones. The recording of the trainer activities and/or the interaction of trainers and participants during the debriefing enriches the evaluation possibilities of the simulation to the extent that they support specific "train-the-trainer" activities in separate training courses.
- SIMStation Remote Tablets
The SIMStation Remote Tablet serves as a mobile control and input supplement for all SIMStation systems and is characterized by its multifunctional use. During debriefing it can be used both as an instructor assistant and as an intelligent "remote control". Likewise, during simulations and exams, they enable easy bookmarking, the making of annotations, and the completion of exam checklists. As a functional addition, the SIMStation Remote Tablet thus takes on the role of a versatile all-round device.
To ensure the functionality of the mobile SIMStation Remote Tablets in all rooms, a central WLAN network is provided as standard in all SIMStation installations.