Auscultation is a basic, but very important skill in the toolbox of every doctor, nurse or paramedic, that needs to be practiced frequently.
However, the possibilities for training, especially for novices during education, are limited. Students and teachers often need to deal with decades old equipment that is very expensive and highly inflexible when it comes to adjusting it to the users’ needs and routines.
Together with Laerdal Medical I’ve been looking into how auscultation education can be made more accessible to students and allow for more self directed and repeatable training.
With my project titled “augmented auscultation simulation”, I wanted to create an example as to how designing for a situation like this can be approached, leveraging modern technology and closely investigating users’ real needs and pain points.
The result is “AVA”, an auscultation skill training app, aimed to fill the gaps in today’s education system. It can be integrated into current curricula, enabling independent training. This allows students and teachers to spread the workload out across the semester, which is proven to promote long-term memory.
With AVA, the student has access to simulation based training through a virtual, customizable augmented reality "patient", whenever and wherever they like. In contrast to previous physical solutions, students can now experience in real-time the impact on sound characteristics by changing parameters like the bodytype, sex and age as well as adding the simulated patients’ medical history.
In addition to that, the student can enable a variety of extra feedback, like landmarks, organs or other helpful tools, creating a deeper connection between sounds and visuals.
Through a variety of integrated exercises, the training can be scaled from individual to larger group sizes, allowing for remote teaching, on demand learning and a more immersive simulation experience and giving students the opportunity to adapt their learning hours to their individual routines, without having to worry about availability and enjoy customizable experiences on demand.