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UC Davis physicians use high-tech virtual system

(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) -- For decades pilots have used flight simulators to hone their skills. Now UC Davis School of Medicine and Medical Center is establishing a Center for Virtual Care to house technology that enhances training for physicians, nurses and other members of the health-care team.

The UC Davis center includes a patient simulation system that allows teams of physicians and nurses to practice advanced interventional procedures, such as the treatment of acute heart attacks and the placement of stents. The system is based on technology long used for flight simulators in the military and aerospace industry.

The centerpiece of the new system at UC Davis is "Simantha™," a simulated patient equipped with patented, tactile force-feel technology that allows for distinct and unique experiences for each physician based on individual response time, actions and decisions. The realistic clinical environment allows users to "feel" lesions in blood vessels and to hear patient comments during the procedure. These and other visual and tactile elements contribute to holding the physician's attention, challenging his or her expertise, and enhancing the opportunity for learning.

"Simulation systems allow health-care providers to practice procedures, new devices and rare cases in real time in a risk-free environment," said Reginald Low, chief of cardiovascular medicine at UC Davis. "Students, residents, fellows, and experienced physicians at UC Davis and at hospitals throughout the Northern California region will benefit from the technology, which has a realistic feel and simulates clinical practice."

Low has more than 20 years of experience as a practicing cardiologist and a clinical investigator. Recognized for his ability to incorporate leading-edge technology with the highest quality of patient care, he is at the forefront of bringing new minimally-invasive techniques for diagnosing and treating coronary artery disease and other di
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Contact: Carole Gan
cfgan@ucdavis.edu
916-734-9040
University of California, Davis - Health System
16-Jul-2003


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