Immersion and Lippincott create interactive physical assessment and diagnosis tool with tactile feedback

San Jose 20 January 2003Immersion Medical, a wholly owned subsidiary of Immersion Corporation, and Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins (LWW), a Wolters Kluwer Corporation and publisher of health care information, intend to develop the first-ever interactive physical assessment and diagnosis tool to provide essential tactile feedback.

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An example of the tactile feedback technology underlying the programme is demonstrated in taking the pulse of a virtual patient. The rate, rhythm, and contour of the pulse are accurately replicated through the force feedback mouse, providing a realistic clinical experience for the student, which can lead to development of skills necessary to conduct patient assessment and to determine the correct diagnosis.

"Up until now, interactive learning tools have only provided instruction based on sight and sound that lacked the tactile experience essential to health care professionals for accurate diagnosis of their patient's condition", stated Rich Wohl, Executive Vice-President of Nursing and Health Professions of Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins. "With the addition of Immersion's tactile feedback technology in our product, students will expand their learning experience and enhance their retention of crucial knowledge that they formerly could only gain in clinical activity."

"Students of the various fields of health care are familiar with the term hands of a surgeon", stated Richard Stacey, vice president and general manager of Immersion Medical. "The saying pertains to the exquisite sense of touch necessary to health care professionals for the accurate diagnosis of patients. Students, therefore, stand to gain tremendously by acquiring tactile expertise - the hands of a surgeon - early in their clinical education."

Educational products to be developed through the co-operative endeavour of LWW and Immersion are expected to include stand-alone, multi-media CD-ROM based computer simulations, which will allow students to practise selected physical assessment skills for the following systems:

  • Respiratory
  • Cardiovascular
  • Neurological
  • Musculoskeletal
  • Abdominal/Gastro-intestinal

Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins anticipates publishing the first interactive touch-enabled programme in early 2003. Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins is an international publisher of health care information for physicians, nurses, physician assistants, and other health care professionals and students in print and electronic formats, including textbooks, journals, CD-ROM, and via Intranets and the Internet.

LWW offers a comprehensive line of health science books and new media with hundreds of well-known titles, from reference tools, such as Stedman's Medical Dictionary and Griffith's 5-Minute Clinical Consult, to comprehensive research and educational information for health care specialists and students. LWW also publishes over 275 journals, newsletters and loose-leaf products in speciality fields for physicians, nurses, and other clinicians. More than 150 journals are now also available on-line. LWW features more than 4000 titles in over 100 disciplines, content-based sites, and on-line corporate and customer services.

Immersion Medical designs, manufactures, and markets computer-based medical simulation systems worldwide. The systems integrate proprietary computer software and tactile feedback robotics with new economical, high-powered computers to create highly realistic simulations. The company's three key product lines are the CathSim Vascular Access Simulator, the AccuTouch Endoscopy Simulator, and the AccuTouch Endovascular Simulator.


Leslie Versweyveld

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