Objectives I set out to investigate how the workings of a complex medical device could be visually represented and documented on paper, and then be translated into computer code to produce an online model.
The device chosen was a SiPAP® Infant Flow Driver (Carefusion, Ca) for providing nasal continuous positive airway pressure (NCPAP) ventilation to premature newborn infants. This device is used worldwide, and implements a touch screen control panel to set alarms and change settings.
Methods Statechart theory was designed in the late 1980s to diagram flight systems. This system was easy to learn and facilitates the conceptualization and illustration of both simple and, with practise, complex processes.
The Model-View-Controller (MVC) design pattern is a software engineering framework that requires the separation of the user interface from the functionality of the system. Using this pattern, the device was mapped by producing not one, but two statecharts – one for the user interface of the device, and the other for my perception of the inner workings.
Adobe Flash (Adobe, Ca) is a computer programme that is commonly used to create interactive multimedia web sites. Using the MVC design pattern I used FLASH to build up the physical ‘View’ of the device, and then coded the ‘View Controller’ and ‘Model’, by using the two statecharts as a map.
Results I discovered that by using statecharts and the MVC design pattern, both the inner workings and the user interface of a complex medical device could be represented and documented, then coded into a highly realistic working online simulator. The next stage is to create and implement a statechart for both training and assessment and finally compare the effectiveness with traditional clinical learning in a trial.
Conclusions Hi-fidelity online simulators of complex medical devices can be produced much more easily by harnessing the power of statechart theory with the flexibility of the Model-View-Controller design pattern.
Additional info The online simulator can be viewed at www.sipap.net.
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