|MUSC start-up to commercialize training
MUSC’s leadership in medical simulation training will pay off
nationally thanks to a new contract recently approved.
SimTunes LLC, has entered into a contract with Laerdal Medical to
sublicense intellectual property developed at the MUSC Center for
Clinical Effectiveness and Patient Safety, a Center of Economic
Excellence (CoEE) supported by the state and a partnership with Health
Sciences South Carolina (HSSC).
Headquartered in Charleston, SimTunes is a start-up company founded by
John Schaefer, M.D., and Heyward Coleman in 2008 to create and
commercialize innovative simulation educational technology for training
physicians, nurses and other health care professionals.
Schaefer is the Lewis Blackman Patient Safety Endowed Chair in the
Center for Clinical Effectiveness and a member of the MUSC faculty.
Heyward Coleman is a business executive with 30 years experience in
starting and developing new businesses. SimTunes has developed logic
and software to help make medical simulation educational material
available to users.
Through the agreement, SimTunes is granting Laerdal Medical, a global
manufacturer and marketer of medical simulation equipment and medical
training products, the rights to the logic and software that will
enable global distribution of SimTunes-created medical simulation
educational material. In addition, the contract provides for the
subleasing of educational material from SimTunes through a partnership
between Laerdal and HealthStream Inc., a leading provider of learning
and research solutions for the health care industry.
“This arrangement provides a unique opportunity to rapidly make the
educational material developed in South Carolina available worldwide
and can result in a significant improvement in the manner in which
health care professionals are trained. It’s very exciting in terms of
the potential impact on patient care and the state’s economy,” Schaefer
Medical simulation is a rapidly growing field, revolutionizing how
physicians, nurses, and other health care professionals learn to care
for their patients. It involves the use of sophisticated human
simulators controlled by software that simulate specific human
conditions—childbirth, for example—that enable students to learn how to
treat certain conditions. The student’s performance is captured by the
computer, allowing for an objective evaluation of their performance,
and ultimately to health care providers who are better trained.
MUSC is a leader in medical simulation. In 2006, MUSC recruited
Schaefer, a recognized pioneer in the field, to HSSC and CoEE-supported
Center for Clinical Effectiveness and Patient Safety. Since that time,
Schaefer has established a statewide network of medical simulation
centers at MUSC and with HSSC partners—Clemson University, Greenville
Hospital System University Medical Center and the University of South
Carolina, as well as at Greenville Technical College. Palmetto Health
also has a simulation center. Schaefer led in the development of
simulation material used at these centers.
According to MUSC Dean Emeritus Jerry Reves, M.D., the SimTunes-Laerdal
agreement is a major win for MUSC, the CoEE program and for HSSC.
“The Center for Clinical Effectiveness and Patient Safety was
established with funding from the COEE program and HSSC with the goal
of creating technology that would create economic opportunities and
improve public health,” he said.
“The creation of the start-up company SimTunes and licensing of its
products for the world marketplace demonstrates that CoEE works as a
stimulator of economic development. South Carolina is now a national
model in medical education and training, which means better, safer care
Friday, Aug. 6, 2010