MUSC spin-off company commercializes simulation education

Heather Woolwine

March 4, 2011

MUSC spin-off company commercializes simulation education

SimTunes, via SimStore, offers premiere material to educate health care providers

CHARLESTON -- SimTunes, a Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) spin-off company, has announced that it will offer patient simulation educational material developed at MUSC's Health Care Simulation of South Carolina (HCSSC) worldwide beginning April 2011 through SimStore on the Internet. For patients worldwide, this development marks the advance of better, standardized simulation technology training for more of those individuals who provide their care, which will result in a better trained and prepared health care workforce. Training through patient simulation is thought to reduce medical errors and improve patient safety overall, similar to the effects of its use in other industries, such as commercial aviation.

"What I really like about this project is that licensing simulation learning systems serves our main missions of improving patient safety and the education of healthcare students while generating resources and jobs in South Carolina to allow us to continue our mission. I am thankful for the vision & support of the leadership in the Health Sciences South Carolina (HSSC) and SC legislature in supporting the endowed chairs program," said Dr. John J. Schaefer, holder of the Lewis Blackman Endowed Chair at HSSC and MUSC.

"Today's announcement is a most extraordinary example of the Medical University of South Carolina's research activity creating a health sciences company that will deliver groundbreaking, life enhancing services to the world," said Charleston Mayor Joseph P. Riley, Jr.

SimStore ( sell a wide range of medical simulation educational material and was established by SimVentures, a joint venture between HealthStream, Inc. (NASDAQ: HSTM), a leading provider of learning and research solutions for the healthcare industry, and Laerdal Medical ("Laerdal"), the world's leading provider of resuscitation education products and patient simulators.

With scenarios and other content already created by HCSSC and other leading educators from around the world, SimStore will serve as a hub of quality educational content for multiple healthcare disciplines. SimStore will offer for purchase more than 1,000 scenarios-with thousands more to follow-from some of the world's leading healthcare organizations and associations that together form a leading developer network. The initial network of developers, which will expand over time, includes not only HCSSC, but organizations and centers such as the National League for Nursing, American Academy of Pediatrics, WISER at University of Pittsburgh, and Gordon Center at University of Miami (USA); Oxford Brookes University and SAFER Simulation Center (Europe); Edith Cowan University (Australia); and many more.

Academic medical institutions who use simulation education will benefit from access to scenarios that are standardized to equalize training, include all the instruction material needed for the simulation teacher, include extensive debriefing sections that enable researchers to study simulation training effectiveness, and no longer needing a full-time simulation specialist for all training because individual educators can easily master the content to pass onto students.

SimTunes contributed to the early development of SimStore through its sale to them of its electronic storefront designed to facilitate the sale of simulation curricula and scenarios through the Internet. SimTunes also has entered into a contract to provide SimStore with various types of simulation educational products. By April 1, SimTunes expects to have more than 300 simulation scenarios available for sale through SimStore.

"SimStore is going to be very effective in distributing educational material developed at HCSSC to centers that employ patient simulators around the world. HealthStream, the leader of on-line education to hospitals in the United States, and Laerdal, the largest producer of patient simulators worldwide, are the ideal partners to make SimStore a dominant factor in the field of educational material for the simulation industry" said Heyward Coleman, President of SimTunes. "This is truly an industry-changing event."

About MUSC

Founded in 1824 in Charleston, The Medical University of South Carolina is the oldest medical school in the South. Today, MUSC continues the tradition of excellence in education, research, and patient care. MUSC educates and trains more than 3,000 students and residents, and has nearly 11,000 employees, including 1,500 faculty members. As the largest non-federal employer in Charleston, the university and its affiliates have collective annual budgets in excess of $1.7 billion. MUSC operates a 750-bed medical center, which includes a nationally recognized Children's Hospital, the Ashley River Tower (cardiovascular, digestive disease, and surgical oncology), and a leading Institute of Psychiatry. For more information on academic information or clinical services, visit or