• #34 - Next Generation of Medical Training • MedicalExpo e-Magazine
    March 15, 2018

    The e-Magazine About Medical Innovation


    AR and VR to Enhance Training

    Learning the Sim Way

    Dream Devices

    The Next Generation Training

    Dear Readers,


    In this issue, you’ll read about how integrating augmented and virtual reality into medical training can be tremendously helpful for trainees. With healthcare training becoming increasingly high-tech, medical simulation centers are the new classrooms of the 21st century.


    Smart bed, smart pad, smart pillow, smart headband… The “sleep tech” market is booming. In this edition, we also go over the burgeoning range of ever-smarter devices that is now available to help users manage their levels of “vitamin Z.” And to keep you up-to-date on the latest industry trends, we’re giving you a taste of what happened at the recent HIMSS conference in Las Vegas and the ECR congress in Vienna.


    Happy reading!


    Celia Sampol, Editor-in-Chief

    Fullpage ARJO
    Hot Topic
    When you integrate VR and AR technology, the trainee gains so many more dimensions of assistance and instruction.
    HeartiSense relays how a trainee is performing to a smartphone app. (Courtesy of I.M.LAB)


    Integrating virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) into medical training means trainees can practice procedures over and over again and achieve a superior surgical outcome.   In medical training, certain practices become so familiar it’s hard to imagine an alternative. A cadaver on a slab that students study...

    Read More
    Hot Topic
    Persistence Market Research is valuing the global sleep aid market at $31 billion by 2025.
    The Dreem headband (Courtesy of Dreem)


    The “sleep tech” market is booming. A growing array of gadgetry targets sleep-conscious consumers.


    Most of us understand the importance of a good night’s sleep. Yet in today’s constantly connected world, filled with demands, deadlines, and drama, getting enough pillow time can be a real challenge. It is therefore not surprising that the so-called “sleep tech” market is booming. With New York-based research outfit Persistence Market Research valuing the global sleep aid market at $31 billion by 2025, a burgeoning range of ever-smarter devices is now available to help users manage their levels of “vitamin Z”.

    With subtle differences between our varying sleep stages, accurately tracking sleep is no easy task. Yet personal sleep devices now go way beyond a smartphone equipped with an app and accelerometer.

    Smart Slumber

    Nokia has just unveiled Nokia Sleep, described as an “advanced sensor” incorporated into a smart pad. The pad, which connects via Wi-Fi, is inserted  under the mattress and records the user’s sleep patterns. This data is then relayed to Nokia’s Health Mate app for analysis and the generation of a so-called “sleep score”. With the sensor’s algorithms trained on clinical data from polysomnography tests, it can also track snoring patterns.

    Nokia Sleep is an “advanced sensor” incorporated into a smart pad. (Courtesy of Nokia)

    One of the most useful features of Nokia Sleep is that it also integrates with the automation app IFTTT, allowing other connected domestic devices to be customized to the user’s sleeping habits. “The system can be configured so that lights dim and the room temperature lowers once the user falls asleep, or the blinds open on waking,” said Audrey Rampazzo, UK brand and channel marketing specialist at Nokia Health.

    “The system can be configured so that lights dim and the room temperature lowers once the user falls asleep.”

    Mattress pads might seem like a more comfortable way to monitor sleep than wristbands, but critics point out that restless sleepers could receive inaccurate data if they lose contact with the pad during the night. Placed under the side of the mattress at chest level, the Nokia Sleep can supposedly distinguish the user’s movements and vital signs from anyone else sharing the bed.

    Those who don’t want to use bracelets or pads to keep tabs on their snoozing can choose from a plethora of other options. The iX21 smartpillow from German company ADVANSA incorporates sensors which monitor the user’s sleep cycles.

    “Sensor data is sent to a smartphone app which then offers ‘personalised coaching’ on how to improve sleep quality,” said Etienne Fradin-Beaugerie, a technical leader overseeing the iX21 Smart pillow project. “An intelligent wake-up system also rouses the user at the best possible time within their sleep cycle.”

    Levels of “Vitamin Z”

    A growing range of sleep tech now boasts active sleep management as well as passive monitoring. Sleep Number’s 360 smart bed, which is equipped with an array of pressure sensors, adapts to the user’s every move, automatically modifying the contours and firmness of the bed during the night, while an adjustable base inclines the head upwards if snoring is detected. There are automated foot warmers and under-bed lights, while each night over 4 million biometric data points are sent to an app for analysis.

    Sleep Number’s 360 smart bed is equipped with an array of pressure sensors. (Courtesy of Sleep Number)

    “In the near future we envision that such analysis will allow the identification of flu and other diseases, and enable remote medical monitoring outside of hospitals,” explained Pete Bils, Sleep Number’s Vice President of Sleep Science and Research.

    Studies suggest that deep (or slow wave) sleep plays a key role in determining how alert and focused the human brain is. The SmartSleep headband from Philips uses two sensors to detect periods of deep sleep, then plays fixed frequency tones to extend their duration.

    “We use advanced algorithms, developed with leading sleep experts and neurologists, to generate these audio tones,” said John Frank, CEO of Philips Sleep and Respiratory Care. “In trials 70 percent of chronically sleep-deprived users who tried SmartSleep for just two weeks reported feeling less tired during the day.”

    The Dreem headband emits subtle sounds into the user’s inner ear to boost deep sleep. (Courtesy of Dreem)

    The Philips device will be competing with the Dreem headband from San Francisco-based startup Rythm, which uses electroencephalography electrodes and an in-built computer to monitor and analyze brain activity. The device then emits subtle, precise sounds directly into the user’s inner ear to boost deep sleep. The company claims that Dreem can enhance deep sleep quality by 32% and leave users feeling 88% more rested and alert when they wake up.

    A Rest Revolution

    The influence of smart gadgetry on human sleep is likely to continue its upward trend. Many experts predict that advances in artificial intelligence, technology, biology and neurology will one day enable us to “sleep hack”, enhancing our rest time to boost wellbeing and productivity. And as the role of such digital devices increases, so sleep will become an increasingly personal, micro-managed affair.


    Banner STERYLAB
    Hot Topic
    Simulation is the way forward. It decreases learning curves, improves patient safety and allows trainees to ask questions and learn from mistakes.
    Medical simulation centers are the classrooms of the 21st century. (Courtesy of Robert Benson)


    Healthcare training is becoming increasingly high-tech and medical simulation centers are the classrooms of the 21st century.   Cutting-edge technology is not only leading to ground-breaking advances in medical research and treatment, it is also improving training techniques. High-fidelity, computerized “manikins”...

    Read More


    Brian Beary

    Brian Beary is an independent writer, journalist, and editor based in Washington DC. He writes for, and appears on, a diverse range of print and audiovisual media outlets.

    Read More

    Monica Hutchings

    Monica Hutchings is a Canadian writer and translator who has worked on everything from technical descriptions to academic journals. She is also our in-house English translator.

    Read More

    Sole Møller

    Sole Møller is a Danish freelance journalist based in San Fransisco. He writes about new technologies and contributes to several publications.

    Read More

    Chris McCullough

    Chris McCullough is a freelance multimedia journalist with 15 years of experience, based in Northern Ireland. He has won various awards for his photos and journalism.

    Read More

    Abigail Saltmarsh

    Abigail Saltmarsh is a freelance journalist with 25 years’ experience for national magazines (The New York Times, International Herald Tribune).

    Read More

    Hermine Donceel

    Hermine Donceel is a Brussels-based freelance journalist. She has lived in Southeast Asia for ten years, and has covered public health and environment, nutrition and climate change.

    Read More

    Daniel Allen

    Daniel Allen is a writer and a photographer. His work has been featured in numerous publications, including CNN, BBC, The Sunday Times, The Guardian, National Geographic Traveller, Discovery Channel.

    Read More

    Celia Sampol

    Celia Sampol has been a journalist for 15 years. She worked in Brussels and Washington for national medias (Agence France Presse, Liberation). She’s now the editor-in-chief of MedicalExpo e-magazine.

    Read More

    Style Switcher

    Highlight Color:




    You can also set your own colors or background from the Admin Panel.