ECG Educational Software for Health Professionals

Period of Performance: 02/01/2002 - 10/30/2002


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Academic Edge, Inc.
Bloomington, IN 47408
Principal Investigator


Electrocardiogram is the most common cardiac examination ordered by physicians. In the past, only persons working in the ECG laboratory were allowed to perform a 12-lead ECG on a patient. Today, however, this task has been delegated to a variety of health professionals, including registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, and even nursing assistants in some health care facilities. There is a need for educational programs that meet the needs of these practitioners while minimizing resource expenditure. This project proposes the design, development, and evaluation of simECG, a multimedia, simulation-based system to train health care professionals in the use and troubleshooting of ECG machines. Phase I will implement the underlying simulation, an introductory section on the physiological processes underlying ECGs, a single simulated case patient for training the user in performing an ECG, and a parallel assessment module. The design and development will be evaluated through three efforts: (1) a subject-matter-expert review, to include quality assurance by a cardiologist, and (2) an end-user focus group review of the product at three stages--initial design, alpha prototype, and beta prototype. The prototype will also be evaluated in (3) a controlled field trial of 100 randomly assigned target users. PROPOSED COMMERCIAL APPLICATION: Targeted commercial applications include sale of the product to universities, hospitals, and other health professional training organizations. The product may also be marketed directly to practitioners for continuing education. Given the rapid growth of the health care training industry as well as the expansion of ECG use to members outside the ECG laboratory, the market for such a training system is quite large. The underlying simulation will lead to work in simulating other medical devices for training thereby opening further markets. Finally, ECG manufacturers will be contacted for phase 3 partnerships for machine-specific support packages.