Introduction and Motivation:
With COVID-19 cases rising rapidly again, it is unlikely that students will be in clinicals and simulation labs as often, if at all, in the upcoming spring semester. Remote learning has become the norm for many colleges and universities, and nursing schools are no different. With this in mind, we thought it was an appropriate time to introduce our newest addition to the InSight Platform: InSight LITE.
While development of the InSight Platform for physical, in-person training has been Lumis’s focus for years, development of InSight LITE, a limitless, individual training experience online, was planned to start in 2021. The COVID-19 pandemic motivated Lumis to expedite development efforts of the LITE platform and began in the summer of 2020. “In March 2020, our customers went almost entirely remote with all of their classes, and our pilot research studies utilizing the in-persion version of the InSight Platform halted as almost all colleges and universities across the country went remote. As the spring term ended and the summer term began, we realized that our customers needed other solutions to support training as they remained remote or hybrid-remote. We wanted to still provide value to our customers so we invested resources to expedite development of InSight LITE to meet their needs. We pivoted to take the learning modules that we were creating in the physical, in-person platform and ported them over to a web-based version-- InSight LITE--which was not a trivial task!” says Lumis CEO, Doug Nelson.
Features and Feedback:
InSight LITE boasts many of the same benefits as the in-person version, but carries out education differently. “The students still get the benefits of our technology – seeing the physiology, accessing learning modules, and interacting with a simulated patient – only now they can interact with it from their dorm room, apartment, home, or really anywhere they have internet access. It is a living platform; we make adjustments and add modules based on the requirements of the schools and feedback from the instructors and students,” says Alexandra Gales, Software Developer. She continues, “InSight LITE allows users to interact with a simulated patient, hear sounds necessary for the patient assessment, go through automated learning modules, and be quizzed to measure their understanding. There is an option of hearing the instructions in addition to reading them, which broadens the accessibility of the LITE platform.”
While portability is a useful feature of the in-person InSight Platform, InSight LITE takes this to a new level, as students can carry the software in their backpack, using a laptop or tablet. John O’Donnell, Chair of the Department of Nurse Anesthesia at the University of Pittsburgh and Director of Curriculum and Customer Engagement at Lumis discussed the portability of Lumis’ products: “Whether using the physical, in-person InSight Platform or the new LITE platform, you can go work on this on your own, which I think a lot of students want. They want the ability to practice and practice, receive instruction and immediate feedback, and then get meaningful feedback from instructors later based upon their performance online.”
There are often many constraints that nursing schools struggle with that make it difficult for a simulation lab to be open for students to use at any time. “The question that always comes up [from students] is can I come back and practice on my own? And that's a really hard thing for us to deal with,” explains Joseph Goode, Associate Professor of Nurse Anesthesia at the University of Pittsburgh. “Simulation is very powerful at imprinting practice patterns. The conundrum for faculty has been, do you open the lab up and let them practice? Because if they're on their own, they may be practicing inappropriately and then they may be imprinting inappropriate processes and techniques. And then on the flip side, it's really hard to have faculty or even TA’s available for students to practice all the time. It's expensive to provide access to buildings. There's liability involved, those sorts of things.” Both the in-person version of the InSight Platform and InSight LITE can ease these burdens for programs by providing real-time feedback and assessment of performance and learning.
When asked about the benefits of the LITE platform, Software Development Intern Ryan Torbic shared that as a student, he often bounces from the library, to outside, to his room to study. No matter where the student prefers to learn, they will have access to the material. “InSight LITE is always there, students can log on at midnight or at 4:00 a.m. or at noon, and they're still going to have the same quality of feedback and still going to get the same learning experience regardless of where they are,” Ryan added. These aspects are important to students, as every student has different preferences when studying--and they most likely aren’t going to be able to go to the simulation lab at odd hours of the day. The features and benefits of the InSight LITE platform, coupled with the in-person InSight Platform, can be useful as nursing schools struggle with resources such as having the time, space, and faculty to accompany students in simulation labs and clinicals. Using the online version of the InSight Platform, students are still able to practice and receive feedback on their own time, without classroom resources or professors to give feedback. “There's a lot of accessibility issues to classroom resources, and making a web-based version of our platform is a great way to address that--especially given the constraints on learning that the pandemic has brought on,” Ryan added.
InSight LITE also offers comprehension tests and quizzes, which benefits nursing instructors and students in that they are able to view their learning performance and see what areas they need help in. “We can measure whether students are learning the materials and improving in their knowledge. This information can be shared with instructors so that their time with students can be focused on the content that students might be having difficulty with--focused, individualized training,” said Doug. “I think this is also a way that we can engage scholarly work and better understand how people are learning with the InSight Platform products. We’ve already demonstrated the capabilities for using the in-person InSight Platform to support scholarly projects for doctoral students and faculty alike.”
The feedback received from Lumis’s early pilot research with the LITE platform is encouraging. “We saw with one of our pilot sites in a limited research study with about 150 students using InSight LITE, students increased their quiz scores by two letter grades after completing our learning modules,” Doug shared. “Programs have been very appreciative of the speed in which we were able to pivot from a physical, in-person system to develop the online version. They are excited about the potential for scalability and efficiency in training and research that both the in-person and online platforms can provide.”
Unique and Flexible:
Lumis is not the only company to offer education solutions in an online format, but the scalability of the InSight Platform from online, remote to physical, in-person instruction is novel. Most healthcare simulation companies either focus on physical, hands-on solutions or online, digital solutions, but the Lumis InSight Platform spans across both use-cases. “We are always hearing from our customers about creative ways in which to use the InSight Platform. One program used it for an in-classroom demonstration, another used it for a live demonstration over Zoom, and we are working with another to implement scenarios that support virtual and in-person demonstrations during Grand Rounds or quality improvement seminars,” says Doug.
Both online and in-person versions of the InSight Platform are great for acclaimed simulation labs as well as schools who have limited budgets or are just beginning to build simulation into their curriculum. Both products allow for flexible instruction and learning experiences, and the InSight Platform can grow as program needs change in time. “A program could get their feet wet by using our LITE platform, and use our in-person InSight Platform itself with maybe some low fidelity simulators that they have, like basic CPR trainers or just plastic manikins, without the expense of a multi-million dollar simulation suite. They could do the training in classrooms, wheeling our mobile InSight Platform in, or they could have their students run through that didactic content remotely, on their own time, using InSight LITE,” says Doug.