A Reflection on the AAMI/FDA Summit on Ventilator Technology

At the AAMI/FDA Summit on Ventilator Technology, great strides were made towards achieving a consensus on tasks to advance the safety of patients on mechanical ventilation.
Dr.-Ing Stefan Frembgen, President, IngMar Medical
Dr.-Ing Stefan Frembgen, President, IngMar Medical

As a leading advocate for the use of simulation in respiratory care, we are inspired by its strong endorsement by speakers at the conference. We identify three distinct areas where a widespread use of high fidelity respiratory simulation can be extremely beneficial.

For one, training in the use of ventilators can be greatly enhanced by the use of simulation in a clinically relevant setting. However, effective and efficient training beyond learning “knobology” will require the cooperation and consensus of the subject matter experts. One of the “actionable items” of the conference summary was to identify the 10 most relevant proficiencies for mechanical ventilation. If this were accomplished, we could make these items high priority learning objectives in our simulation curriculum modules.

Similarly, in the effort to improve user interface design and usability, simulation can play a vital role, as was underscored by both manufacturers and clinicians at the conference. Here again, a consensus on a battery of tasks and challenges to be molded into scenarios is of critical importance.

Lastly, the development and study of autonomous ventilation modes will benefit from rigorous bench testing faithfully emulating patient responses that the ventilator should be expected to manage autonomously. Studies and research identifying which patient conditions and transitions need to be included in evaluations of algorithms would give developers critical feedback before advancing to testing on actual patients. We invite your comments and suggestions and look forward to working together with you to accomplish the goals laid out before us last week.