I-Stan, a medical practice dummy that physiologically responds to medical treatment, was introduced in Madison during a training session at the Madison Fire Department Administrative Building Friday.
MFD spokesperson Lori Wirth said the learning tool was manufactured by the Medical Education Development, Inc. and has been implemented in medical practices throughout the world.
Adam Reading, clinical educator for MEDI, said the I-Stan is being utilized on every continent except for Antarctica.
The tool has already had Hollywood exposure on television shows such as, “Scrubs” and “Grey’s Anatomy,” according to Reading.
Jim Keiken, assistant fire chief of the MFD, said if implemented, I-Stan will benefit medical professionals, medical students and patients.
Keiken said I-Stan can be physiologically programmed to become any person, whether it is an unhealthy elder or a physically fit young man. When practicing a medical procedure, I-Stan allows professionals and students to learn the best way to treat people with any type of medical condition just by programming the machine.
Additionally, Keiken said the I-Stan is “as realistic as a real person.” Not only does the I-Stan physically look like a real person, it also changes blood pressure, makes sounds and has a pulse. The machine can also bleed, cry and drool.
Although the project was brought to the MFD by Darren Bean, the department’s former medical director, the I-Stan’s introduction was postponed after Bean’s death in a MedFlight crash in May 2008, according to Wirth.
“Learning was everything to him,” Wirth said.
She added Bean was an educator who wanted to implement the I-Stan to help trained professionals become more comfortable performing medical tasks under high-pressure situations.
Connected wirelessly to a computer program, I-Stan can be monitored during the procedure by others through the computer, Keiken said.
According to Reading, users can immediately see both positive and negative effects on the dummy.
The I-Stan is portable, which allows its users to transfer the machine to different environments, according to Keiken. He added the I-Stan is taken to environments where dogs could be barking or loud music is playing so professionals can train to focus and react during inopportune circumstances.
“It can be simulated with different environments,” Keiken said.
According to Reading, the standard model can cost slightly less than $100,000, though other models can cost nearly $250,000.
“You can’t put a price tag on it,” Reading said, indicating the benefits outweigh the price.
Wirth agreed it is impossible to put a price tag on an individual’s life, adding there is approximately a 93 to 95 percent survival rate with the use of the I-Stan.
Keiken said instructor training in Madison has just begun and will last from four to six weeks, adding the time will allow professionals to “improve their teaching techniques.”