Revolutionizing Remote Healthcare Training by Leveraging the Cloud and Digital Twins

March 29, 2022  |  Brian Cann, Regional Director, Eastern Canada, Microsoft

The Canadian healthcare system had to be creative and resilient to meet the population’s needs during the global pandemic over the past two years. The system overload shook Quebec and many parts of the world given the labour shortage and the exhaustion of healthcare workers on the front lines. Despite that, at every stage of the pandemic, data and digital technology solutions made the impossible possible and transformed entire industries almost overnight.

Future generations will benefit from the healthcare industry’s accelerated digital transformation and the adoption of long-term structural changes that include greater use of mixed reality, AI, Internet of Things (IOT), and data analytics. The health crisis was an effective catalyst for accelerating change and a powerful driver for innovation in the healthcare sector that will have lasting effects. That’s what made adoption of CAE Healthcare’s new technology so fast and effective.

Some of the best changes happen when we make space for innovation, and we’ve seen amazing examples across the country at every stage of the pandemic. This is the case for CAE Healthcare, an industry-leading training company supplying healthcare professionals with educational tools that help them provide high-quality patient care with minimal risk. Its comprehensive suite of simulation solutions includes intervention and ultrasound simulations, audiovisual solutions, and learning applications that provide custom training solutions for hospitals, medical schools, emergency response teams, and nursing, respiratory, and paramedic programs.

The Omicron variant put the population on full alert at the end of 2021. To tackle this highly contagious variant, the Government of Québec and the Public Health department had to step up their efforts to deal with skyrocketing hospitalizations and a lack of available hospital beds. Despite it all, the lack of a skilled workforce to administer care remained a major problem.

Our partnership with Microsoft made it possible for us to use Azure IOT technology to digitalize our training offer and make it more accessible to train healthcare professionals quickly and remotely. It also let us address the skilled labour shortage,” said Erick Fortin, Director of Engineering and Innovation at CAE Healthcare. “It’s thanks to the partnership with Microsoft that CAE Maestro became CAE Maestro Evolve. The idea is to use this immersive solution to bring all stakeholders together in the same virtual training through our patient simulators and help with quick decision-making."

The CAE Maestro Evolve platform, an innovation from the Quebec-based company, promises to make remote learning even more realistic and accessible. In fact, this interactive online learning platform offers countless possibilities for developing trainings and creating innovative content and pre-programmed scenarios. In practice, CAE Maestro Evolve simulates clinical experiences using a digital patient. Learners get to take their patient’s pulse, perform defibrillation, connect their patient to monitors and much more. Adding virtual reality also allows for a deeper immersion in the simulation and opens the door to a whole host of possibilities. Maestro Evolve makes remote learning more affordable and accessible, which should improve training for healthcare professionals and, ultimately, patient outcomes.

This technology made it possible to continue training health professionals during the pandemic. No less than 80% of CAE Maestro Evolve products are currently being used in the education segment of the healthcare market, primarily in nursing schools and universities. Hospitals, qualified institutions and distributors account for the remaining 20% of users. This shows that the adoption of digital products is happening faster in the academic field, which prepares students for the future of medicine. In a potential future crisis, healthcare professionals will be able to use this technology for their training needs, so that the government can focus on allocating valuable resources to various departments in the healthcare system.

We’re proud to be part of these innovative solutions and partnerships by coming together to serve a common cause: making sure that everyone has access to personalized and high-quality healthcare. 

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