At the AMA Conference on CME Provider/Industry Collaboration last October, attendees got a hands-on demonstration of a system for training doctors to handle difficult patients. Participants watched videos of patients talking to their doctors and then, using an audience response system, rated the patients by degree of difficulty. Physicians can see how their perceptions compare with their peers' and identify their specific training needs.
But a promising new product called Throughlines takes this type of training much further. Launched in January by New York City-based Static & Motion (www.static-motion.com), Throughlines is an interactive video platform that combines a wireless audience response keypad system with a video presentation. Says Nils Huehnergarth, president of Static & Motion, “Video is scripted to set up certain hypothetical situations. At appropriate points the video stops and viewers are asked to vote on their keypads” to determine the direction that the video should take. The answers are automatically tallied after 15 seconds, and the video continues down one of several possible scenarios depending on how the majority voted.
This is exactly the kind of truly interactive tool that can help physicians learn communications skills; in fact, Static & Motion is marketing the product primarily as a custom training tool, especially for topics that involve human interactions, such as diversity issues or sexual harassment.
CME providers could also use the tool to train healthcare professionals in effective teamwork. “Throughlines makes the entire audience think like a team, then tracks how they think both individually and as a group,” says Huehnergarth.
Recognizing its potential, judges at EIBTM, a European incentive and meeting industry exhibition that convened in Geneva in May, selected Throughlines as the subject of the show's third annual World Wide Watch presentation, a keynote by a company deemed to have an innovative product breakthrough significant to the meetings industry.