Discussion of the development and evaluation of a high-fidelity lactation simulation model published in the open-access and peer-reviewed journal that aims to contribute to understanding breastfeeding as a critical public health issue.
LiquidGoldConcept, Inc., is a social-impact company committed to bringing realistic and comprehensive breast health and lactation education technology for healthcare providers, parents, and students across the globe. Creators of the Lactation Simulation Model (LSM)—the world’s first hands-on, wearable breastfeeding training tool—the team collaborated with the University of Michigan and the Institute for the Advancement of Breastfeeding and Lactation Education to present the development of the LSM and explore how physician residents, nurse-midwifery students, and clinical lactation experts responded to LSM prototypes.
The publication is the culmination of many years of work that validates both the product and the need for high-fidelity simulation in lactation education. It concludes such clinical education is crucial to providing care to pregnant and lactating women by supplementing a learner’s lactation knowledge and psychomotor skills. With support from nurses, midwives, pediatricians, obstetricians, gynecologists, and all interactive healthcare staff who have built confidence in their clinical lactation using a high-fidelity breastfeeding simulator, there is high potential for breastfeeding rates and patient outcomes to improve in the United States.
“The Lactation Simulation Model created by LiquidGoldConcept presents an innovative learning modality that closes a critical gap-in-care, along with other novel services that support comprehensive breast health education for providers and professionals,” remarked Bill Mayer, vice president of entrepreneurial services at Ann Arbor SPARK. “We’re excited to support an entrepreneurial team that is making a significant difference in progressing women’s health, education, and wellness forward.”
While hands-on training is the main method for LSM, the team at LiquidGoldConcept is also paving the way for a telehealth training experience with the development of the Lactation QBank. The Lactation QBank is a blended approach to clinical lactation telehealth that combines virtual simulation and problem-based learning to teach healthcare providers how to support breastfeeding mothers via phone, text, and video. The platform will be an adaptive learning management system that allows users to track their progress, work through dynamic and immersive simulated patient case scenarios, and click through interactive videos.
“There are currently no virtual breastfeeding patient simulators to support online, asynchronous education in breastfeeding management, and most institutions use passive online methods, such as pre-recorded webinars, for teaching hospital staff and outpatient providers,” explained Sam Chuisano, MPH, COO of LiquidGoldConcept. “The Lactation QBank fills this space by providing an active, virtual learning experience. This platform is especially important in light of the COVID-19 outbreak, as many women need yet lack access to clinics where they can get lactation support. Partnering with U-M, UC Davis, board-certified physicians, and dozens of MD and MPH candidates, we’re working continuously to enrich the platform with resources and tools that we hope will be useful to healthcare professionals and parents alike, not only during this time, but beyond.”
LiquidGoldConcept is a breast health and lactation education company based in Ypsilanti, Michigan, with a mission to empower mothers to take control of their breastfeeding experience. It produces realistic breast models and lactation simulators to provide hands-on training to hospital and community health staff, nursing and medical students, and parents around the world. For more information, visit liquidgoldconcept.com or follow LiquidGoldConcept on LinkedIn.