HomeGrown Solution: Using Zoom to Enhance Communication and Empathy


Using Zoom to Enhance Communication and Empathy

Submitted By

Wai Yin Vivien Tsang

HomeGrown Solution Number


Identification of the Problem

There are many ways to increase realism in the functionality of the manikins during a simulation, but it is difficult to reflect patient facial expressions using manikins. It is critically important to consider a patient's nonverbal behaviors such as facial expressions during assessments. Many simulations using low to high fidelity do not have access to facial expressions that would allow changes that occur during a simulation to appear for the student in real-time. It becomes a facilitator's role to use different wording or tone of voice to illustrate the situation. Also, during the COVID-19 pandemic, standardized participants were not encouraged to have close contact with learners in some learning encounters.

Unique Idea

Zoom offers a solution. A Zoom meeting that is shared between the facilitator and the simulation room becomes the communication channel. During the simulation, the facilitator can act as the patient, communicating with participants and showing different facial expressions accordingly. This encourages the participants to look for non-verbal cues during care for the patient. This also enhances participants' empathy and communication skills.


  • Enhance participants' empathy
  • Enhance both verbal and non-verbal communication skills
  • Increase realism of simulation


  • Tablet such as an iPad for manikins in the simulation room
  • Tablet or computer for facilitator in the simulation control room
  • Zoom account

Steps to Creating the Solution

  1. Create free Zoom accounts 

  2. Create a meeting between the facilitator and the manikin  

  3. Secure the tablet on the face of manikin  

  4. Start the Zoom meeting on the facilitator's tablet or computer.  

  5. Join the meeting on the manikin’s tablet.  

  6. The facilitator will communicate with participants through facilitator's tablet or computer using both verbal and non-verbal cues  

  7. The participants can communicate with the manikins and assess the facial expression as well.