The INSPIRE Network

Despite the growing use of ultrasound, there have been no published guidelines specific to pediatric emergency medicine.  R Baby is investing in this important medical diagnostic tool through a grant with the INSPIRE Network-New York Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital, led by Dr. David Kessler. 

Ultrasound in ER care for children

  • can be done quickly at bedside to expedite clinical decision-making.
  • reduces healthcare costs by reducing the need for more invasive, expensive and potentially unnecessary procedures.
  • reduces the need to transport a patient outside of the emergency room thus reducing time to diagnosis.
  • allows examinations to be repeated since there is no ionizing radiation exposure.

 The International Network for Simulation-based Pediatric Research, Innovation and Education (INSPIRE)

The International Network for Simulation-based Pediatric Research, Innovation and Education (INSPIRE) has a strong track record of strategically focused research.


The INSPIRE network is the world’s largest pediatric simulation research network, with over 120 pediatrics sites globally and more than 800 members (researchers and educators), and thirty ongoing multicenter research projects. Research conducted through INSPIRE network sites now reaches over 500,000 front-line healthcare providers.  R Baby was the first to seed/fund this initiative in 2007 with many more investors joining with our continued support.

INSPIRE network projects fall under one of seven key research themes: debriefing, teamwork, psychomotor skills, technology, acute care, human factors and patient safety. By identifying thematic areas of research, INSPIRE ensures that projects continue to inform each other and advance the field in each of these seven thematic areas. Over the past seven years, INSPIRE network members have successfully secured over six million dollars in research grant support for network-related simulation-based projects.


Simulation-based research confers several distinct advantages:

  1. Simulated patients can be scheduled on-demand.
  2. Novel interventions can be studied with no risk for patient harm.
  3. The clinical context can be standardized to ensure consistency across providers and teams, thus minimizing confounding variables that typically represent a problem in clinical research.

INSPIRE members share training, research and tools throughout their network providing valuable resources to members.  In addition, the network’s research shares best practices and the most up to date tools and training for success.

Ultrasound is one of the most commonly used tools in diagnosing children and has enormous potential to impact a patient’s care by speeding up time to diagnosis, reducing time in the emergency department, and reducing exposure to radiation from other imaging tests.  Yet ultrasound is still a relatively new technology.  This year, INSPIRE has created simulation training tools that focus initially on the skill of ultrasound interpretation.

Abdominal pain is a very common presenting symptom for children in the emergency department.  Differentiating gas pains from serious surgical emergencies is crucial.  Unfortunately, physicians less experienced with children often may order too many tests or imaging studies, such as a CT scan which exposes patients to unnecessary radiation and harm.

Bedside ultrasound in the Emergency Department can be a safe, rapid and accurate alternative to radiology imaging for many diagnoses. Experienced physicians are able to identify many serious conditions using ultrasound, but the best way to learn this skill is unknown. The purpose of this project is to determine the optimal training experience for mastery learning of image interpretation to the level of Pediatric Emergency Medicine attending sonologist skills.  All participants in the study will be exposed to an online educational module on how to interpret ultrasound images. They will then have an opportunity to practice image interpretation repetitively until they achieve a pre-determined level of mastery.

During this project, 200 physicians, impacting thousands of children, will be trained on increased competency in ultrasound diagnosis.  Once the study of this training is complete, this module will then be available to thousands of physicians throughout the network and beyond.

Read more about the INSPIRE Network here.