Medica Scientific is a program by Processim Labs that simulates a medical devices manufacturing corporation for business students to learn what it takes to run a successful company. This is a university-level tool that professors can use to gamify concepts learned in class and give their students an opportunity to manage finances, employees, output, and machinery in a dynamic environment. It also functions as a competition as each team of students can see how their progress compares to others in the class.

Pros:

Medica Scientific is a complex program that does an excellent job of simulating the uncertain reality of real-life business where there is usually no single, straightforward solution to fixing a struggling company. The user has inherited a business that isn’t doing well and must diagnose the problems and make strategic adjustments accordingly. Each hour of real time equals six days in the game, so there is a healthy sense of risk in making decisions and waiting to see the consequences of those decisions over time.

The member of our staff who ended up winning in our Medica Scientific simulation was the individual who spent the most amount of time reading and referring to the case study to make informed decisions. This proved to me that this is no game of luck, but one where legitimate learning leads to a win. For instance, from carefully consulting the case study packet, our winner determined whether and where to buy machinery, which ended up saving her money while increasing her production abilities.

Not only did Medica Scientific provide sufficient and realistic opportunities for learning, it also proved very effective in motivating me through its gamified features. Getting notifications that my business had dropped in ranking kept me pretty addicted to the game over the three-day simulation. The competitive aspect inspired me to learn more so that my business could do better.

Cons:

Everyone on my team agreed that our experience could have been enhanced by an in-app opportunity to consult various experts. Medica Scientific is intended to be accompanied by fairly heavy instructor involvement, so perhaps we would have felt more informed if a professor had guided us through the experience. However, in real life, consulting people on the ground or from outside the company can highlight problems and perspectives that you might not notice on your own. Adding some type of communicative feature to ask questions of imaginary employees or specialists could be a way to essentially give hints in the simulation and take the experience to the next level.

This would also allow the user to spend more time learning about running a business instead of learning about how to utilize the app. I’m no business expert, but I spent a lot of time in this program knowing what I wanted to fix but not knowing how to fix it. For instance, I realized pretty early on that my inventory was at zero, which I knew was bad and which the case study told me to watch out for, but I didn’t know what to do within the app to increase my inventory. While a professor can field some questions like these, adding in-app assistance would alleviate simple game-play confusion and leave more time for professors to address concept-oriented questions.

Our Takeaway:

Medica Scientific gives depth and life to business case studies in an effective new way. It fosters valuable business-related frustration, but also some frustration that could be remedied with refinement.

Image: Medica Scientific by Processim Labs