Madigan Phase I Research

In concert with US Army Madigan Medical Center, a team of ten military emergency medicine experts and two technical experts met ten times to guide the development process of an immersive virtual reality (IVR) trauma simulator that responds to the needs of potential users.

The team discovered a variety of questions needing answers to facilitate development. This includes the choice of virtual reality equipment, scenarios, physiology engine, and other important components.

One important shift was from a single hyper-realistic visual case to a complex medical decision trainer that uses a physiology engine to scale to multiple scenarios. This discovery came from an insight that scalability and general usability was an issue. As such, development shifted towards 4 general trauma scenarios: external hemorrhage, internal hemorrhage, airway obstruction, and tension pneumothorax. These are the most common battlefield injuries.

The resulting trauma simulator included 36 interactable 3D objects, grading feedback, a user tutorial, a gaze tracking system, and a patient requiring proper attention powered by the Pulse physiology engine. The user also has a Nurse and Medic in-simulation to command. The working group indicated that the product had high levels of realism and potential training usefulness.

More than just developing the technology, the working group created a framework for developing other IVR technologies. Future projects will benefit from the advice and knowledge gained by the working group. To see the full insights from this phase of the project, please read the report here.