Immersive Virtual Reality Medical Simulation: Autonomous Trauma Training Simulator

Cureus. 2020 May 11;12(5):e8062. doi: 10.7759/cureus.8062.


Background Medical and traumatic emergencies can be intimidating and stressful. This is especially true for early-career medical personnel.Training providers to respond effectively to medical emergencies before being confronted with a real scenario is limited by unnatural or high-cost training modalities that fail to realistically replicate the stress and gravity of real-world trauma management. Immersive virtual reality (IVR) may provide a unique training solution. Methods We created a working group of 10 active duty or former military emergency medicine physicians and two technical experts. We hosted 10 meetings to facilitate the development process. The program was developed with financial support from the Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center (TATRC), through the primary vendor Exonicus, Inc, with support from Anatomy Next Inc, and Kitware, Inc. Development was completed using an agile project management style, which allowed our team to review progress and provide immediate feedback on previous milestones throughout its completion. The working group completed the resulting four simulation scenarios to evaluate perceived realism and training potential. Finally, testing of the technology platform off the network in a deployed role 3 was conducted. Results Upon completion, we created four IVR scenarios based on the highest mortality battlefield injuries: hemorrhage, tension pneumothorax, and airway obstruction. The working group unanimously indicated a high level of realism and potential training usefulness. Throughout this process, there have been a number of lessons learned and we present those here to show what we have created as well as provide guidance to others creating IVR training solutions. Conclusion Our team developed trauma scenarios that, to our knowledge, are the only IVR trauma scenarios to run autonomously without instructor input. Furthermore, we provide a potential template for the creation of future autonomous IVR training programs. This framework may offer a dynamic starting point as more teams seek to leverage the capabilities IVR offers.

Keywords: augmented reality; educational technology; medical education; role of virtual reality; simulation; simulation-based medical education; simulator; trauma; virtual reality; virtual reality training.

Grant support

This work was funded by the AMEDD Advanced Technology Initiative (AAMTI), through the Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center (TATRC)