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Proceedings Paper

Distributed virtual environment for emergency medical training
Author(s): Martin R. Stytz; Sheila B. Banks; Brian W. Garcia; Gayl M. Godsell-Stytz
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Paper Abstract

In many professions where individuals must work in a team in a high stress environment to accomplish a time-critical task, individual and team performance can benefit from joint training using distributed virtual environments (DVEs). One professional field that lacks but needs a high-fidelity team training environment is the field of emergency medicine. Currently, emergency department (ED) medical personnel train by using words to create a metal picture of a situation for the physician and staff, who then cooperate to solve the problems portrayed by the word picture. The need in emergency medicine for realistic virtual team training is critical because ED staff typically encounter rarely occurring but life threatening situations only once in their careers and because ED teams currently have no realistic environment in which to practice their team skills. The resulting lack of experience and teamwork makes diagnosis and treatment more difficult. Virtual environment based training has the potential to redress these shortfalls. The objective of our research is to develop a state-of-the-art virtual environment for emergency medicine team training. The virtual emergency room (VER) allows ED physicians and medical staff to realistically prepare for emergency medical situations by performing triage, diagnosis, and treatment on virtual patients within an environment that provides them with the tools they require and the team environment they need to realistically perform these three tasks. There are several issues that must be addressed before this vision is realized. The key issues deal with distribution of computations; the doctor and staff interface to the virtual patient and ED equipment; the accurate simulation of individual patient organs' response to injury, medication, and treatment; and an accurate modeling of the symptoms and appearance of the patient while maintaining a real-time interaction capability. Our ongoing work addresses all of these issues. In this paper we report on our prototype VER system and its distributed system architecture for an emergency department distributed virtual environment for emergency medical staff training. The virtual environment enables emergency department physicians and staff to develop their diagnostic and treatment skills using the virtual tools they need to perform diagnostic and treatment tasks. Virtual human imagery, and real-time virtual human response are used to create the virtual patient and present a scenario. Patient vital signs are available to the emergency department team as they manage the virtual case. The work reported here consists of the system architectures we developed for the distributed components of the virtual emergency room. The architectures we describe consist of the network level architecture as well as the software architecture for each actor within the virtual emergency room. We describe the role of distributed interactive simulation and other enabling technologies within the virtual emergency room project.

Paper Details

Date Published: 15 July 1997
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 3085, Modeling, Simulation, and Visualization of Sensory Response for Defense Applications, (15 July 1997); doi: 10.1117/12.280982
Show Author Affiliations
Martin R. Stytz, Air Force Institute of Technology (United States)
Sheila B. Banks, Air Force Institute of Technology (United States)
Brian W. Garcia, Air Force Institute of Technology (United States)
Gayl M. Godsell-Stytz, Air Force Institute of Technology (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3085:
Modeling, Simulation, and Visualization of Sensory Response for Defense Applications
John D. Illgen; Nickolas L. Faust; John D. Illgen, Editor(s)

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