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Army Futures Command study adds sense of touch, motion to medical simulation scenarios

By Tish Williamson | Health Readiness Center of Excellence Public Affairs | June 28, 2019

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas —

The U.S. Army Medical Department, Health Readiness Center of Excellence, or HRCoE, Directorate of Simulation hosted a usability study of Tactical Combat Casualty Care Simulation, or TC3Sim, medical trainer scenarios using HaptX Gloves June 19-20 at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston.

The Army Futures Command, Simulation and Training Technology Center funded the project to integrate haptics into a research version of TC3Sim and led the HaptX usability study to evaluate user satisfaction during virtual reality training simulations using the gloves.

HRCoE’s TC3Sim medical trainers were used to incorporate training scenarios involving the gloves during the event. The gloves enabled users to experience virtual simulations with realistic touch feedback and natural interaction for the first time in HRCoE simulation training.

During the analysis, the Directorate of Simulations, or DOS, recruited study participants from students and cadre with varying degrees of medical proficiency to wear HaptX Gloves and complete three virtual reality-training scenarios.

The simulated medical situations included applying a combat application tourniquet, performing a needle chest decompression and performing a blood sweep. The goal of the tests was to evaluate the overall handling of the gloves during virtual training and gather general feedback about the utility and feasibility of simulation involving haptic gloves.

The DOS and the HRCoE command view seeking out new opportunities to gain true proficiencies in medical competencies through advances in the synthetic training environment, or STE, as a vital element in any future operational medicine training program.

The study is part of ongoing Army-funded research efforts to explore user perception of the integration of haptics, the use of technology to stimulate senses of touch and motion, into a virtual simulation.