A system for medical care and logistics training
Military medical personnel must be prepared for mass casualty incidents in which extreme numbers of critically injured people overwhelm available resources. Responding to these events is complicated however, requiring medical personnel and other responders to work in synchrony, often with little preparation, to save as many lives as possible. Executing a mass casualty response is made even more difficult due to the lack of training resources available for personnel to practice the critical skills needed during these events.
Meeting the training challenges of mass casualty incidents
In response to the need, our scientists and engineers developed EFECTIVE (Extensible Field and Evacuation Care Training in a Virtual Environment), a virtual training system that provides practice for mass casualty responders.
EFECTIVE is the Department of Defense’s first comprehensive system to train military medical personnel on medical care and logistics in austere, far-forward environments where conditions are especially challenging—there may not be enough supplies available to save current casualties, or enemy fire may make evacuation impossible.
EFECTIVE lets medical professionals safely visit—and revisit—a challenging environment, better preparing them for real-world scenarios.
“The Department of Defense recognizes the need for training systems that prepare personnel in the military medical operation to perform their roles in severely degraded, prolonged field and en-route care settings. Our EFECTIVE system delivers the first virtual environment to train and assess these critical skills.”
Scientist at Charles River Analytics and Principal Investigator on the EFECTIVE effort
Immersive training tailored to the individual
Existing training methods for mass casualty incidents require the assembly of large numbers of specialists in real-world enactments, where manikins or actors play the victims. Due to this complexity, these large-scale events don’t happen very frequently.
In contrast, EFECTIVE enables a modern, gamified experience that immerses medical personnel within realistic exercises in virtual environments that are accessible from anywhere via their computers, VR headsets, and phones.
Additionally, EFECTIVE captures important decision-making themes based on existing resources and past experiences of military medical personnel, and then automatically assesses trainee proficiency against objective performance metrics linked to these skills.
VP, Human-Centered AI
Personalized training modules
Charles River’s training system lets each type of personnel train in different modules tailored to their specific roles and skills. The system currently has three main training modes (with additional modes under development).
Search and Rescue lets first responders practice navigating hazardous scenes and treating casualties with a limited set of resources.
Triage gives hospital staff a chance to practice prioritizing just-injured casualties and provide initial life-sustaining interventions in a hospital setting.
Incident Command is designed for the personnel who manage the logistics of the medical response. In a neighborhood-level aerial view of the disaster scene, users practice establishing casualty collection points, routing vehicles, and coordinating the transfer of medical resources.
EFECTIVE is implemented in the Unity game engine and C#, making it compatible with a diverse set of hardware platforms
By involving medical experts and seeking collaborative partners mid-development, the Charles River team is creating training that targets the actual skills performed during mass casualty events
Virtual training helps trainees master the rapid, critical decision-making needed to save lives, giving them the confidence to perform quickly when faced with real-life emergencies
Training tailored to an individual’s current abilities and knowledge increases efficiency and reduces training time and cost
This work is supported by the US Army Medical Research and Materiel Command under Contract No.W81XWH-19-C-0044. The views, opinions and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official Department of the Army position, policy or decision unless so designated by other documentation.