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MARC augmented reality design concept illustrating real-time human pose estimation and wound rendering.

Saving Lives with Augmented Reality: Charles River Analytics AR Software Trains Combat Medics for Casualty Care

Charles River Analytics Inc., developer of intelligent systems solutions, has received additional funding from the US Department of Defense (DoD) to develop Medical Augmented Reality for Combat Casualty Care (MARC). MARC provides augmented reality (AR), in-situ, Tactical Combat Casualty Care (TC3) training and assessment during live, force-on-force training. Charles River is leading a team that includes Cubic Defense Applications, Inc, for the one-year contract valued at $1 million with an option.

Ground medics and pararescue specialists must act quickly to deliver lifesaving interventions in a wide range of operational environments under high levels of stress. However, TC3 training is currently not realistic enough to guarantee performance in these conditions. An ongoing US Army study, Squad Overmatch-TC3, explored ways to optimize training. The study found that Warfighters lack access to realistic TC3 simulations, which may improve the individual and collective skills Warfighters need to manage the complex environment of simultaneous combat and casualty management.

Simulation technology can address this gap, offering a cost-effective and realistic alternative to staid classroom exercises. Our MARC prototype leverages commercially available AR technologies to portray realistic, virtual wounds overlaid on live actor patients.

“MARC will not just give Warfighters a more realistic and detailed training experience,” explained Dr. Alexander Gee, Principal Investigator on the MARC effort at Charles River. “It will assess how medics apply medical procedures within realistic scenarios developed by medical subject matter experts.”

MARC complements other techniques and applications Charles River has developed to support military medical training and AR technologies. Our other efforts include trauma care, team building, and triage management. MARC extends our evolving scenario editor, which leverages Charles River’s Methodology for Annotating Skill Trees (MAST) Skill Modeling Framework, to support the modeling of three-dimensional wounds. The Scenario Editor generates scenario data with all the information needed to execute and assess a training exercise, including a description of the patient, identification and state modeling of injuries, and associated skill models for treating the injuries. Warfighters then experience greater training realism through an augmented-reality interface that provides real-time visual and auditory overlays and interactions.

See our examples of our mixed reality/virtual reality/augmented reality and healthcare support and training efforts.


This material is based upon work supported by the Department of Defense under Contract No. W900KK-18-C-0028. Any opinions, findings and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of Defense.

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