University of Washington Gains Media Attention Over Production of Next-Gen Combat Training Manikin

uw combat training simulator
Our good friend Troy E. Reihsen, Director of the Human and Artificial Tissue Labs at the Department of Surgery of the University of Washington’s WWAMI Institute for Simulation in Healthcare (WISH) write in to share some awesome recent coverage the program has received from regional news outlets. Working alongside the Center for Research in Education and Simulation Technologies (CREST) the WISH team have been working on new innovative projects in medical simulation.
Are you launching a new simulation program, product or service? Read our comprehensive guide on how to gain more media attention to your healthcare simulation program to expand your marketing footprint!
The University of Washington’s premiere simulation training facility for healthcare education serving the WWAMI region. WISH connects over 30 departments and programs throughout UW Medicine, School of Medicine, School of Nursing, School of Pharmacy, and Physician’s Assistant Training Program.
1. Next Gen Manikins at UW Medicine Can Help Prep Combat Medics – Dr. Robert Sweet is the Director of the Simulation Lab at UW Medicine and has been leading the charge with the efforts to obtain the grant from the Department of Defense. He is looking forward to what the newest mannequin will be able to do to provide combat medics with real life scenarios. “Historically we haven’t had a lot of investment in simulation systems for training and now is a time when they are starting to invest,” Dr. Sweet said. “There’s a great interest.” This is a joint effort by the University of Washington, UW Medicine, the University of Minnesota, and the Department of Defense. Reihsen is excited about the potential. “We know that when we move better-trained health care providers to the front lines, we have better survivability. So there definitely needs to be more training and we need a model like this to support the training,” Reihsen said.
2. Josh Kerns UW WISH on Kiro Radio – The Ron and Don Show Covers the WISH Simulation Program
3. UW Creating Next-Gen Manikins with to Train Battlefield Medics – Sweet and UW researchers are creating mannequin skin that’s warm to the touch, tongues moist with fake saliva, arms that reveal layers of fat when cut open, animatronic legs and more. By 2019 they expect to have a lifelike mannequin that looks and bleeds like a real soldier. And their technology may help the military move away from training its medics on live animals, a controversial practice that’s involved wounding and killing pigs and goats. “The practice itself is very much alive. That’s not to say we haven’t made progress,” said Shalin Gala of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). Named for Frankenstein, the Frank mannequin was built by Sweet and his team from parts created by three companies specializing in different areas — neck, torso, limbs — of medical mannequin training.
 Obviously we are excited to learn more about these new manikins, visit the UW WISH website for more!

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Iqarus Provides Fully Immersive Live Action Combat Medicine Training Center in UK

iqarus medical simulation combat training center

Imagine walking into a building in UK and instantly being transported to a combat zone in Iraq. Well, with Iqarus training center that is now possible as they just opened a fully immersive environment with live actors in Hereford, UK. It’s like a real life haunted house!

A new training centre which can replicate a medical emergency in a Middle Eastern street has been opened in Hereford, in collaboration with the film studios which are responsible for the James Bond franchise. The Immersive Training Centre has been opened at Rotherwas and combines replicated street scenes, professional actors, sound, weather and other special effects to allow front-line medical professionals to be put through their paces in high-risk, high-pressure situations.

Iqarus, a global provider of intelligent health solutions in remote and difficult operating environments, has designed the centre with Pinewood Studios, which is home to the Bond films. The 8,000 sq.ft of dynamic simulation space can be used to create bespoke training environments, with any scenario, anywhere in the world. Facilities include:

  • Desert, jungle and arctic training rooms with simulated weather conditions and sound effects
  • A street scene with collapsed, two-story building, with explosive special effects, dust and smoke
  • A changeable street scene which transports users from Europe to the Middle East, and beyond
  • A burnt-out building with collapsed upstairs and flooding area
  • Realistic home structure with false wall, escape hatch and tunnel
  • Area for road traffic collision simulation
  • Stereo surround speakers with four sound zones
  • State-of-the-art cameras and a two-way communications system allowing trainees to work independently, without the support or intrusion of an instructor
  • Professional actors and accurate and realistic prosthetics
  • Overhead drones and HD CCTV throughout.

Learn more at the Iqarus Training Center Website!

Serious Games for Serious Simulation, An In-depth Look at Combat Medic from Virtual Heroes

Serious Games for Serious Simulation, An In-depth Look at Combat Medic from Virtual Heroes

combat simulation healthcare

Written By: Steve Melito
Thunderbolt Business Services

Combat Medic, a game-based system from Virtual Heroes, Inc., is a digital example of MedSim’s use in the U.S. military. This serious game from the Orlando-based division of Advanced Research Associates (ARA) helps prepare medical personnel to treat the top three causes of battlefield deaths: hemorrhage, airway management, and tension pneumothorax.

Steve Melito, a MedSim writer, recently interviewed Virtual Heroes Division Manager Randy Brown for an article in Combat & Casualty Care (C&CC) magazine. Brown was joined by Steve McIlwain, a senior producer. Excerpts from the interview appear in C&CC, but the full interview appears here on

1) What are some of the most important features and capabilities that you’d like readers to know about Combat Medic?

Combat Medic is the next step in serious gaming technology. We have effectively combined state-of-the-art game engine technology, medically accurate casualty conditions, and immersive environments, to create something truly special. To accommodate many training needs, we designed this application to deliver content through self-directed, team-based, and instructor-led training methods. Our overall goal was to prepare combat medics to treat the top three causes of preventable deaths on the modern battlefield: hemorrhage, airway management, and tension pneumothorax.

To maximize the learning benefit and scalability of the application, we integrated a robust difficulty system. This difficulty system introduces increasingly more challenging treatment scenarios. The system also increases the overall cognitive load of the participant by means of various distractions within the environment. The real-time, interactive immersion enables the cognitive load to resonate with the user. In theory, this translates to better handling of distractive elements encountered during real casualty treatment. Randomized variation of injuries aids in the neuroplasticity of the participant—they don’t just learn how to complete the training, they learn appropriate treatment methods.

A great feature of Combat Medic is its versatility. The application is highly customizable. For example, users may choose the contents and configuration of their aid bags; this stresses the importance of organization and preparation prior to casualty treatment, and it accommodates for varying equipment availability within the field. And Combat Medic is not only fantastic for individual training, but team training as well. During team exercises, users have the option to communicate using microphone-enabled headsets, which allows for effective team communication, triaging, and treatment coordination.

A critical component of any virtual training environment is performance assessment. We took a multi-pronged approach to assessment, to reach a larger demographic and to allow for different training environments. Our assessment system includes standard GO/NO GO performance criteria, casualty condition information, participant actions, and the ability to graphically view the casualty’s vitals throughout the scenario, as a function of elapsed scenario time. When a scenario is finished, participants and instructors can play the scenario back in full 3D with synchronized audio, to evaluate treatment performance and to identify areas for improvement.

Arguably the most important aspect of any training application is its accuracy. To achieve a true-to-life casualty physiological response during each scenario, we integrated our open-source BioGears® Physiology Engine. This validated engine accurately simulates the effects of participants’ actions on the casualty’s physiological condition. At the same time, it provides real-time casualty vitals with dynamic casualty behavior, based on the current physiological state.

Finally, a training application must be accessible. For Combat Medic to be easily available to medics around the world, it needs a relatively seamless method of deployment. For this, we use our proprietary Go Platform. Says Randy Brown, Virtual Heroes Division Manager, “the Go Platform is an exciting technology that combines simplified browser-based application delivery, virtual meeting spaces for mission briefing / debriefing discussions, interactive playback of training sessions, and modularity for future expansion.”

Read the full interview by clicking on the read more link below!

Read the rest of this entry »

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How They Make MATT: Multiple Amputee Trauma Trainer

multiple amputee trauma trainer

Today as we honor those who have provided or are currently providing military service comes this video from Kernerworks, formerly a movie special effects company now famous for working with MythBuster’s Jamie Hyneman to build the MATT: Multiple Amputee Trauma Trainer. From the show “Tested” comes this behind-the-scenes look at how MATT’s are built to be rugged enough for military environments while simultaneously creating life-like training opportunities for combat medics.

Kernerworks has its roots in the feature film industry. Most of our team have spent decades working on the design, conceptualization and delivery of some of the most memorable visual effects sequences in history. When developing visual effects for feature films like Star Wars, Terminator, and Pirates of the Caribbean there are a variety of one-off devices that are built for the production. Often, these items are entirely unique and must be fabricated quickly and on location. With several decades of experience on demanding film sets, our team can build just about anything and has the facilities to do so. Whether we are building a complex trauma simulation mannequins — complete with realistic skin, robotics, radio controllers and a variety of complex features — or a new kind of delivery system for the US Army, our team has the unique ability to conceptualize, design and build prototypes quickly and on a budget.

Here’s the MATT in action at the US Army’s Fort Jackson:

About Kernerworks and MATT:

At Kernerworks, we conceptualize, design, refine and then build disruptive solutions to a variety of problems. Our most successful project to date has been M.A.T.T., our Multiple Amputee Trauma Trainer. M.A.T.T. was initially developed in partnership between M5 Industries, Kerner Optical, KForce Government Solutions and RDECOM. M.A.T.T. (multiple amputee trauma trainer) has won numerous awards and is doing an excellent job training military medics for some of the most difficult situations they will face in the field.

Following on the success of M.A.T.T., Kernerworks has become the designer and manufacturer of the TraumaSim™ and TraumaFX line of products. The TraumaFX line is available exclusively through KForce Government Solutions.

The TraumaFX product line introduced a new level of realism into the world of medical simulation. Our team’s long history of creating some of the most realistic creatures, models and human casts has allowed TraumaFX to leapfrog the level of realism that existed in the medical simulation industry before. The TraumaFX line has also introduced an entirely new level of robustness — our simulators are tough as nails and disturbingly realistic. Our TraumaSim™ training environments include highly realistic trauma simulation equipment, virtual training environments and gamified training platforms that provide both highly realistic trauma training as well as a form of PTSD ‘inoculation’ by preparing people for the realities of in-theater medical procedures.

matt combat simulator

About MATT:

The TraumaFX® MATT is a ruggedized, tetherless, remote controlled trauma trainer that delivers high-fidelity simulations of lower-body blast injuries commonly caused by Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) or other explosive events.

MATT employs state-of-the-art special effects materials and technologies to deliver incredibly realistic visual and tactile stimuli with lifelike response to treatment. Bleeding from the tourniquet trainers can be occluded at any point along the femoral artery from the groin to just above the amputation sites. Instead of only using one sensor in a ‘sweet spot’, MATT has sensor rails running the entire length of the legs as well as locations around the groin that can be accessed with direct pressure from a hand, knee, or tourniquet device.

MATT Specifications:

  • Full-motion animatronics combined with practical special effects technology
  • Arterial bleeding from both legs
  • Accurately simulates pulse bleeding and the effects of tourniquet application
  • Multiple tourniquet points along legs
  • Bleeding can be controlled with direct pressure from knee or elbow
  • Can be used with human actors
  • Specially formulated synthetic tissue with unparalleled realism and durability
  • Highly realistic visual and tactile stimuli
  • Ruggedized Remote Control with extended range
  • Crepitus to cue for crushed pelvic region
  • Realistic, resilient, and water resistant
  • Durable urethane core
  • Solid state electronics
  • Scrotal avulsion
  • Easy to clean and maintain after use
  • Optional interchangeable priapism to simulate spinal injury

Check out the Kernerworks website and the KForce.Gov MATT homepage for more great info!