The University of Alicante designs a simulation training suite for health emergency procedures
The system allows users to establish changing situations in real time and has been designed for training health teams in both civilian and military settings
Part of the team, from left to right: Juan Ginés García (Oasi), Francisco M. García (UA PhD student); Héctor Mora (Oasi); Diego Marcos and Virgilio Gilart , from DTIC
Alicante. 12 March 2018
University of Alicante researchers have developed an innovative simulator for training emergency health procedures capable of creating unforeseen situations for which decisions must be made in real time to save lives.
The system has been already patented and the Spanish Army Health Brigade (BRISAN) has taken an interest in the technology for the training of its forces. The suite has been designed for training health teams in emergency scenarios such as fires, earthquakes, rescues or disasters with multiple victims. It allows users to simulate changing scenarios in real time and assessing the teams’ behaviour to improve their performance.
Due to its flexibility, the suite can be used in other settings where a healthcare action is also vital: combats between military forces, terrorist attacks or disasters caused by human beings, such as chemical pollution or nuclear accidents. It also serves military, police and private security training.
The novelty of this simulator lies in combining existing technologies in just one tool with a standardised symbology and its design is the result of a collaboration agreement between the University of Alicante Department of IT and Computing (DTIC) and the training centre of the firm OASI(a support organisation for international security).
As explained by OASI training Director and promoter of the project Héctor Mora, the idea arose from the need to use an eco-friendly safe training system to make the most of the time and money invested. The proposal was studied by UA Department of Information Technology and Computing researchers Virgilio Gilart and Diego Marcos, who considered it feasible from a technological approach.
The result has been the development of a simulator that, unlike those currently used, brings training procedures closer to the level of stress and uncertainty that can be generated in real situations.
The system consists of a software that creates real scenarios that can include unforeseen situations during the training, for instance, the location of the newly injured, the existence of a buried mine or the collapse of a building, forcing participants to make real-time decisions.
Participants in the training sessions are wearing sensors, vests and stress belts that can simulate specific wounds in certain parts of their body if they are virtually hit by a bullet impact, although they experience a real sense of discomfort.
Also, user groups that act as healthcare personnel or rescue workers have mobile terminals through which they receive information about unforeseen incidents for them to act accordingly and communicate their actions to be assessed automatically.
Meanwhile, the group of trainers can interact and exchange data with participants through a map-based system where the entire procedure is visualised, which, in turn, is connected to a server that processes the information retrieved to generate new situations. In addition, the system monitors the actions that are taking place and, as a novelty, automatically analyses whether the health standard procedures are being followed correctly.
On the one hand, the University of Alicante has participated in the project with lectures from the DTIC Virgilio Gilart and Diego Marcos; students from the Master's degree in Computer Engineering Óscar Puerta and Javier Sempere; and PhD student Francisco M. García. On the other, the firm OASI has contributed with its director Héctor Mora, as well as with Alicia Mora, Juan Ginés García, Roberto Lozano and Gabriel Lázaro.