Monday, February 19, 2007

Pulse!! News: Serious Games Field Testing Begins

Serious Games challenging us to play a better future


Via: Pulse!! The Virtual Clinical Learning Lab

Following my previous post G4H 2006: Pulse!! First Person Health Care Simulation, the first phase of field testing the Pulse!! learning platform, a military research project at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, has begun at three prestigious medical institutions.


A pilot study for the Pulse!! learning platform's playability and usability was conducted Jan. 29-Feb. 2 at Yale University School of Medicine, where Dr. Kirk Shelley is co-principal investigator for evaluation. Online data collection for the platform's playability and usability continued Feb. 12 at Yale.


Playability-usability field testing is scheduled to begin Feb. 26 at The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore, Md., and April 2 at the National Naval Medical Center (NNMC) at Bethesda, Md.


Dr. Eric V. Jackson Jr., director of the Center for Immersive Simulation and Telemedicine, is co-principal investigator for evaluation at Johns Hopkins. Cmdr. James R Dunne, M.D., chief of trauma/surgical critical care, is co-principal investigator for evaluation at NNMC.

Pulse!! research at these three institutions is anticipated to last through 2008. Two more phases of field testing will determine whether Pulse!! training is effective and whether virtual training transfers effectively to actual medical practice.




The Pulse!! learning platform employs state-of-the-art computer-game technologies to create a virtual environment within which users employ discrete medical knowledge and skills.


The project is of interest to military medical officials as a means of quickly training physicians and other medical personnel in new treatment methods to meet rapid changes in the nature and complexity of warfare injuries.

Congress so far has invested almost $10 million in the project. Pulse!! has received enthusiastic support from U.S. Rep. Solomon Ortiz, D-Corpus Christi (27th Congressional District), Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee's Subcommittee on Readiness and Military Construction. Federal research funds have been appropriated to Pulse!! through the Office of Naval Research.


A&M-Corpus Christi has contracted commercial game developer BreakAway Ltd. of Hunt Valley, Md., to work with the University's Office of Special Projects in producing a virtual environment that will simulate medical treatment in three-dimensional space with a level of visual fidelity never before attempted.