Telemedicine and Advanced Medical Technology - Medical/Surgical, Mission Support Modeling, and Simulation

Period of Performance: 12/03/2001 - 07/01/2002


Phase 1 STTR

Recipient Firm

Immersion Medical, Inc.
55 West Watkins Mill Road
Gaithersburg, MD 20878
Firm POC
Principal Investigator

Research Institution

Uniformed Services University
4301 Jones Bridge Rd
Bethesda, MD 20814
Institution POC


Immersion Medical and the Uniformed Services University of Health Science (USUHS), aims establish the feasibility of a medical training simulator for Central Venous Catheterization (CVC). The proposed project involves several technical advances. Tactile feedback user interface hardware designs will be researched to serve as a realistic proxy for catheters and other devices used during CVC. This interface device is anticipated to require force feedback in three axes: pitch, yaw and translation. Innovative "active" haptics (a.k.a. force feedback) will be developed as well as controlled passive force feedback to provide realistic procedural feel. Planned software advances include refinements in computer modeling for the deformation of surfaces and for the interaction of rigid catheters with body tissues that are pliant (e.g., blood vessels) and rigid (e.g., bone) body tissues. IN success, the completed CVC simulator will be operable on a high-end laptop for enhanced portability. It will be a real-time training device that integrates visual, haptic, and audio features to create an environment for performing central line placements. Evaluation for feasibility will be conducted at the USUHS. In success, the proposed project will improve patient outcomes and practitioner satisfaction, decrease medical costs, and will serve a broad market need. As a component of both Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) and Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS), CVC is a procedure for which advanced training has important implications in both military and civilian medicine. By creating a simulator for CVC, we can transcend problems with traditional training methods (human patients, animals). Training with a simulator has numerous advantages for the trainee, including: no risk to patients, no risk to trainees (e.g., no exposure to patient blood-borne pathogens), the opportunity to gain familiarity and comfort with the procedure through repetition, exposure to various cases with built-in complications and pathologies, and objective measurement of learning progress and procedural competence through longitudinal data tracking of trainee performance. The implementation of the proposed technology will enable the DoD to provide improved medical support to the wounded soldier through enhanced medical training with improved diagnosis, rehearsal, and treatment. In success, the proposed project will improve military readiness through shortened recovery times, and will lead to the production of commercially viable products with educational and training benefits for U.S. hospitals and medical schools. Laptop portability will further allow training in field situations currently inaccessible for CVC training.