Telemedicine and Advanced Medical Technology - Refined Training Tools for Medical Readiness

Period of Performance: 08/16/2002 - 02/15/2003

$100K

Phase 1 STTR

Recipient Firm

Aptima, Inc.
12 Gill Street Array
Woburn, MA 01801
Firm POC
Principal Investigator

Research Institution

University of Maryland
3112 Lee Building
College Park, MD 20742
Institution POC

Abstract

Medical readiness for combat casualty care requires that clinicians maintain a high level of proficiency for skills that are rarely or never used in day-to-day practice. Simulation training environments seem a promising way to provide these learning opportunities, but the effectiveness of simulation-based training for clinicians remains a concern as defining clinical expertise and competency has always been problematic. Performance-measurement approaches from other high-expertise fields such as aviation, where the value of simulation-based training is well established, offer promising approaches for measuring clinical performance in combat casualty care. Our technical objective is to design and develop a performance measurement tool and a comprehensive methodology for evaluating the effectiveness of four classes of medical simulators for medical readiness training. We will apply the systematic measure-development process pioneered by Aptima for military aviation, tailoring it to the medical training domain and identifying the issues associated with measure development in multiple types of medical simulation training environments. This will be followed by a proof of concept demonstration in a mannequin simulator in collaboration with University of Maryland Medical School and design of a validation methodology for the Phase II measurement approach, as well as design of a structure for a commercial integrated performance measurement database. An assessment tool such as we propose to develop will identify and validate simulators for enhanced training of medical skills to increase patient safety. The resulting tool can be targeted to both government and commercial sectors in both a horizontal and a vertical market expansion. This tool would allow commercial developers of medical simulators as well as medical researchers to test the effectiveness and efficiency of the simulators for training. It will also allow medical schools and other medical training institutions to make intelligent evaluations of the effectiveness of simulator tools and to make meaningful comparisons on a number of dimensions across different simulators. Such a tool would make valuable contributions in all sectors to identify and foster the improved design, growth, acceptance, and adoption of the most effective medical simulator technologies.