It’s not Virtual Reality or Augmented Reality, it’s Mixed Reality, and it’s like something out of science fiction!
Australian first responder training company Real Response has created the BlueRoom Simulator, a mixed reality system that allows Army, Air Force and Navy medics to learn how to use real medical equipment and navigate complex medical scenarios in a virtual environment.
BlueRoom Simulator uses the latest mixed reality (MR) headset, the Varjo XR3, to allow defense medics to enter a virtual environment where they still use their hands and bodies to interact with real-world objects in the environment.
Unlike virtual reality (VR), where controllers are required to interact with the digital world, MR allows users to enter the virtual world as themselves, and practice physical and fine motor skills as they would in the real world would.
This is especially useful in areas such as medicine, where medics need to physically practice, building muscle memory as they learn how to treat a patient in a variety of austere environments from field operations, remote hospitals, helicopters, airplanes and onboard ships.
Benjamin Krynsk, co-founder of Real Response and a registered paramedic said: “BlueRoom reimagines the possibilities for simulation – a student can be placed in any environment and a trainer can manipulate the scene and adjust the patient’s condition while the student intervenes performed using their own hands with real equipment.
“This is truly revolutionary!” Krynsk said
The Blueroom Simulator allows medics to practice in high value/difficulty environments at a fraction of the cost. Medics can insert an IV and draw drugs on the back of a C130J Hercules as they fly over the Pacific Ocean, or insert a chest tube as they prepare to take off with a patient on the back of a Blackhawk UH-60.
The Blueroom Simulator was created with support from the Defense Innovation Hub, which invests in innovative technologies to improve defense capability and grow Australia’s defense industry and innovation sector.
Solution Architect, Dale Linegar explained, “The Blueroom Simulator can also be used to solve many of the training problems that industries such as mining and telecommunications have.”
“You can do hands-on, hands-on training in environments that might otherwise be dangerous, expensive or impractical, such as working at heights or in confined spaces.” Linegar said
Real Response continues to work with the ADF to create new virtual environments where medics can practice their skills, but is also exploring other use cases for this cutting edge technology with a range of industries.