Medical Modeling, Simulation & Visualization (MMSV)

TATRC Looks to the Future with New Simulation Environment

June 29, 2018  |  Download PDF

Inside the TATRC’s new Medical Modeling, Simulation & Visualization Environment A peek inside TATRC’s new Medical Modeling, Simulation & Visualization Environment.

TATRC’s simulation team has completed the first phase of a new capacity and capability for research, development and analysis, a medical modeling, simulation and visualization environment (MMSVE). Following last year’s successful TATRC open house, a proposal was submitted to TATRC Director, COL Dan Kral, by the Medical Modeling, Simulation and Visualization (MMSV) team. The proposed idea to develop a permanent, simulated military medical setting to replicate the Role 1 and 2 environments was accepted and is well underway. This new testing environment is located right here at TATRC, within the Innovation Campus’ field tents. The MMSVE is intended to support the widest possible range of TATRC research efforts, providing a realistic testing ground for past, current and future research efforts, encouraging cross-domain and laboratory collaboration.

The new MMSVE will allow TATRC research efforts to more fully explore and analyze projects during all stages of development. This capability offers the opportunity to rapidly test research and development efforts, make iterative improvements of these efforts and potentially accelerate the efficiency, desired end-state of lines of research and their interoperability with existing and complementary research efforts throughout TATRC and its partners. The MMSVE incorporates the ability to model, simulate and visualize (Table 1) research and development projects in more realistic operational environments.

Modeling, aims to describe how something behaves to gain some understanding about the system represented by the model.

Simulation, builds on models and facilitates changes to the model as a means to observe it over set periods of time or activities. Thus, the term “simulation” is defined as models that have been implemented in a temporal manner. Specifically, these simulations can take on three forms: live, virtual, and constructive simulation. Live simulation is real people using real equipment but employing the equipment outside the context of a real world. Virtual simulation consists of real people employing simulated equipment. Constructive simulation involves simulated people working with simulated systems. Importantly, these simulation forms are not restricted to exist in isolation. Combining them can produce a simulation environment known as live—virtual—constructive (LVC) simulation, which is well known and established in many military domains.

Visualization, serves as the means by which information is communicated. This information can be the result of a simulation or a representation of a physical object being simulated inside the simulation. When the visualization is effective, it enables the understanding of complex relations of large amounts of data with case. Visualization tools can also animate computational outputs for analysis, prediction, and prescription.

Table 1. Modeling, Simulation and Visualization definitions (adapted from Combs, 2016)

TATRC’s new MMSVE adds an additional 800 square feet, and includes two simulation spaces, and areas for pre-briefings and after action review. The laboratory will also be outfitted with a comprehensive audio-visual system to allow for video recording and archiving, as well as the capability to create immersive virtual environments, sounds and other environmental characteristics.

An example of the immersive capabilities the MMSVE provides for research and testing here at TATRC. An example of the immersive capabilities the MMSVE provides for research and testing here at TATRC.

The MMSVE provides several full-bodied, computer-driven human patient simulators, capable of simulating a wide array of medical conditions and injuries. The simulators can be used for testing and experimentation of current and future technologies, procedures and interventions for military health needs. The lab will also provide a variety of partial task trainers. The laboratory is outfitted with equipment sets for combat medics and the majority of Role 1 and 2 care needs. The MMSVE also provides an operational telemedicine lab, accredited medical information center, allowing for testing of prototype secure communications and data devices. These capabilities can further be integrated to allow for multi-lab concepts testing and systems modeling and simulation, to evaluate research efforts across the entire casualty care spectrum.

Another example of the immersive capabilities within the MMSVE at TATRC. Another example of the immersive capabilities within the MMSVE at TATRC.

With all of these new capabilities, the MMSVE provides new and enhanced opportunities for TATRC’s research and development activities, specifically, the ability to perform early-stage testing of research programs, the ability to conduct comprehensive evaluation and analysis of funded research efforts, and promotion of integrated, collaborative research and development activities both intramural and extramural, across multiple labs. “This investment represents an exciting opportunity for the labs at TATRC to work together bridging our research efforts in a simulated military environment. We now have an environment to support military medical modeling, simulation and visualization of current and future research and development activities from the point of injury through the entire telemedicine environment,” stated Mr. Geoffrey Miller, MMSV Lab Manager and Research Scientist.

References: C. D. Combs, John A. Sokolowski, Catherine M. Banks (2016). The Digital Patient: Advancing Healthcare, Research, and Education (Wiley Series in Modeling and Simulation), pp 35-38. New Jersey, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., ISBN: 978-1-118-95275-7.

This article was published in the June 2018 issue of the TATRC Times.