Australia’s first responder training company Real Response has created the BlueRoom Simulator, a mixed reality system that allows Navy, Army and Air Force 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 doctors to enter a virtual environment where they can still use their hands and body to interact with real objects in the environment.
Real Response explains that 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 exactly as they would in the real world. This is particularly useful in areas such as medicine, where doctors need to physically exercise, build muscle memory while learning how to treat a patient in a range of harsh environments from field operations, remote hospitals, helicopters, airplanes and on board.
“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 performs interventions using their own hands with real equipment,” co-founder of Real. Answer and registered paramedic, Ben Krynski said: “This is really revolutionary.”
According to Real Answer, BlueRoom’s Simulator allows doctors to practice in “high-value” and hard-to-access environments at “a small fraction of the cost.”
Some examples include enabling doctors to insert IVs and withdraw medications in the back of a C130J Hercules while flying across the Pacific, or insert a chest tube while preparing to take off with a patient in 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 the Australian defense industry and innovation sector.
Real Answer says it continues to develop and refine this capability, creating new virtual environments where doctors can practice their skills, and is also exploring other use cases for this technology with a range of industries.
“The BlueRoom Simulator can also be used to solve many training problems that industries such as mining and telecommunications have,” explains Solution Architect, Dale Linegar. “You can do hands-on, hands-on training in environments that might otherwise be dangerous, expensive or impractical, such as working at height or in confined spaces.”