Austin, TX
Public Safety

Our VR and AR training systems for Emergency Medical Technicians show a decrease of 45% in errors and up to 29% decrease of time-on-task.

EMS personnel called to work large scale emergencies work on a bus-sized ambulance, called an Ambus. With only 13 Ambus vehicles located in the state of Texas, training is impractical at best, with EMTs only receiving training once per year. Since emergencies happen rarely, this results in EMTs not being familiar with the operations of the Ambus systems when they are called upon. Moreover, EMS personnel are often needed very quickly so attending traditional, day long retraining activities is unrealistic and results in massive overtime pay for the city (often upwards of $50,000 per training).

The ability to deliver high-quality training on-demand and under budget is where Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) training simulators shine.

We have created two VR and AR applications that can be delivered remotely to the AMBUS personnel before they assemble, or as they are assembling. These are designed to solve two major problems: Familiarity with the Ambus systems, and efficiently triaging a large number of individuals.

Initial feedback from EMS personnel has been positive, with one Commander noting that the 3D rendered prototype is one of the best VR simulations he has seen. We tested both the VR and AR applications with Austin/Travis County EMS cadets and the results were significant:

Up to a 45% decrease in errors and up to a 29% decrease in time-on-task. When seconds are the difference between life and death, these reductions are impressive.

A third implementation, in development, will train EMTs in triaging techniques for mass-casualties.

Project Milestones (links at left):
• Initial Ambus Training Prototype in Interactive 360º Video – Complete
• Initial Ambus Augmented Reality Prototype – Complete
• Initial Augmented Reality Triage Prototype – Complete
• 3D Rendered, Interactive Virtual Reality Ambus Training – Complete
• 3D Rendered, Interactive Augmented Reality Ambus – Complete
• Virtual Reality Testing with cadets – Complete
• Augmented Reality Testing with Cadets – Complete
• 3D Rendered, Interactive Triage environment – In Development

For any inquiries, contact Dr. Scott Smith, [email protected]

Team Information: Just in Time VR, Scott Smith, Associate Professor, Director, Virtual Reality and Technology Lab, School of Social Work, Texas State University
George Koutitas, Assistant Professor, Texas State University
Grayson Lawrence, Associate Professor, Communication Design, School of Art and Design, Texas State University
Marbenn Cayetano, It Business Systems Analyst Sr., City of Austin
Keith Noble, EMS Commander, City of Austin
Charles Purma, Mgr, Information Systems and Business Enterprises
Ted Lehr, IT Data Architect, City of Austin
Vangelis Metsis, Assistant Professor, Texas State University
Mark Trahan, Assistant Professor, Texas State University

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