Health

Virtual reality helps train Defence medics in Australia

A new virtual reality software to augment the medical training of combat medics in Australia has been launched with support from the Department of Defence.

WHAT IT’S ABOUT

Developed by first responder training company Real Response, the Virtual Tactical Combat Care (VTC3) programme provides users with an immersive and personalised training experience to practice their medical skills in a range of scenarios, such as combat, humanitarian, and routine medical.  

Paired with a Garmin smartwatch, it uses live biometric data to dynamically change virtual scenarios. The data, alongside the VR training result, serves as a guide for debriefing sessions.

The VR programme is backed by the Defence Innovation Hub, which invests in new technologies that help grow the Australian defence industry. 

Moreover, this module adds to the list of VR projects offered by Real Response, which includes the MedEvac VR Simulator that trains military and civilian aeromedical retrieval specialists in critical medical and trauma scenarios.

WHY IT MATTERS

Based on a media release, VTC3 was developed to enhance tactical combat medical training, for example, in providing care during a fire, evacuation, and on the field.

It was designed to support Australian medical training but it could also be used by partner forces and leveraged by civilian agencies, such as hospitals, ambulance, and fire departments for their training needs.

THE LARGER TREND

Australia’s defence industry has made recent efforts to keep up with the ongoing digitalisation of health capabilities across the country. In May, the Australian Defence Force (ADF) took the first step in this direction by awarding a A$329 million ($222 million) contract for the deployment of digital health solutions across its organisation. 

A consortium led by systems integrator Leidos will deliver a range of health technologies, including EMR, telehealth, ePrescribing, practice management, eReferrals, clinical decision support, artificial intelligence and data analytics, to the organisation by 2028. A new Health Knowledge Management solution will also be set up to replace the ADF’s existing Defence eHealth system.

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