U.S. Army to invest in Immersion's trauma related medical simulators

San Jose 22 October 2001Immersion Medical, a wholly owned subsidiary of Immersion Corporation, has been awarded a research and development grant from the Department of Defense Small Business Innovation Research (DoD SBIR) programme. The DoD SBIR programme is one of the largest sources of technology funding available in the United States, awarding more than $550 million annually to hi-tech companies. The U.S. Army plans to use Immersion Medical's simulation technology for the development of trauma related military medical training systems.


Harvey Magee, Project Officer, Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center of the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command, stated: "The SBIR programme allows us to fill gaps in our Medical Modelling and Simulation research portfolio. Immersion's technology and innovation supports our strategy of researching and developing medical simulation training devices which improve medical training for both the military and the civilian sectors."

The research funded by the SBIR grant will focus on the creation of a new module for the CathSim Vascular Access Simulator. CathSim combines software, a catheter interface device, and a personal computer to create training scenarios which exhibit realistic human tissue interaction such as bleeding and resistance. CathSim uses Immersion's patented TouchSense technology, which enables a medical professional to feel subtle nuances of a vessel when performing a simulated medical procedure. The new module will be designed to integrate guide wire, catheter, dilator, and needle procedures on a haptic feedback device attached to a laptop computer.

Greg Merril, founder of Immersion Medical, stated: "Simulation technology has demonstrated efficacy in many military roles. With this SBIR-sponsored research, Immersion Medical will expand simulation's role in military medicine. Training in these potentially life-saving procedures is necessary for the combat readiness of our military personnel and military hospitals that must be prepared for a wide variety of medical challenges."

The new module will allow army medical professionals to practise real-world catheter placement scenarios on a variety of digital patients before performing difficult insertions on real patients. This type of simulation will allow professionals to hone their skills. It will equally give the medical team a quantifiable way to measure the skill level of medical professionals.

Immersion's three key product lines are the CathSim Vascular Access Simulator, the AccuTouch Endoscopy Simulator, and the AccuTouch Endovascular Simulator. More news about Immersion Medical's simulation software can be found in the VMW September 2001 article Immersion's newly launched colonoscopy simulation modules offer high degree of realism in modelling and force-feedback.

Leslie Versweyveld

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