A leading medical simulation company (Laerdal) and ISI teamed up to implement the AV technology and medical-grade training manikins for Fort McCoy's new medical training center.
Fort McCoy is a United States Army installation located in Wisconsin located about 2 hours northwest of Madison. It is used primarily as a Total Force Training Center including training for not only tactical duties but also medical training. Over 100,000 members of the military receive training at Fort McCoy each year.
RTS (Regional Training Site)-Medical is the division of the base that handles the medical training to be used not only for soldiers in war but in cases of natural disasters. In early 2015, RTS-Medical was interested in building out a simulation lab so that their military personnel could use technology to go beyond traditional training on non-responsive manikins. Instead, they wanted to use advanced manikins that could bleed, breath and blink like a real patient and also capture the interactions that the soldiers had with the “patients” by using cameras and microphones as well as monitoring vital signs. They reached out to, Laerdal Medical, a company that specializes in medical-grade, high-fidelity manikins with built-in sensors and a companion software system to simulate a real patient experience. With the video and audio recording, the soldiers and their instructors would be able to review the recordings later to reinforce their training.
Laerdal had worked with ISI in the past on several simulation projects in other parts of the U.S. When they needed AV design and installation expertise for the project at Fort McCoy, they reached out to ISI given their understanding of the manikin technology and experience in AV in both healthcare and higher education.
The primary open area being used for simulations was the biggest challenge from an audio perspective. The area that the simulations were being held was completely open with only curtain dividers separating the beds as opposed to full walls. This meant that you could easily overhear the other soldiers speaking at the bed next to you which made audio recording challenging.
On top of that, the Fort McCoy staff wanted the flexibility to be able to change the layout of the room depending on their needs. That meant that any audio capture device would have to be able to move with the students as opposed to being the standard, stationary microphone that the manikin company typically recommended.
ISI was able to come up with a solution that not only would isolate the speaking voices of the individual soldiers but that would move with them should the layout of the room change. The solution that was designed included 50 wireless lavalier mics which could be pinned on each individual soldier as needed as well as several directional mics. This provided the necessary isolation while also not limiting the options for the room setup.
In addition to the microphones, the ISI team also placed cameras throughout the facility to capture the activity throughout the day for live feeds and recorded this information for viewing later. ISI also built out the technology for the debriefing rooms which included digital displays for viewing these simulations and for sharing content from their laptops.
As a result of our successful work on this project, we continue to do work with the Laerdal as their AV partner in other projects across the country.