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Virtual Reality (VR) Immersive and Realistic Training to Understand and Address Laboratory Competencies (VIRTUAL-C)

Award Information
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
Branch: National Institutes of Health
Contract: 1R43GM133225-01
Agency Tracking Number: R43GM133225
Amount: $150,029.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: 500
Solicitation Number: PA18-574
Solicitation Year: 2018
Award Year: 2019
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2019-06-01
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2019-11-30
Small Business Information
Cambridge, MA 02138-4556
United States
DUNS: 115243701
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 (671) 491-3474
Business Contact
Phone: (617) 491-3474
Research Institution

Project Summary AbstractPublic Health LaboratoriesPHLsplay a crucial role in the detectionpreventionand control of disease through surveillancediagnostic and reference testingand emergency response supportTo provide these servicesPHLs require a highly skilled and well trained workforce of laboratory professionalsDespite thistraining and education represent laboratorieslowest average budgetary expendituresFurtherthere is little capacity to provide laboratory safety training in many State PHLsTo address the shortage of PHL training opportunitiesthere is a need for low costaccessible alternatives to current trainingwhich currently requires substantial time and monetary investmente gtravel and registration for external meetingsseminarsand workshopsor fails to provide realistic traininge gclassroomand web based trainingTo address these challengesCharles River Analytics and our collaboratorDrMichael Pentellapropose to design and evaluate Virtual RealityVRImmersive and Realistic Training to Understand and Address Laboratory CompetenciesVIRTUAL Can immersive VR environment that provides laboratory biosafety trainingThe VIRTUAL C system will leverage the simulation developer toolkit from our successful VIRTUOSO effortDeveloped for the Army Research LaboratoryVIRTUOSO provides a flexible framework for the rapid development of virtual environmentsVEsVIRTUOSO supports natural grossand fine motor interactions in the VEstrengthening the ability to train psychomotor skills in a simulationOur extension of this framework to the PHL domain under VIRTUAL C includes development of a library of virtual assets and reusable scripts and support for natural interactions specific to PHL training needs in the VEThe successful completion of VIRTUAL C will directly improve PHL training opportunities by providing a framework for developing and providing immersive VR training modules to laboratory personnelImmersivecompetency based VR training will benefit laboratory professionals by accelerating the training process and supporting the development and maintenance of personnel knowledgeskillsand abilitiesRecent advances in the VR hardware market also make VR a potentially low cost training medium that provides a level of realism often not realized in traditional training methodssuch as classroomand web based trainingFurthermoreVR enables the training of potentially hazardous laboratory taskse gtesting a specimen from a patient with tuberculosisin a controlledrisk free environmentFinallytechnology developed under the VIRTUAL C effort can be extended to address additional training needse gguided instruction of standard operation proceduresSOPsoperation of laboratory equipmentand to other laboratory settingse genvironmentalagriculturalclinicaluniversityProject NarrativePublic Health LaboratoriesPHLsrequire a highly skilled and well trained workforce of laboratory scientists and technicians to provide essential services related to the detectionpreventionand control of diseasesOur research effort will prototype a flexible Virtual RealityVRplatform for developing and deploying competencybased biosafety training in a virtual environmentOur solution will enable PHLs to provide immersive and costeffective competency based training to their workforce and support laboratory capacity for providing essential services

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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