Physiologic Fidelity as a Domain in Assessing Mixed Reality Trauma Simulation

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Military medicine




INTRODUCTION: Mixed reality has been used in trauma and emergency medicine simulation for more than a decade. As mixed reality potential in trauma simulation continues to expand, so too does the need to validate it as a surrogate for real-life emergency scenarios. Validation of these simulations can occur by measuring fidelity, or the degree to which a computing system can reproduce real-world experiences. After performing a literature review, we determined that most fidelity assessments of trauma and emergency simulations focus on how the user subjectively experiences the simulation. Although subjective user assessment is an important component of determining fidelity, we pose an introductory three-part framework that may assess mixed reality trauma simulation more adequately. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A literature review was conducted using Google Scholar, PubMed, and the Uniformed Services University PowerER search database. Relevant articles were assessed to identify how studies measured fidelity in trauma simulation. We then designed the three-part framework to aid researchers in assessing the fidelity of mixed reality trauma simulations. RESULTS: The domains we determined to best assess mixed reality emergency simulation are as follows:1. Continue assessing fidelity via subjective user assessments. This allows the researcher to know how real the simulation looked and felt to the user based on their individual report.2. Determine whether the trauma simulation changes the medical decision-making capacity of the user. If the user's decision-making capacity changes with a stress-inducing trauma simulation versus a non-stress-inducing simulation, then the stress-inducing trauma environment would be approaching greater fidelity.3. Study the domain of our newly proposed concept: physiologic fidelity. We define physiologic fidelity as the degree to which the simulation elicits a measurable, autonomic response independent of observed emotion or perceived affect. Recreating objective autonomic arousal may be the best way to ensure a trauma simulation reaches fidelity. CONCLUSION: We propose a methodology to assess mixed reality trauma simulation fidelity. Once fidelity is more fully known to the researcher and the simulation user, adjustments can be made to approach reality more closely. Improved simulators may enrich the preparedness of both junior and senior learners for real-life emergencies. We believe assessing the three domains using the Wide Area Virtual Experience at the Val G. Hemming simulation center in Bethesda, MD, will validate mixed reality-trauma simulators as invaluable surrogates for real-life emergency scenarios and ultimately contribute to improved clinical outcomes for clinicians and their patients.


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