“Emergency training EPICSAVE” is a winner in the innovation competition “Landmarks in the Land of Ideas”

Press Release / 5.7.2017

The project EPICSAVE is one of the “Landmarks 2017”. The project is about the development, implementation, and testing of digital media in vocational training in the area of emergency medicine. Its aim is to develop a new training approach for teaching paramedics competencies for handling rare critical emergencies. The interdisciplinary consortium consisting of emergency physicians, experts in medical didactics, Virtual Reality (VR) und Serious Game specialists also includes Fraunhofer IESE from Kaiserslautern. Fraunhofer IESE is responsible for the medical didactics concept, the medical contents, and the evaluation of the project. “Germany – Land of Ideas” is a joint initiative of the German federal government and the German economy, represented by BDI.

Paramedics prepare for critical emergencies in a VR environment

A rare critical emergency – this could be, for instance, an allergic shock in a child. This situation is not very likely to occur in the context of the 3-year paramedic training, meaning that fully responsible paramedics might only be confronted with such a critical incident later on in their everyday work. This is why the interdisciplinary project team is developing suitable training methods in virtual emergency scenarios. EPICSAVE integrates the aspects didactics, medicine, Virtual Reality, and gaming into a novel type of training medium, which can improve the vocational training of paramedics in a sustainable and team-oriented manner. In particular, the Virtual Reality environment used in the project allows the future paramedics to learn without risk and to reflect on situations they rarely have to face on a daily basis and which could not be represented in a sufficiently realistic way with the training methods used to date. The project manager at Fraunhofer IESE and initiator of the project, Dr. Thomas Luiz, knows the numerous challenges in emergency missions from his many years of working as an emergency physician and trainer for medical emergency services. This is why he and his team are particularly happy about the award.

The project exploits the potential of openness and willingness to explore new things by enabling learning in critical situations through reflection on virtual experiences without any risk.

  • It addresses future challenges by strengthening the competence of paramedics to act in rare critical emergencies.
  • It is innovative because didactics are combined with Virtual Reality and gaming methods into novel types of training media.
  • It has model character because different disciplines are collaborating to improve medical training sustainably and in a team-oriented manner.

The EPICSAVE consortium consists of the following partners:

  • Bonn-Rhein-Sieg University of Applied Sciences, Institute of Visual Computing IVC, St. Augustin (coordinator)
  • Fraunhofer Institute for Experimental Software Engineering IESE, Kaiserslautern
  • Malteser Hilfsdienst gGmbH, Training Center of the Hesse/Rhineland-Palatinate/Saarland (HRS) Region, Wetzlar
  • Falck Rettungsdienst and G.A.R.D. gGmbH, Akademie für Notfallmedizin [Academy for Emergency Medicine], Hamburg
  • TriCAT GmbH, Ulm
  • Hannover University of Applied Sciences and Arts, Hanover