ST. LOUIS Military physicians will soon pick up joysticks instead of textbooks to learn skills that could save lives of children with serious health threats.
James Gerard, M.D., a professor of pediatrics at Saint Louis University, has received a $541,807 grant from the Department of Defense Office of Naval Research to work with a Baltimore-based gaming company to develop a video game that will train physicians on pediatric emergency room cases.
"Our goal with this project is to use one of the most popular tools gaming to train military physicians so that they feel comfortable and confident in saving children," said Gerard, a SLUCare pediatrician in the division of emergency medicine at SSM Cardinal Glennon Children's Medical Center.
Gerard is the lead of a nine-member subject matter expert team conceptualizing seven medical scenarios that will be turned into virtual scripts. The team will select cases with life-threatening emergencies including septic and anaphylactic shocks, and respiratory failure, and compel users to think on their feet and perform tests and procedures.
"Physicians who are deployed in military sites may not always have expertise in pediatrics. A game-based education tool will help these physicians build their knowledge," he said. "In this format, learning is contextual, so instead of reading about septic shock patients, you're actually taking care of them. It gives you the practical knowledge, which is powerful."
Each scenario is unique. Once users play through a stage, they will move to the next one. The game will start by displaying some basic information like the age and major symptoms of the patient's medical condition. The player will then assess the patient by clicking on different body parts, like checking the airway to determine if the patient is breathing properly.
"In this format, the patient will respond in appearance to what is going on. If in shock, there will be a pale,
|Contact: Riya V Anandwala|
Saint Louis University