Aptima Develops Cognitive Load & Sociometric Monitoring of Medical Team Simulations to Improve Training

The surgical team huddles around the patient.  They quickly stop the bleed, saving the fictional patient’s life but they’ve lost an opportunity.  The medical simulation, too simple, too easy, and too quick doesn’t challenge their skills for teaching value.  For another team, the complications of the scenario stumps effective learning.

How can instructors monitor and modify these training scenarios on the fly to maximize learning?

To address that challenge, Aptima is developing ACLAMATE – the Automated Cognitive Load Assessment for Medical Staff Training and Evaluation. Funded by the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command, and managed by the Telemedicine & Advanced Technology Research Center (TATRC), ACLAMATE is a system that unobtrusively collects and analyzes data about team workload during the simulation, giving trainers the ability to monitor and modify the scenarios to maximize individual trainee and team learning.   

While medical simulator technologies have advanced, methods to measure training effectiveness have lagged.  Currently, trainers use pencil and paper-based assessments that are limited to coarse high-to-low rating scales. In complex medical exercises where personnel each perform a different role, such broad evaluations don’t adequately reflect the learning experience for individuals and the team.

ACLAMATE closes that gap by analyzing data across several dimensions during the medical scenario, measuring the cognitive workload of each team member as well as the interpersonal dynamics and communications occurring amongst the group.

“Relying on a simple ‘1-5’ rating to evaluate training effectiveness can result in a gross oversimplification of whether learning objectives have been met. And more importantly, if not, why not?” said Jeff Beaubien, ACLAMATE principal investigator for Aptima.  “You may have two teams that each received the same rating, but for entirely different reasons.  One may have been under-challenged and bored, doing the minimum, while the other may have been overloaded with the scenario’s complexity, barely passing.”

Aptima will be demonstrating the ACLAMATE technology at the National Training and Simulation Association (NTSA) Capitol Hill Modeling and Simulation Expo, on July 10, 2014 from 10:30 to 2:00 in the Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC

Source: Aptima, Inc.
Date: Jul 7, 2014