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British Army Turns To Oculus Rift To Take the Sting Out of Battlefield Trauma

timothy posted about 3 months ago | from the playing-operation-did-wonders dept.

Medicine 23

Dimetrodon (2714071) writes British consultancy Plextek has just announced the world's first immersive medical training system for the military using the Oculus Rift. The virtual reality technology will be used to simulate pre-hospital care on the battlefield, requiring trainees to "negotiate and prioritise" clinical needs while under virtual fire.

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boo hooo hoooooo (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47239779)

Battlefield trauma? They volunteered for it, they get the trauma they bargained for. Don't they enjoy cashing their pay for following orders?

Re:boo hooo hoooooo (4, Insightful)

Cryacin (657549) | about 3 months ago | (#47239887)

Battlefield trauma? They volunteered for it, they get the trauma they bargained for. Don't they enjoy cashing their pay for following orders?

Quite a cynical way to be viewing the guys patching up the boys who've been shot to pieces. If anyone in an army deserves sympathy, it would have to be the field medics. Hopefully for your sake Mr. AC, I just fed a troll.

Re:boo hooo hoooooo (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47240073)

Choosing to maintain the biological tools you use to dominate/kill those weaker than you makes you part of the problem.

The average soldier is simply a dullard. I have the least sympathy for humans blessed with intelligence but who do not use it for good. The US in particular has had no business fighting in any war for at least half a century, yet has chosen every year to pillage nevertheless. Nobody today having signed up can claim that they were doing it to protect their borders, so we must conclude that they were doing it for the pay or the blood-lust.

GOP AC (1, Insightful)

globaljustin (574257) | about 3 months ago | (#47240139)

so we must conclude that they were doing it for the pay or the blood-lust.

this is a GOP troll

no one I know, have ever met, or have ever read or watched has *ever* used this logic

progrssives/liberals who are anti-war do not use this kind of rhetoric, ever anywhere

by this logic, anyone who gets into banking must be doing so in order to evict/foreclose on familes

Re:GOP AC (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47240155)

anyone who gets into banking must be doing so in order to evict/foreclose on familes

Or for the pay, yes.

The two possible reasons for doing something nonproductive+harmful are remuneration and sadism, no matter how many layers of quasi-religious hand-waving you try to apply.

Re:GOP AC (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about 3 months ago | (#47241361)

I think trolling transcends political party. Trying to figure out whose "team" the troll is on just plays his game. Ignore trolls and dont assume they represent anyone's views or arguments.

Re:GOP AC (1)

globaljustin (574257) | about 2 months ago | (#47256101)

I think trolling transcends political party

I think your false equivalence transcends logic

**OF COURSE** it's true that **ANYONE** any political persuasion or 'party' can "troll"

no.

when trolls are GOP trolls you **call out the GOP troll** because their **ideas** are detrimental to profitable discussion.

if it's the opposite, call it out in the appropriate manner.

GOP trolls exist, and must be publicly shamed

Re:GOP AC (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47241381)

progrssives/liberals who are anti-war do not use this kind of rhetoric, ever anywhere

That is quite the idiotic statement. Try to back it up.

Re:boo hooo hoooooo (2)

maroberts (15852) | about 3 months ago | (#47239977)

I think you misread the article - its about training medics how to deal with casualties whilst they are under fire and is probably as close as you can get short of having them on a real battlefield. The "battlefield trauma" relates to injuries on the battlefield, not whether medics are traumatized in dealing with the situation, although improving the ability of them to handle the situation they are in will reduce the likelihood of this happening.

Battlefield medics have to make hard decisions, including deciding not to treat casualties who are unlikely to survive if they are under severe pressure.

Re:boo hooo hoooooo (1)

craigminah (1885846) | about 3 months ago | (#47240151)

Who else is going to protect you and allow you to bitch and moan on /.

Re:boo hooo hoooooo (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47240311)

How is attacking middle-eastern countries protecting you? I'm glad my country's defense forces don't think offense halfway around the world is the best defense.

I respect the war veterans who defended my country from foreign invasion in world wars.
I would feel very differently if they had been the invading force instead, going to war for Lebensraum, oil, other natural riches or whatever similar reasons.

Re:boo hooo hoooooo (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47242253)

The quest for world domination has always been. It's never been about protecting the border from the expanding empire perspective. What is the Middle East anyway if not a constantly changing collection of borders. It wasn't that long ago the British Mandate of Palestine existed. The Ottomans, the Romans the Caliphs. What border I ask? Humans orgasize into large and sometimes powerful miltaries, then go to work expanding influence. The true trick of history is to be on the winning side, this will likely ensure the survival of your genetic lineage.

This looks like technology looking for a purpose.. (1)

Karmashock (2415832) | about 3 months ago | (#47239881)

rather then a purpose looking for technology.

How do they normally deal with this?... same way fire fighters do... they have little mock up training areas with dummies and the fire fighters play pretend.

how is this VR thing any better then that? and frankly... how can it help but be worse?

Re:This looks like technology looking for a purpos (3, Insightful)

AHuxley (892839) | about 3 months ago | (#47239931)

It gives that 3d depth and color lacking in the real world.
Young people like computer games and respond well to been further educated with computers.
Its part of a complex learning system that has worked/sold well in other countries...
Its part of a complex learning system that will sell well other countries...
Think of the exports, local hi tech jobs.
Stories like this reflect well on Armed Forces when any good news is needed to take away from reports about the UK role in Iraq.

Re:This looks like technology looking for a purpos (1)

Concerned Onlooker (473481) | about 3 months ago | (#47240427)

"It gives that 3d depth and color lacking in the real world."

Could you explain that? As I look around me in the real world I see amazing color and 3D depth. I'd say it's much better than the OR, which when I put one on reminded me very much of looking into those old video camera electronic viewfinders.

Re:This looks like technology looking for a purpos (1)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about 3 months ago | (#47239955)

How do they normally deal with this?... they have little mock up training areas with dummies and the fire fighters play pretend.

The problem with your "little mock up" is that it involves dozens of people and costs thousands of dollars/pounds per hour. It is more cost effective to use virtual reality to conduct the initial phases of training, and save the mock up training for later phases.

Re:This looks like technology looking for a purpos (1)

Karmashock (2415832) | about 3 months ago | (#47241367)

The mock up is a fixed cost... its a bit land the army has set aside for such things... all you're paying for is the depreciation on dummies which I can assure you less then the depreciation on VR helmets.

We run into this sort of thing all the time in the US. Some new wizbang technology comes out and everyone in government wants to use it never mind that they don't need it and that using it is actually less efficient then what they were doing before. They don't care... they want their toy.

Well, that's great... I don't mind them having toys. I just mind them playing with them when they're supposed to be working. By all means buy a couple of these things for research purposes and play with them in your spare time. You can even use public money for it and we'll call it "research"... But don't buy hundreds or thousands of the things and subject a likely experienced training staff to technology that is not actually useful to them.

many lonely problems (1)

globaljustin (574257) | about 3 months ago | (#47240129)

tech for a purpose rather than a purpose looking for technology.

well said!

i've been searching for the right phrase to describe the Occulus Rift hype

*this* is the *first* slashdot story I've seen that warrants any attention...on the battlefield, injuries are random and chaotic, blood everywhere, pieces just missing...you cant train for that with a blow-up doll...so good for whoever thought of this application

i hate how our industry works...so many problems to solve, yet the money follows the hype

Re:This looks like technology looking for a purpos (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | about 2 months ago | (#47246361)

rather then a purpose looking for technology.

How do they normally deal with this?... same way fire fighters do... they have little mock up training areas with dummies and the fire fighters play pretend.

how is this VR thing any better then that? and frankly... how can it help but be worse?

I'd say a use is continuous training. Firefighters normally can only do a few real simulated training a year. Using VR, they can do it continually, alongside the real simulations.

I mean, if you're an airport firefighter, you must do a live simulation training once a year minimum, and many do it every 6 months or so (twice a year). Well, alongside that, why not use VR to be able to train 10 more times a year? It doesn't have to replace, just augment.

Though I believe the US Army has found simulations very interesting - for simulating the soldier's physical health as well. If they're on the heavier side of the scale, it gets modelled in the simulations by not moving as fast, less stamina, etc. And then also physically modelled. (I believe one of the soldiers asked why he was so fat in the simulation, to which came one of his squadmates "You ARE fat!")

Re:This looks like technology looking for a purpos (1)

Karmashock (2415832) | about 2 months ago | (#47247635)

Except they won't do it continuously.

And now you've forced the trainers to coordinate everything with programmers.

Previously if they wanted to change the senario they just did it... no back and forth with programmers required.

Now on top of everything else I've said the training system is less flexible.

Here is what is going to happen.

They're going to take your toys and play with them for awhile. Then they're going to go back to the old training system because it actually is more useful. Oh they'll play with the toys on and off again... doubtless they'll be used for a specific type of training that doesn't change much. So they'll whip those out and do that... and then right back to the old training method.

Look. I love technology. But the point of technology is to make things easier... to make people more powerful. Technology doesn't always do that. Sometimes it wastes time. Sometimes it places artifical constraints on otherwise more flexible situations.

Whenever technology does that it is the enemy and should either be re purposed or eliminated.

If the most efficient way to do something was to go over and hit it with a rock... I'd suggest you go over and hit it with a rock. Even if the alternative solution is to build a ray gun, bounce a beam off a satilite in space, and then over a period of time melt the target down.

Why do things the hard way? That its "cool" or "technology!" or "science" is not justification for the waste of time and resources.

This VR idea stinks of a waste of money.

Now if you want to know a good application for VR... Tank commanders, sub commanders, ship commanders, and fighter pilots... also drone commanders.

That's something you can use VR for in the military. Full 360 display with integrated sensors. So I can see 3d radar returns... see 3d sonar returns... So I can see where the enemy was last, what their speed and heading was, and the projected course in 3D. etc.

That's something useful.

But this?... trash.

Virtual fire? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47240027)

To combat virtual fire, use virtual water?

Oh, you meant "fire" as in "bullets"? It's not my fault if the english language is so imprecise.

I never even considered that (3, Insightful)

NotSoHeavyD3 (1400425) | about 3 months ago | (#47240401)

But since they're doing education with it, damn med students could use this to look at a virtual cadaver if they wanted to put in a little extra studying. (Since I bet seeing it in VR is a lot better than Grey's anatomy. Not as good as the real thing but they'll still be doing that.)

Best way to take the Sting Out of Battlefield... (1)

GameofScones (3695999) | about 2 months ago | (#47246247)

The best way to take the Sting Out of Battlefield... Don't go into battles you can't win. Say: Iraq.
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