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Technology Alternatives for Medical Training: Minimizing Live Tissue Use

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Human Factors and Medicine

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Animal models, Design, Live Tissue Training, LTT, Medical, Medics, Simulation, Simulators, Training, Validation


Training NATO medical personnel for their roles in tactical operations has traditionally included combat casualty scenarios using live animal models of injury. This training modality is often called “live tissue training” (LTT). The use of animals for LTT has come under significant scrutiny in many NATO nations to the point where the use of animals in military medical training will have to be severely curtailed if not completely eliminated. The only “alternatives” to live tissue training models of injury will be those provided by technology -- simulations and simulators. In an initial NATO HFM effort (HFM-224), learning models and technology modalities for Special Forces medic training were examined in a Research Workshop forum. Of the several outcomes of HFM-224 was a key insight that simulation and simulator technology will have to continue to advance before the technology can fully replace LTT for some scenarios. Additionally, technical criteria and standards for adoption of simulation technology will have to be developed and adopted in order to directly link technology advances to curriculum elements in pre-hospital trauma and life support training.


To monitor simulation and simulator technology that can serve as a replacement for LTT in NATO medical training; - Leverage the output of HFM-215 as it applies to LTT alternatives; - To identify requirements for technology to replace LTT; - To annually identify and report to relevant COMEDS committees relevant simulation technology emerging from the commercial sector and from research in the NATO nations centered on replacing LTT; - Provide subject matter expert advice on criteria for evaluation and adoption of technology; and, - Advise COMEDS committees on technology standards relevant to insertion of technology into training venues.


- Identify medical and paramedical training curricula elements that currently utilize live tissue models; - Create a current list of research and technology products that have potential for replacing LTT; - Draft evaluation and standards criteria for technology to replace LTT.

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