Margaret Roth By Margaret Roth • May 27, 2015

A Case Study: Applying xAPI and IoT in Emergency Medical Training

By Margaret Roth

Fire and Rescue is on the scene.

Followed by a firetruck, two EMTs rush to the scene of a car crash along a road tucked away into suburban northern Virginia. Inside is an unresponsive driver. An unresponsive driver in whose torso lies a beacon and an Android phone pinging information to a hospital eleven miles away.

This is the scene at the Fairfax Fire and Rescue Academy where a Global City action cluster is testing an Internet of Things (IoT) approach to emergency medical training. The “driver” is a mannequin fit with a proximity beacon and an Experience API (xAPI) activity provider app. The Experience API is an interoperability spec for tracking next-gen learning data; this is the first time it is being used in the field to collect live IoT-enabled data from an emergency training simulation.

The EMTs are wearing the tiny beacons as well, and a phone attached to the ambulance is sending all of the proximity data between patient and rescuer to an xAPI learning record store (LRS) in the Cloud where the data is visualized in real time and made accessible to the team of nurses and doctors at the hospital, all of whom are also wearing beacons and whose preparations are being recorded live to the same LRS.

Designed as part of the research being undertaken by the Fairfax Global City team, this simulation was the first phase in exploring the application of xAPI and IoT to emergency training. The Global City Teams Challenge is an initiative of the National Institute of Standards and Technology and U.S. Ignite to advance the deployment of Internet of Things technologies within smart city and smart community environments.

Arriving at the hospital, the beacons — now creating a web of situational awareness patterns as the handoff takes place between the EMTs and the Emergency Room staff — continue to broadcast information to the xAPI database via Android devices located at portals through the hospital and in the operating room. This data, visualized as a network graph, will be shared with the participants during the post-simulation debrief and later will be analyzed by human performance experts. And as the project moves forward in phases with the addition of wearables, medical device integrations, and more complex sensor systems, the trainers and trainees will gain a 360 degree view into what’s really happening during a complex multi-team operation. The intended result is to help emergency trainers to improve the quality of training and thereby improve the outcomes for patients.

The project — led by Dr. Brenda Bannan of George Mason University, Dr. Shane Gallagher from Advanced Distributed Learning, and Yet Analytics CEO Shelly Blake-Plock, along with David Helms of Radius Networks, Michael Arnouse of Arnouse Digital Devices Corporation, INOVA Fairfax Hospital’s Advanced Surgical Technology and Education Center, and Fairfax Fire and Rescue, and including a volunteer team of over 40 participants — will be presenting its findings along with over 50 other teams demonstrating IoT projects at the Global City Teams Challenge Expo in Washington, D.C. on June 1st. Partners on the Global City expo include the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Energy, Cisco, GE, IBM, and Qualcomm among others.

xAPI and the Internet of Things represent next-gen technologies that are making a big splash right now. Together, they hold enormous promise for the future of training and learning in connected environments. Interested in exploring further? Contact us at Yet Analytics and let’s talk about ways to bring the power of xAPI and IoT to your training and learning initiatives.

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