DARPA Seeking Game-Based Interactive Medical System

May 10th, 2012 by Erwin Gianchandani Post a comment »

DARPA seeking game-based interactive medical system [image courtesy DARPA].The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has issued a call for proposals through its Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program, seeking a mobile application that couples game design, architecture, and fundamental research in HCI and education to develop a mobile application that teaches medical first-responder skills.

According to the solicitation (following the link; emphasis added):

Combining skills training with the underlying STEM principles from biology/physiology should more readily allow for the generalization of the skills to novel situations. This tool is envisioned for both medical training and in basic civilian education science classes. The goal is to create a game-based application on mobile platforms to teach first responder principles that integrates intelligent tutoring systems to not only teach basic skills, but answer the underlying questions of why a student should or should not have responded the way they did. Using this application, students should learn BOTH basic skills and also basic principles of human physiology. Thus, this can be used as a classroom resource for science education as well as a resource to teach medical skills for first responders.


The underlying architecture should allow for the analysis and optimization of the software to both the individual user and across the entire population of users. We are not seeking standard computer-based learning systems, but game-based interactive systems that are engaging and challenging to the user. Design and development should be to professional game standards and the proposed game concepts should be compelling, innovative, and designed to motivate users for continued interactions. Innovative approaches for visualization and interaction with these different types of information are required.


The system should educate, train, and assess the student’s knowledge. The patient models should respond accurately and be based on underlying physiology models that respond appropriately to both injury and treatment. The simulation should include a case editing tool that instructors and students can use to customize injury scenarios. The system should be developed in such a way to allow customization of options for basic first responders with limited resources to more advanced options for Corpsmen/Medics/EMTs.


Proposals must reflect team expertise in medical training (military and civilian), education, and game production. Teams that do not reflect a balance between these skill sets will not be considered. Proposals should clearly outline proposed development tools, design standards, educational approaches, and validation strategies. Proposals must also discuss details of transition strategy and market opportunities.

To learn more, see the call for proposals here.

(Contributed by Erwin Gianchandani, CCC Director)