© 2024 Milwaukee Public Media is a service of UW-Milwaukee's College of Letters & Science
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Field Assessment Simulator uses virtual & augmented reality to help identify, treat concussions

The Field Assessment Simulator is a virtual and augmented reality training tool for anyone interested in learning about concussions.
Center for Simulation & Innovation
Concordia University
The Field Assessment Simulator is a virtual and augmented reality training tool for anyone interested in learning about concussions.

No matter how you interact with athletes — be it a coach, parent, spectator, or trainer — being able to identify and treat a potential concussion is an important skill to have.

The Center for Simulation and Innovation out of Concordia University aims to change both the learning and training landscape through the use of a new technology. One of their most recent projects is called the Field Assessment Simulator - an augmented reality training toolfor anyone interested in learning about concussions.

The tool is part of a ConcussionSIM Platform, creating realistic simulations of concussion symptoms to practice assessments in a safe, controlled environment. By using the Field Assessment Simulator, participants can quickly and accurately identify the signs and symptoms of a concussion, work through assessment tests and make treatment decisions.

For Dr. Cindy Fenske, the executive director of the Center for Simulation and Innovation, the technology can be a very impactful tool for treating and preventing the damaging lasting effects of concussions.

As a nurse and professor, Fenske is very familiar with how simulation can be be a helpful component in educating and training. "The idea of simulation is to recreate an event that is highly realistic. You put the student or the learner into that situation and the story unfolds. They respond, and sometimes they make mistakes. Sometimes they do things correctly. But regardless, it's in a safe environment where they can make mistakes. And then they learn," she says.

She continues, "[Simulation] is an environment where you get an emotional connection to the situation because you are in it. You are experiencing it. You are living it. And that, through science and all kinds of research, has shown that, it creates deeper learning and longer lasting learning. So, with that background in simulation, we wanted to take that forward so that people that could be involved with players, athletes or actually anyone that experiences a concussion."

The training isn't limited to professional caretakers but is open to anyone that may encounter someone experiencing head trauma or simply interested in completing the training. The program is also versatile and can be used with a virtual reality headset, smartphone or computer and will still provide an immersive experience.

Fenske explains, "Every symptom that the athlete experiences is explained. Every question that you ask the the player, or any test that is done, you will see the response pop up on the screen and then when you make your decision [and] you get feedback based on that decision."

Developing this project has been a rewarding experience for Fenske. She says, "It's been really exciting... I've been focused on teaching and coming up with innovative ways to teach and make sure my students are learning."


Audrey is a WUWM host and producer for Lake Effect.
Rob is All Things Considered Host and Digital Producer.
Related Content