Doctors & paramedics at St. Mary's Hospital running the simulator with an actual ambulance bay outside.
Imperial College conducted a number of research projects (spanning several years) to validate the use of simulators in education and training. I was employed on a consultancy basis for several of these projects, involving the development of 3D assets and the optimisation of some existing artwork for web delivery.
The simulator was used to train and test junior doctors in the management of a major incident such as a terrorist attack, rail crash or pandemic that results in a large influx of patients over a short period of time. 3D virtual patients arrive by ambulance and are then managed by the trainees who are expected to evaluate them clinically and deal with them appropriately as they arrive. Real life training using a real hospital and actors as patients is very expensive and time consuming, so Imperial College were keen to demonstrate the cost effectiveness of a simulated hospital.
I developed many of the simulator’s 3D assets (e.g. the ambulance vehicle & ambulance bay environment), as well as performing engine optimisations, developing shaders, and providing guidance on user experience design. Given the simulator was targeted at the Unity Web Player, virtual reality, and iOS devices, heavy optimisation was needed. I employed a variety of approaches to cutting-down processing/memory/bandwidth overhead.
The ambulance bay environment is an approximate representation of the actual bay at St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington, which has received patients from several major incidents. In one image shown above, a doctor can be seen running the simulator with the real-life ambulance bay seen to her right.