The Virtual Heroes Division of Applied Research Associates (ARA) has won a contract with the U.S. Army Research Laboratory to build a virtual trainer that helps medics treat serious burn injuries. The Burn Computer Application for Research and Education (BurnCARE) serious game for mobile devices will address the full course of treatment, from evaluation of injuries to longer-term hospital care. The contract includes a one-year base and a one-year option with a ceiling of $2.6 million, including funding for the U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research.

The goal of BurnCARE is to help the Army address complex burn care evaluation and treatment procedures. The trainer will feature high-fidelity 3D virtual patients and realistic burns and hospital environments, tracking multiple patients over virtual “work shift” sessions. Virtual Heroes will create new burn patient models currently unavailable to the Army: 3D representations of burn patients with varying levels of injury, the ability to track evolving injuries over time and consequences visualized from proper and improper treatment protocols. BurnCARE’s physiology engine (the open source BioGears™ engine) will simulate burn response by accounting for fluid loss, increased vascular resistance, thermoregulation, hypothermia, infection and related conditions.

“We are excited to work with the Army to help medics treat complex burn injuries,” said Randy Brown, ARA VP and Virtual Heroes Division Manager. “By leveraging the most advanced game rendering technology available—the Unreal Engine™—we can represent the exact placement, severity, and appearance of realistic burn injuries. Practice with high-fidelity, realistic virtual scenarios will help today’s medics better evaluate and treat their burn patients.”

BurnCARE is being developed for iOS and Android mobile platforms to support ease of access and wide distribution.