U.S. Army developing 'Open Source' Medical Simulation Solutions

Michael Peck | Army Times | March 12, 2013

An open-source physiology engine that anyone can use to develop medical simulations is being developed by the U.S. Army’s Telemedicine & Advanced Technology Research Center. It’s not altruism that’s spurring the $7 million PhACTS (Physiologically Accurate Community-based platform for Training Systems) project. Rather, TATRC hopes that the new engine will enable the public to develop medical simulations that will benefit military as well as civilian medicine.

“We thought if we had an engine that we could give away freely to everybody, it would make it a lot easier for everyone to experiment with the simulations that use them, and make it less expensive for people to develop their own novel things,” said Thomas Talbot, chief scientist at TATRC’s Armed Forces Simulation Institute for Medicine. Current physiology simulations are either oriented toward university research, or are only available as expensive commercial products.

But TATRC is paying contractor Applied Research Associates, which won the project in February, for open-source licensing of a product that ARA will own, but that the public can download from a Web site. “People could use this for their own for-profit products,” said Talbot, a former Army pediatrician turned medical simulations researcher...