Cranial Tap Creates Psychological Triage and Willingness to Respond Simulations in Disasters for Johns Hopkins University

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Funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the virtual reality simulation focuses on training in disaster psychological first aid and examines willingness to respond among health care personnel.

“There is exciting potential for directed interactive learning using virtual environments, particularly in the context of disasters or other public health emergencies.” Ed Hsu, Johns Hopkins M.D.

Cranial Tap, Inc., a leading developer of virtual reality learning and training solutions, announces the development of two simulation programs for Johns Hopkins University. The 3D virtual environments will be used to better understand psychological triage and delivery of psychological first aid following a traumatic workplace event. Those who participate in the simulations will use a three dimensional character to represent themselves as they progress through each directed step.

The Disaster Psychological Triage simulation draws users through a series of interviews with affected virtual characters in a healthcare setting. The Healthcare Worker Willingness to Respond simulation gauges hospital employee reactions to perceived potentially dangerous workplace situations. By leveraging online three dimensional environments, healthcare personnel and students can practice without risk and danger.

Cranial Tap employed several virtual world technologies within these simulations. Some include computer driven bot characters, a learning heads up display and a directed interactive storyline experience. These solutions were embedded within a custom designed 3D virtual hospital that envelops both simulation environments.

Today’s corporations, universities and organizations are using virtual reality solutions at an ever increasing rate. Three dimensional environments are an effective means of connecting dispersed employees, reducing travel costs and the need for physical space. They also result in high rates of subject matter retention over traditional text book learning. Visual training environments provide exposure to variable and unpredictable situations while in a safe environment.

“Johns Hopkins University is pushing the envelope by using virtual environments for this type of psychological study and understanding.” said Dave Levinson, President of Cranial Tap. “These simulations will open to the door to greater human understanding.”

“Virtual environment training is already being incorporated in national level exercises (NLE),” said Ed Hsu, M.D., an Associate Professor in The Johns Hopkins Department of Emergency Medicine and Director of Training at the Johns Hopkins Office of Critical Event Preparedness and Response (CEPAR). “There is exciting potential for directed interactive learning using virtual environments, particularly in the context of disasters or other public health emergencies.”

About Cranial Tap, Inc.
Cranial Tap, Inc. is a leading virtual world development firm located in the metro Washington, DC area. The company supports corporations, universities and organizations in providing cutting edge 3D virtual reality learning and training solutions. The company designs, constructs and programs highly interactive online environments with proven results. More than 500,000 global associates have been trained using Cranial Tap solutions. A selection of Cranial Tap clients includes 1-800-Flowers, AOL, Cognizant, Corbis, CyberWatch, Michigan State University College of Nursing, the National Science Foundation, NIC USA and University of Virginia.

About Johns Hopkins University
After more than 130 years, Johns Hopkins remains a world leader in both teaching and research. Eminent professors mentor top students in the arts and music, the humanities, the social and natural sciences, engineering, international studies, education, business and the health professions. Those same faculty members, and their research colleagues at the university's Applied Physics Laboratory, have each year since 1979 won Johns Hopkins more federal research and development funding than any other university.

About Centers for Disease Control
Preparedness and Emergency Response Research Centers (PEERRC)
The intent of the program for Preparedness and Emergency Response Research Centers (PERRCs) is to use the public health systems research approach to examine the organization, function, capacity, and performance of components in the public health system in preparing for and responding to all potential threats and hazards. In September 2008, OPHPR awarded approximately $10.9 million over five years to seven accredited schools of public health for establishing PERRCs. The research conducted at the PERRCs will address several of the research priorities recommended by the IOM. The findings from these projects will be used to help improve public health practice for preparedness and emergency response planning and policies at the local, state, federal and tribal level.

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