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Mil Med. 2013 Oct;178(10 Suppl):28-36. doi: 10.7205/MILMED-D-13-00212.

Balancing physiology, anatomy and immersion: how much biological fidelity is necessary in a medical simulation?

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  • 1Institute for Creative Technologies, University of Southern California, 12015 Waterfront Drive, Playa Vista, CA 90094-2536.


Physiology and anatomy can be depicted at varying levels of fidelity in a medical simulation or training encounter. Another factor in a medical simulation concerns design features intended to engage the learner through a sense of immersion. Physiology can be simulated by various means including physiology engines, complex state machines, simple state machines, kinetic models, and static readouts. Each approach has advantages in terms of complexity of development and impact on the learner. Such factors are detailed within the article. Various other biological, hardware-based, and virtual models are used in medical training with varying levels of fidelity. For many medical simulation-based educational experiences, low-fidelity approaches are often adequate if not preferable.

Reprint & Copyright © 2013 Association of Military Surgeons of the U.S.

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