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MS&T Professionals Discuss the State of the Field
TOPICS & CATEGORIES
The second day of the MetaCenter Global Week included a panel representing the medical simulation, defense, space and construction industries, who talked about the current state of the modeling, simulation and training (MS&T) in Orlando, Florida, Oct. 18.
Finkelstein began the session by setting a historical context for the audience: In the early 90s the MS&T community was “begging people to use simulators.” After technology improved, according to Finkelstein, “we started seeing MS&T become ubiquitous in the Department of Defense (DoD)” – especially in the medical field due to the military’s early experiences in Iraq during the War on Terror. Since then, MS&T technology is now used for training in education, space, homeland security and several other sectors. He ended his opening comments by emphasizing the significance of the demand for data, particularly for digital twin development.
“Everything is starting to merge together,” Finkelstein said. “It’s all about the data now.”
During initial introductions, Tomasello seconded Finkelstein’s comments on changing perceptions in the value of medical simulation in training.
“It’s evolved, and it’s accepted because the folks out there are using it, and the folks who are building it, recognize the value,” Tomasello said, and went on to relate a personal story from when he was the Middle East working with medical simulators. “One day, an Army first sergeant walked up to me when he learned who I was, and he said, ‘What I learned in the medical simulation training center here saved my life and my buddy’s life.’ As a program manager, after that, I’ve never had a bad day – ever.”
When the participants addressed the topic of specific challenges they were facing in their fields, Armstrong said that the DoD wanted a digital twin of the world, down to centimeter-level resolution to train anywhere.
“That’s a lot of data and data collection,” Armstrong said. “Then there’s the issue that the data should be live when the world changes on a continuous basis. Buildings get built and people cut down trees, so how do we capture, process, and deliver that data?”
Hill mentioned policy as a special concern affecting his area of MS&T.
“We have well-defined rules about the speed to aviation, such as, when you’re in a simulator, how long do you have to wait after that to go to the plane and fly?” Hill said. “We don’t have those rules for AR/VR today. We’re kind of making that up along the way and that’s a big safety concern, but the policy has to be there… or you’re stuck. Or, when you’re trying to certify a headset from a cybersecurity standpoint… or if you want to go from a Vibe to a Varjo, you have to go through an entirely new certification process. That [situation] can’t stay that way because we need to move fast with this stuff.”
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