Charles River Analytics
Cambridge, MA
617-491-3474
www.cra.com

Reducing combat fatalities demands quick and effective emergency care on the battlefield, and all soldiers are expected to provide immediate, basic care to themselves or their comrades. Critical first-aid procedures are described in the Soldier's Manual of Common Tasks, but recalling the procedures in stressful, life-threatening battlefield environments is challenging. In addition, each first-aid skill is composed of numerous, interrelated subtasks and processes. Successful accomplishment of the subtasks and processes depends heavily on an individual soldier's basic aptitude, underlying skills, and understanding of the task flow involved.

Charles River was chosen by the US Army Aeromedical Research Laboratory at Fort Rucker, Alabama, inventors of the training tool concept, to design and create Pictorial Representations of Medical Procedures to Train for Effective Recall, also known as PROMPTER, to improve the retention of US Army soldiers' battlefield first-aid skills. Critical first-aid skills are represented in PROMPTER through simple, intuitive symbols that represent first-aid actions or emergency medical procedures.

The symbols are then incorporated within a framework that aids long-term memorization of the first-aid methods. The memorization aids are presented to soldiers through adaptive microgames that provide an engaging gameplay experience tailored to their individual skills and training needs. Charles River made the games available to soldiers through smartphone apps and Web browsers that can be accessed from any location. It is believed that soldiers who are able to effectively perform these first-aid procedures under traumatic battlefield conditions can reduce the number of preventable combat deaths.

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Aerospace & Defense Technology Magazine

This article first appeared in the February, 2014 issue of Aerospace & Defense Technology Magazine.

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