HSARPA BioWatch Virtual Laboratory Orientation and Training

The goal was to create high-volume/low-cost BioWatch laboratory orientation and training for new and surge capacity laboratory technicians and decrease total lab tech training time. The project included 3 phases:

Phase I. Create movie: a self-guided tour of Level 3 virtual laboratory to orient trainees to equipment necessary to perform BioWatch laboratory testing procedures.
Phase II. Create 30-minute Internet-based, interactive virtual reality simulation that allows individual trainees to learn and practice BioWatch procedures in the simulated world before entering a real BioWatch laboratory. Secure database captures trainee credential and login information. Trainees are able to print certificate of completion and public health officials devote fewer personnel hours to training during surge capacity events and emergencies.
Phase III. Create commercialization-ready product that enhances the training experience by allowing multiple trainees to practice with each other and communicate in real time via VoIP; includes functionality upgrade and security improvements.

The Phase I project completed under the contract consisted of the following tasks:
Task 1. Create simulated BioWatch city laboratory virtual environment (month 1).
Task 2. Collect lab equipment specifications and photos (month 2).
Task 3. Develop script and storyboard (month 3).
Task 4. Create 15-minute virtual laboratory movie to orient surge capacity trainee to lab equipment and procedures (month 4).
Task 5. Test, debug, and revise virtual laboratory movie elements (month 5).
Task 6. Deliver BioWatch virtual laboratory 15-minute orientation movie on DVD (month 6).

Homeland security is important to the California Space Authority (CSA), and VRMC was nominated for a 2007 CSA California Innovation Award, recognizing 100 companies that made a difference.

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