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Medicine Robotics The Military

High-Tech War Games Help Save Lives 142

Posted by samzenpus
from the more-real-than-real dept.
An anonymous reader writes "CNN is reporting on the new training mannequins being used by the United States military. Advances in technology have allowed the training dummies to become ultra-realistic. From the article: 'New battery-operated, remote-controlled mannequins can simulate bleeding and breathing, and they have blinking eyes that dilate. Medics can test their skills on these life-like mannequins. The new units, which are packed with technology, are used at 23 US Army Medical Simulation Training Centers as part of a program to teach lifesaving techniques to medics and nonmedical personnel. A Pentagon study says the training program has saved 1,000 soldiers' lives in combat, said Lt. Col. Wilson Ariza, manager of the US Army Medical Simulation Project.'"
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High-Tech War Games Help Save Lives

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  • Yes but... (Score:3, Funny)

    by bytethese (1372715) on Sunday December 12, 2010 @10:36PM (#34531618)
    I would like to play Global Thermonuclear War.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 12, 2010 @10:42PM (#34531648)

    Who the heck is "samzenpus" and why can't I read his stories when logged in? This has been happening every Sun/Mon now for about three weeks. I've emailed cmdrtaco and robmalda and gotten zero response from them. Why is Samzenpus flagged as unreadable when logged in, but if I log out I can comment annonomously? I don't have particular editors censored in my settings.

  • by bwayne314 (1854406) on Sunday December 12, 2010 @10:45PM (#34531668)
    ... for Real Men.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Not getting into pointless wars, like the one in Iraq, helps save lives, too.

    • You make it sound like there are wars that are justified, they are not, they are bloody murder and pillaging under the mantle of righteousness.
      • by couchslug (175151)

        So defending against war by waging war is unjustified? Grow up.

        • You can defend from war by building up defenses (both military and diplomatic) before an actual conflict starts, pillage is quite profitable, a war of attrition is quite the opposite. As an example, Spain never invaded Portugal for the very reasons I commented above.
      • I'm by no means a warmonger, and the US has gotten involved in a bunch of stupid wars. Having said that: the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, and World War II were almost unquestioningly necessary. In each case, action was necessary, and diplomacy had been thoroughly exhausted. But, as much as I hate to say it, sometimes you need to beat the crap out of an enemy for your safety or for what's right. It was time for the colonies to be independent, the union is not a fair-weather friend, and Hitler/Japan needed to be put in their place.

        If you disagree, how would you have handled the above situations? Keep in mind that colonial control, secession, and a Nazi Europe are not acceptable outcomes in this game.

        • Maybe he meant that initializing a war in the first place is pointless. The scenarios you described were really about defending yourself or others.

          • You should always initialize war: int war=0;
          • by demonlapin (527802) on Sunday December 12, 2010 @11:36PM (#34531844) Homepage Journal
            It's hardly pointless. It might be cruel, or evil, to start a war, but it's worth remembering that quite a lot of wars have achieved their goals magnificently. The wars against the Native Americans? Spectacularly successful. Britain's colonial wars? With the exception of the American Revolution, spectacularly successful.
            • by t2t10 (1909766)

              The wars against the Native Americans? Spectacularly successful.

              Yeah, Britain and Spain sure did exterminate the Native Americans, albeit mostly through disease, not war. The US government then spent the last 200+ years trying to cope with the broken societies that those colonial powers left behind, and trying to get new European immigrants under control.

              • The US Army spent most of its time in the 19th century killing Indians. Andrew Jackson, Zachary Taylor, and William Henry Harrison all fought those wars, to name a few "war hero" presidents. Disease did play an outsized role in reducing the numbers, and the US govt did eventually relent, but the same diseases affected Central and South America. It's worth noting that the Spaniards tried to keep them alive to work as slaves, while the Americans tried to marginalize and kill them to use the land themselves.
                • by drinkypoo (153816)

                  The US Army spent most of its time in the 19th century killing Indians.

                  The 1st US Cavalry stood on the north shore of Clear Lake and fired their weapons until every last man, woman, and child on an island now called "Bloody Island" was dead. None of them had yet been afflicted with any white man's disease. The massacre was in retaliation for the killing of Kelsey, an early settler who was enslaving and raping the Pomo people of what is now called Kelseyville; the massacre of this entirely other band was carried out between what is now Upper Lake and Nice. Kelsey's wife wetted

                  • by gknoy (899301)

                    As an American, I'm pretty sad to say that the US pretty effectively "won" in the warfare it pursued against the natives. It was war. On the one hand, I can't imagine being able to "give it back" (see the amazing TED talk video about the Lakotah), but on the other hand ... it wasn't my ancestors doing it, since they hadn't immigrated yet. Sorry.

                    • by drinkypoo (153816)

                      I agree on all counts; my point is very much to not forget what this country is founded upon when it's tempting to attempt to claim moral superiority.

          • by Sarten-X (1102295)

            What about the people living near the North Korean border under constant threat of attack? What about defending the citizens of Iraq targeted by Operation Anfal [wikipedia.org]? Where's the line between initiating a war and defending others?

            Maybe the ones who initiated Operation Anfal were the Kurds, who settled down to live in Iraq where they might someday have not been wanted. Maybe it's the fault of the immigrants' parents, for having children who might settle there. Maybe it's the fault of the first people over a thou

            • What about the people living near the North Korean border under constant threat of attack?

              If you've been attacked first, then I don't see the problem with defending yourself. When I said "initializing a war," I also meant attacking others, even if that isn't really correct. That should never happen in the first place.

              • I doubt there's any leader in recent times who has started a war for his own enjoyment.

                No, but there's those that will start wars over profit or power, and there has been plenty of insane excuses to start wars or attack others (such as religion), but that's not really surprising.

                • by Sarten-X (1102295)

                  North Korea claims they were attacked by South Korean terrorists. Are they justified to attack South Korea now?

                  My personal religious views aside, I see no reason to count religion as any more insane than an historical land feud between rival groups. How is it any worse to believe that your god is mad at somebody rather than your great-great-great-great-grandfather?

                  What qualifies anyone, or any particular group, to decide what's an insane reason?

                  • How is it any worse to believe that your god is mad at somebody rather than your great-great-great-great-grandfather?

                    It isn't, it's just as idiotic.

                    What qualifies anyone, or any particular group, to decide what's an insane reason?

                    No one, but it is my opinion. Senselessly attacking someone is idiotic, I feel. If you're just defending yourself (or others), then I have no problem with it.

                    • by Sarten-X (1102295)

                      If you're just defending yourself (or others), then I have no problem with it.

                      I'm sure every leader who's gone to war would agree with you. They all had reasons they felt to be very good. Maybe it was defending their honor, their land, their resources, or their security. Maybe they just felt their precious bodily fluids were being corrupted by the terrible enemy at the gates. It all makes perfect sense to them, and everybody else's reasons are senseless.

                    • They all had reasons they felt to be very good.

                      Except the ones knowingly going to war for corrupt reasons, you mean?

                    • by Sarten-X (1102295)

                      And who exactly might that be? Perhaps a mercenary or two starting a conflict between a few villages, but I can't think of any major conflict in the past few decades started by corruption.

                    • but I can't think of any major conflict in the past few decades started by corruption.

                      You mean that you know of? It's likely that the war in Iraq is for oil. Just because they don't openly admit it doesn't mean it isn't false (or true).

                      Also, let's not forget that starting wars for pointless personal reasons damages society as a whole. The ends should justify the means (not stripping people of their rights or attacking people because you don't like them), and no one gets to decide that based on their opinion.

                    • by Sarten-X (1102295)

                      Intelligence at the time indicated Iraq was a threat to its neighbors, and had offered allegiance to preexisting enemies. So, rumors and conspiracies aside, there's still no concrete examples of a corruption-led conflict.

                      On a purely hypothetical basis, let's assume the current Iraq war were simply to ensure a continuing supply of oil for the next few years. The American economy runs on oil. Is it sensible to leave America's economic security in the hands of a dictator who won't follow international treaties

                    • Intelligence at the time indicated Iraq was a threat to its neighbors

                      How very convenient.

                      Also, let's not forget that "rights" are merely certain activities that people think certain groups of people should be able to do.

                      But it's no mere opinion that people are likely generally happier when they have more rights.

                      War is hell.

                      Which is precisely why it should be avoided unless absolutely necessary (defending yourself or others, which doesn't include invading someone for religious reasons). There's no benefit to society by going to war with another country for purely religious reasons, personal reasons, or profit (not to the world, at least). It might benefit you and your followers, but it benefits no one else.

                    • by Sarten-X (1102295)

                      ...convenient.

                      Conspiracy theories have convenience. Reality often has coincidence.

                      ...happier when they have more rights.

                      That's getting closer to my point. What give any particular person/group the right to say what others' rights are? Why should you have the right to speak your thoughts, but I don't get the right to control all the natural resources in the world? Why do Americans get the right to practice some religions (that bury their dead), but not others (that, hypothetically, fling their dead at relatives' houses)?

                      As soon as any restriction is placed

                    • Conspiracy theories have convenience. Reality often has coincidence.

                      Indeed.

                      What give any particular person/group the right to say what others' rights are?

                      What gives someone the right to take away someone else's rights? What gives them the right to slaughter in the name of religion or something else completely irrelevant when it doesn't benefit anyone except perhaps themselves in the slightest?

                      but I don't get the right to control all the natural resources in the world?

                      Insane example. Freedom of speech (and rights similar to it) have no material cost.

                      that, hypothetically, fling their dead at relatives' houses

                      I don't know, but I don't see a problem with flinging a rotting hunk of meat other than the fact that it's just a waste of organs.

                      finds their opinions "senseless".

                      They sort of are in regards to the damage it does

            • by cgenman (325138)

              Or maybe, just maybe, war isn't something that can be so easily avoided.

              We haven't exactly been going out of our way to prove this point recently. Unless your point is that idiots will inevitably get elected and wage war on other idiots.

        • What is right to somebody is wrong for someone else, that is why History is written by those who won the conflict. Gandhi managed to get independence from the British without waging war, is there any reason why it would have been impossible for the colonies to achieve the same using the same diplomatic strategy? The Civil War did not started because of freeing the slaves, that was an afterthought, it was merely a politically motivated war (remember Iraq?) by a very politically weakened Lincoln (would you li
          • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

            by slimjim8094 (941042)

            Good try, but history sometimes is pretty black-and-white (at least compared to most history).

            Gandhi was fighting a British state that was pretty much ready to give up their colonies anyway. Look at Canada, they just kinda let them go. I'm not saying that what he did wasn't important, significant, or difficult - I'm sure it was. But Britain wasn't exactly convinced anymore that they needed their colonies by that time - though in 1776 they fought like hell to keep the new States. You're also forgetting that

            • by t2t10 (1909766)

              What happened to the Germans [after WWI] was quite unfair,

              I'm not sure it was unfair. Germany was a militaristic power not satisfied with the status quo and bent on dominating Europe. That's why it had the capacity to wage WWI in the first place. Europe mainly wanted to demilitarize Germany and demanded reparations for the damage that Germany had done. If Germany's goal had been to right the wrong of colonialism, it would have been good, but all Germany wanted was its own cut.

              and there's a good case tha

              • by gknoy (899301)

                Germany got pretty soundly shafted by the Treaty of Versailles. The allies determined the war reparations, and Germany didn't get to contest it. Repayment was estimated to last ~50 years, in contrast to previous treaties between France and Germany (France had repaid in ~3 years). Industrial equipemt was carted out of Germany and moved to France and other places. They were assigned full "guilt" for the war, when it was more a clusterfuck of epic proportions deriving from preexisting treaty entanglements.

            • by vlm (69642)

              And for the record, the Civil War was *absolutely* about slaves, at least to the South. Read some of their declarations - they're full of "they're infringing on our right to keep slaves" or "they think slaves count as too much of a person" or so on.

              Waaaay out of context quotes. The whole point was the feds were bypassing the states and telling the states how their people will be governed. Not a fight over the finer points details of the regulations, although plenty of whining came from the folks whom were getting screwed over, but a fight over the concept of the feds infringing on the states turf. Its hard for moderns to understand, because the concept of any group other than the feds having any control over our lives has been so effectively crushe

        • by selven (1556643)

          Maybe not colonial control and a Nazi Europe, but secession was definitely an acceptable outcome. If the south had won, you would be saying "it was time for the south to be independent". Instead of letting the South go, just as you clearly believe Britain should have let the US go, we started a 140-year spiral into the black hole of centralization.

        • by vlm (69642)

          If you disagree, how would you have handled the above situations? Keep in mind that .... secession ... are not acceptable outcomes in this game.

          Any reasoning for that particular one beyond "slimjim sez so"? Is civil war in always acceptable?

          Also w/ regard to a war being required to end colonial control, most (all?) former British colonies did not have to fight an outright war to become independent. Its hardly necessary. There were "Boston Massacre" or "Kent State" or much larger police actions in India, but I'm struggling to find another major intercontinental war ending British colonial control. The war of Australian independence? The war of

        • by drinkypoo (153816)

          Having said that: the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, and World War II were almost unquestioningly necessary. In each case, action was necessary, and diplomacy had been thoroughly exhausted.

          The powers that be in the USA ignored WWII until it was advantageous to step in. Wait, that's not true, they profited from it. The USA is as complicit in the events of WWII as Germany.

        • by radtea (464814)

          Keep in mind that colonial control, secession, and a Nazi Europe are not acceptable outcomes in this game.

          But thousands, tens of thousands and millions of dead young men are?

          Give me a break.

          It's time for warmongers to grow up and enter the real world.

          War is an irrational activity carried out by rational means. No war is ever economically rational, and the "logic" of war makes no sense except in terms of the irrational mechanisms of social control employed by small troops of social primates, which are completley inappropriate to the kinds of problems that war supposedly solves.

          In the cases in point: Canada bec

        • by Fyz (581804)

          And let's not forget Yugoslavia, where while every avenue of diplomacy was being exhausted, genocidal monsters were laughing all the way to the mass graves. Sometimes diplomacy itself is unethical.

          Also, had we given a shit about Africa and Africans, we would have engaged ourselves in Rwanda and Congo.

        • by Golddess (1361003)

          Keep in mind that colonial control, secession, and a Nazi Europe are not acceptable outcomes in this game.

          Why not? Why is secession not an acceptable outcome? The states do hold the power to dissolve the federal government, and some states seceding from the union is no different from dissolving the federal government and some states reforming in its former image (just with a few less states).

          Although I suppose it could be argued that the number of states that seceded would not have been enough to approve dissolving the union.

    • by t2t10 (1909766)

      Not getting into pointless wars, like the one in Iraq, helps save lives, too.

      I was against the war: Bush lied and the war was extremely expensive. But Saddam Hussein murdered many times more people in the decade prior to the US invasion than the entire Iraq cost, including Iraqi-on-Iraqi violence. On the whole, the US war in Iraq probably saved lots of lives.

      • by Alex Belits (437) *

        But Saddam Hussein murdered many times more people in the decade prior to the US invasion than the entire Iraq cost, including Iraqi-on-Iraqi violence.

        Really? Did he also develop nuclear weapons, and do other things Bush attributed to him? Do you even know how many people were killed in US invasion?

  • by splerdu (187709) on Sunday December 12, 2010 @10:53PM (#34531694)

    Medical training dummy = high tech war game?

  • ... is that you end seeing real people as dummies too. Is not "game over" anymore, but that a real life was lost, or that will have to live x amount of years without an arm or things like that.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      RTFA:

      "The screaming soldier is an actor, lying on a cot, who has only the top half of his body exposed. The bottom half is the mannequin."

    • by hoytak (1148181) on Sunday December 12, 2010 @11:02PM (#34531726) Homepage

      If you RTFS, the dummies here are used to train soldiers in field medicine, not target practice. They represent an injured comrade. In such situations, you really don't want to be emotional, as that soldier's survival depends on you thinking clearly, and that's where lifelike training is exactly what is great -- when confronted with such a situation, you do what you're trained to do. Of course, afterwards, processing things can be tough.

      • by radtea (464814)

        In such situations, you really don't want to be emotional, as that soldier's survival depends on you thinking clearly, and that's where lifelike training is exactly what is great -- when confronted with such a situation, you do what you're trained to do

        Since war is itself always the product of emotional rather than rational response to circumstances, it would be nice if training in rational thinking extended beyond field medics.

        Presidents, kings, prime-ministers and generals all act like hormone-addled teenage girls when it comes to decision making. If they did not, there would be no wars.

  • NO SIR! (Score:5, Funny)

    by snookerhog (1835110) on Sunday December 12, 2010 @10:55PM (#34531702)
    I did not see you playing with your dolls again!
  • Come on CNN, surely you can do better. "Technology" is not a thing you can count, you might as well say they are "innervated with ideas" or "filled with facts" or that they "are expensive and have expensive stuff in them." If you don't know, don't say anything, but don't report like a dumbed-down version of simple wikipedia.

    • by cgenman (325138)

      It's CNN. Be thankful they didn't refer to it as filled with an information superhighway.

  • I've done this... (Score:5, Informative)

    by demonlapin (527802) on Sunday December 12, 2010 @11:05PM (#34531738) Homepage Journal
    It's a little hard to tell from the article, but Googling makes it look like these are the ones made by METI [meti.com]. They are good physical simulators with a decent physiological computer model. (Most of the time, it's really good, but when it goes off track it goes waaaaaaay off.) I've served as an instructor for my medical center's simulation center for almost two years now, and they really do help people develop emergency management skills. We use them pretty routinely for medical students rotating through anesthesiology, and for getting beginning emergency medicine and anesthesiology residents up to speed with crisis management.
  • ...by making it easier for them to end their enemies' lives. You haven't saved any net lives, just switched which side lost the lives.
    • Not the case. Improved medicine reduces casualties overall.

    • by westlake (615356) on Sunday December 12, 2010 @11:40PM (#34531856)

      ...by making it easier for them to end their enemies' lives. You haven't saved any net lives, just switched which side lost the lives.

      Which is what war is all about:

      I want you to remember that no bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor, dumb bastard die for his country. ...

      - George S Patton.

    • > ...by making it easier for them to end their enemies' lives. You haven't saved any net lives, just switched which side lost the lives.

      The goal is not to save net lives.

      If the goal were to save net lives, it probably makes sense to betray a country in symmetric wars. (The enemy knows better where to strike and the war doesn't drag out as long.) But we trust foreign governments less than we trust our own, and foreign cultures less than we trust our own. Also, the last time we were in a symmetric war w

    • by Jahava (946858) on Monday December 13, 2010 @12:32AM (#34532002)

      ...by making it easier for them to end their enemies' lives. You haven't saved any net lives, just switched which side lost the lives.

      Wow, you're deep *rolls eyes*. But wait, maybe killing more enemies ends up saving more lives in the long run? Or maybe one of the saved soldiers goes home and ends up being the next Norman Borlaug [wikipedia.com] and saves millions (and counting)? How do we know this isn't the single most important life-saving technology ever invented, in some "butterfly effect" fashion?

      Or you could just silence your snarky pseudo-intellectualism and enjoy the damned article.

      • by radtea (464814)

        But wait, maybe killing more enemies ends up saving more lives in the long run?

        History strongly suggests that not going to war saves more lives in the long run.

        Tens of millions of people died fighting the NAZIs. Maybe thousands of people died fighting the Soviets. Do you see any Soviets around today?

        It's almost as if there are solutions other than war to human problems.

        Nice to link Borlaug, though. One of the primary reasons for Germany's war in the East was to secure food supplies. There were two ways of doing that:

        1) Retool German industry so instead of maximizing useful product

        • by gknoy (899301)

          History strongly suggests that not going to war saves more lives in the long run.

          When has the human race ever had a "long run" where we didn't go to war or were not killing one another?

          Sorry, it's kindof snarky -- clearly, not being at war saves a lot of lives. The death toll of the Civil War was tremendous in US history, for example.

    • capture. Some of them have exactly the same kind of trauma US troops have when captured, with the main difference being whose taxpayers paid for the ammo that blew holes in them. These skills will be used to save the lives of POWs, too.

      And maybe even your life, lots of military medical personnel stay in medicine when they become civilians.
    • by cgenman (325138)

      These are simulating soldiers with such damage that we have to simulate their legs with robots. I'm guessing they're getting wheeled onto the first cargo flight home.

    • a battle not fought because the enemy decided to surrender is worth more than 3 battles fought and won

      (i would bet thats found in The Art of War somewhere somehow)
      this would of course save lives on both sides

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Not starting decade-long wars under false pretenses.

    • To be fair, Afghanistan wasn't under a false pretense from any point of view. That debate is about Iraq, which is basically over.
  • There is nothing like a human in distress on which to practice the analysis of a human in distress.
    Dummies can only display a short list of items to assess, view, watch. They are extremely limited.
    And they have become an excuse for supplying less hands-on experience, which is what is really needed, because getting that experience is less convenient and more costly.
    I don't care what statistics you invent to prove how wonderful they are.

    • by Sarten-X (1102295) on Sunday December 12, 2010 @11:39PM (#34531852) Homepage
      So when was the last time you volunteered to be shot in the chest, to help train field medics? Sure, dummies are limited, but every advancement means better knowledge beforehand. That means fewer mistakes when the real thing comes along.
    • by demonlapin (527802) on Sunday December 12, 2010 @11:49PM (#34531880) Homepage Journal
      You've obviously never used these. No, they're not real humans, but then again, there is a limited supply of real humans that can be allowed to bleed out in order to train people. The state of the art in medical simulation is a good physical facsimile of a human being with a very well modeled physiological system - they breathe, they open and close their eyes, their pupils dilate and constrict, they have pulses, they have veins, they vomit, they can be intubated. If you aren't giving chest compressions strongly enough, or in the right place, your patient will die. Conversely, if you do it right, the model will recognize that and will give the patient a readable blood pressure and pulse.He might even wake up.

      I've trained dozens of medical students and new residents with these. They generally find it to be a very good simulation - not perfect, but very good - of the real thing.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      This just in: all simulations are worthless because they do not match reality.

      Sorry, physics!

  • by orphiuchus (1146483) on Monday December 13, 2010 @01:02AM (#34532082)
    Which is much better training because you actually get a sense of death with the things, simulates human anatomy(from a gunshot wound perspective) surprisingly well, is comparatively cheap, and we're going to kill and eat the thing anyway? Oh wait, PETA would protest the military if we did that. God forbid PETA doesn't like the military. (We actually do this, we just don't advertise it anymore because of groups like PETA).
  • After only reading the title:
    "Mom, I can't stop playing Black Ops to clean my room - Slashdot says I'm saving lives!"
  • The program saved 1.000 lives it says, but is that the whole program or just the part where the dolls are used? So if they would have not used the dolls, would there be 1000 more deaths?

    I am sure that it will be good to use a doll, just like one learns mouth on mouth with a doll. I am also sure that before the dolls were used, some training was given and people were saved as well.

    So what is the REAL number and if it is indeed that high, why is it not used anywhere else?

  • Or scream in your ear when you check its breathing? Or start convulsing and thrashing so hard that you need to have three people lie on it before you can treat it? No? Then it's not a replacement for an experienced casualty actor, who will do any or all of the above.

It is contrary to reasoning to say that there is a vacuum or space in which there is absolutely nothing. -- Descartes

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