SAN ANTONIO — There’s new technology being developed at the University of Texas at San Antonio that may help first responders train faster, and with precision.

A team of researchers at UTSA and UT Health San Antonio have created augmented reality advancements to help first responders train in crisis situations.

"The first thing that they want to do when they see it, it looks real enough, they just want to reach out and touch the guy,“ said John Quarles Associate Professor of Computer Science at UTSA.

Called PerSim, the augmented reality simulator uses Microsoft HoloLens and a smart tablet as a controller.

“Our system, basically overlays a virtual patient on top of these mannequins,” said Quarles.

Trainees can then interact with a virtual human replica suffering from different scenarios, like blunt trauma, and seizures.

“What we can do with this mannequin is introduce subtle findings and subtle presentations of deadly diseases and really help clinicians hone their already sharp skills and make them even better and really focus on error reduction in individual clinicians,” said Kevin King, Emergency Medicine Professor at UT Health San Antonio.

The new tech is easy to use, portable and costs less than other current medical training.

“You can bring a little micro training to your team. Where they work – at the nurses station, at the fire station, wherever it that you happen to need this,” said Hector Caraballo Chief Medical Officer with MedCognition.

Still in its prototype stage, developers plan to launch the beta product in September.

For additional information or help fund PerSim, visit​


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