Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD-- Finding inclusive and encompassing data sets is a key hurdle faced by the biomedical illustration community. However, through DAC’s collaboration with Wake Forest University’s Center for Injury Biomechanics, known as, WFU CIB, and various other organizations, including the Defense Health Agency and the Joint Trauma Analysis and Prevention of Injury in Combat Program, that’s no longer the case.
“Much of the digital libraries and reference materials you find online are of cadavers or those with pathology: a broken bone, tumor, or some anomaly,” said Autumn Kulaga, who has been with the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command (DEVCOM) Analysis Center, known as DAC, for over 15 years.
DAC is leveraging a variety of medical scans, surface body scans and anthropometric measurements from 73 healthy individuals to represent 12 distinct “sizes” for males and females provided via collaboration with WFU CIB. Sizes include small, medium, large, long-limbed, long torso and wide shoulder— selected with the help of the DEVCOM Soldier Center[P(1] .
From these medical scans, Kulaga, and other medical illustrators, can create geometrical representation and ensure visual detail in tissue type and tissue location. “Think of these scans like a stack of pictures,” Kulaga said. “Using specialized segmentation software, those stacks of pictures are finessed into 3-D polygonal geometry and used in any 3-D environment.”
These scans ultimately help DAC develop a family of human anatomical models with accurate tissue and organ placement to update current representation in DAC’s Operational Requirements-based Casualty Assessment model, known as ORCA.
ORCA is a computerized human vulnerability model used to assess impacts of various casualty-causing insults including penetration, burn, gas inhalation, and blunt trauma on a person. ORCA calculates injury severity metrics to characterize an injury, or injuries, to help analysts understand and predict resulting changes in an individual’s operational performance capabilities (e.g., vision, strength, cognition) and ability to complete tasks. Currently, the ORCA human body model uses a single representation of a “medium” male with height in the 50th percentile.
Data sets from various distinct body sizes, however, ensure ORCA’s new geometry will represent a broader, better-defined U.S. Army population and improve its ability to assess injury.
DAC also plans to perform analysis on the location of sensitive tissues relative to anthropometric landmarks for each female and male size to reveal commonalities of organ placement, informing and improving coverage of future personal protective equipment.
Every bit of human lethality and vulnerability modeling can benefit from this enhancement, bolstering the Army’s ability to represent a varied population in training and simulation, as well as conduct more robust Soldier performance metrics and better understand variables that impact Soldier effectiveness.
Data will become publicly available to the entire biomedical engineering community to support modeling in additional areas such as education and safety. Until an online resource can be made publicly available, please reach out to DAC to establish a data share agreement and gain access to the dataset, DACfirstname.lastname@example.org.
The DEVCOM Analysis Center is one of DEVCOM’s eight science and technology centers. The U.S. Army’s largest in-house analytical capability, DAC delivers objective analysis, experimentation and data to ensure readiness and inform modernization decisions.
DEVCOM is a major subordinate command of the U.S. Army Futures Command. For more information, visit the DEVCOM website.