Exclusive 11:43 19 Apr 2024

Solutions to win: Ukrainian developers launch app to teach tactical medicine and first aid

Video screenshot

The latest mobile game simulator, LifesaverSIM, is the first of its kind in Ukraine. It aims to train users in tactical medicine and first aid skills. This application is now available for free download and can benefit both military personnel and civilians.

Rubryka also contacted combat medics for their feedback on the app's effectiveness – keep reading to find out more.

What is the problem?

The leading factors of mortality for 80-90% of battlefield casualties are extensive blood loss and shock. Due to the limited time available for immediate medical care, Ukrainian soldiers' wounds significantly reduce their chances of survival. Fatalities usually occur within a few seconds to an hour after sustaining injuries. Civilians are also at risk of serious harm as Russian forces bombard Ukrainian cities and villages daily.

Providing first and pre-medical aid in a timely manner can save the lives of the injured. Everyone needs to learn and use basic first-aid skills today.

What is the solution?

Ukrainian experts have recently developed a tactical medicine simulator called LifesaverSIM, the first mobile app designed to train individuals in life-saving skills and aid soldiers injured in combat situations. Specifically intended for those living and working in war zones, this application was created for the Defense Forces and anyone interested in learning how to provide assistance and save lives. Best of all, it is available for download at no cost.

How does it work?

The application's creators said, " Our goal is to decrease the loss of human life and injuries among both our defenders and civilians."

A team of Lviv developers, LifesaverSIM, created a mobile application designed to teach first aid and tactical medicine through a gaming format. With over a decade of experience developing games for various platforms and genres, the team includes both current and former military members. Their insight and understanding of the needs of the Ukrainian Defense Forces have helped them create products pertinent to times of war.

The LifesaverSIM tactical medicine training course was created in partnership with experienced instructors and combat medics. It adheres to TCCC guidelines and NATO standards while encompassing all crucial elements of battlefield aid.

Screenshot from the video in the applicationPresenting the application on his Telegram channel, Mykhailo Fedorov, the Deputy Prime Minister for Innovation, Development of Education, Science and Technology, noted that the course suits both military and civilians.

"During a full-scale war, knowing how to use a tourniquet and stop bleeding is essential. These skills are necessary for both military personnel and civilians. The simulator will teach you how to apply a tourniquet, tamponade wounds, and perform other necessary procedures following the MARCH protocol," the Deputy Prime Minister wrote.

This program adheres to the protocols set by the TCCC Committee and the NATO standard, covering all crucial elements of battlefield aid:

  • including two assistance phases – under fire (CUF) and in tactical conditions (TFC);
  • managing severe bleeding and unseen injuries, applying tourniquets, tamponading wounds, and using compression bandages;
  • restoring airway function;
  • identifying and removing obstructions;
  • assessing chest injuries and breathing;
  • applying occlusion tape and performing burping;
  • recognizing signs of shock and controlling non-critical bleeding;
  • and preventing hypothermia and preparing for evacuation.

The training within the application occurs in a dynamic setting, complete with lifelike graphics. The course offers varying difficulties and includes performance evaluation and progress monitoring. This application will benefit individuals of all levels, regardless of their level of readiness.

Screenshot from the video in the application

"Everyone in the simulation will be able to practice what they need: some will learn the basic steps of the MARCH algorithm, while others will reinforce and refine their existing knowledge. Consistent training is key to keeping your knowledge at a suitable level and developing automatic skills," the application developers explain.

The team wants to clarify that no app can substitute for working with a qualified instructor. While the LifesaverSIM app is not meant to replace training from an instructor, it can be used as a helpful tool alongside it. The optimal solution would be to receive hands-on instruction and practice with a specialist to learn the techniques physically. Then, the simulator would be used to train on the cognitive aspects of providing care according to the MARCH protocol.

Screenshot from the video

"In a critical situation, under stress, only automatic skills work and nothing else. The simulator also makes it possible not to forget knowledge because you always have a virtual lifeguard assistant in your pocket," the developers said.

How to get the app

Regardless of their geographical location, all Ukrainians can get full access to LifesaverSIM free of charge by confirming their citizenship through the Diia mobile app.

The LifesaverSIM application can be downloaded via the following links:

When you first launch the application, you will have to log in using an Internet connection. However, the Internet will not be necessary for the application in the future. You can train with LifesaverSIM offline whenever and wherever you want.

"Download, learn, and stay safe in emergencies. Gain life-saving abilities. In today's society, with wars, crime, and accidents, having life-saving skills is essential for everyone," the game simulator's developers state.

Does it really work?

"The simulator is not bad. It is quite convenient, but it could use some improvement in some areas. However, it is definitely a useful tool. I have a few questions about the protocols, and personally, the varying button functions can be a bit annoying, but this is just my opinion. The app is worth checking out, especially for those new to this field. It would also be interesting to have the SMS (level 3 protocol for combat medics) included in the app," former combat medic Yana, who now trains civilians and military, comments on the app.

Yevhen, the 120th Territorial Defense Brigade instructor, also tried to use LifesaverSIM.

"It's not very likely that the app can fully replace hands-on courses. However, it can be useful as a supplementary tool for training. During my own practice, my ten-year-old son was nearby, and he was thrilled. I also enjoyed it, but let me reiterate that live training is still important," the instructor says.

"Regarding the feedback, it would be great to have a larger font. I've been experiencing difficulty reading due to my declining eyesight after the concussion. That is the reason why the initial execution time took 80 seconds," Yevhen adds.

The development team guarantees that the application will include more training courses in the future. They are currently working on enhancing the training program and will soon offer essential courses such as Stop the Bleed, Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR), and Basic Life Support. Furthermore, they plan to expand the tactical medicine program to provide training for advanced providers, including combat rescuers (CLS) and combat medics (CMC).

For reference:

It should be noted that Ukraine's armed forces and the Ministry of Strategic Industries are launching the "Iron Polygon" project to support Ukrainian manufacturers and shorten the production time of new military weapons.

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