Assessment of the Psychological and Physiological Effects of Augmented Reality (APPEAR)

Funding Agency:
Department of the Army

 The Medical Technology Enterprise Consortium (MTEC) is excited to post this announcement for a Request for Project Proposals (RPP) focused on conducting assessments to understand the psychological or physiological effects of augmented reality (AR) medical simulations that may impact learning effectiveness in humans. The ultimate goal of this research is to identify psychological and physiological limitations of AR medical simulation training in the diverse high pressure and stressful context anticipated in the various military echelons of care, which will help ensure optimal development and utilization of AR technology to address the identified capability gaps in military medical simulation training.

AR is the use of a computer-based simulation engine to add non-real sensory information to the real sensory world. Essentially, AR directs participants’ attention to either existing information that they would have not been consciously aware of or to new information that changes their perceptual information. Although this co-registered information can be visually projected directly onto real objects, AR information is often presented directly to the recipient by a device attached to the recipient.

APPEAR maps to DHA’s Joint Evacuation and Transport Simulation (JETS) and Point of Injury and Trauma Simulation (POINTS) programs, under the JPC-1/MSIS Medical Simulation portfolio. It addresses the capability gaps in the Virtual Patient System (VPS) of JETS and POINTS. The VPS provides intelligent, scalable, modular medical training products, tools, and devices across globally distributed, integrated, and interconnected Live, Virtual, Constructive, and Gaming training environments. Technology using AR is a significant piece of the VPS, at point of injury (POINTS) and point of demand across the complete chain of evacuation (JETS).

Solution Briefs are due no later than September 21, 2018 at 12:00pm EST.

Agency Website

Areas of Interest

Offerors are allowed to submit more than one solution brief. Solution briefs are expected to address the following:

  • Propose a human study that focuses on one of the following:

    • Psychological effects of AR on the end user in training behavior (secondary assessments of cognitive load during learning using AR and/or assessment of neuropsychiatric conditions contraindicated for training with AR could be included), or
    • Physiological effects of AR on the end user in training behavior (secondary assessments of cognitive load during learning using AR and/or assessment of physical conditions contraindicated for training with AR could be included).
  • Justification for targeting psychological or physiological effects of AR, including ability of team to address that focus area;
  • Propose the assessment of AR prototypes currently under development or in use for military medical simulation training; and
  • Provide detailed information regarding the type of AR and specific scenarios that will be involved in the clinical assessments.

The requested work is separated into two tasks.

  • Task 1 includes all planning tasks for the human subjects study, including but not limited to, IRB/HRPO approvals or exemptions, hiring study staff, development of the clinical study protocol, and coordination with collaborators (if required). Task 1 will have a maximum period of performance of 6 months. An administrative review will be conducted after the completion of Task 1 to assess performance and approve continuation of the project onto Task 2.
  • Task 2 includes execution of the human subjects study. Task 2 will have a maximum period of performance of 18 months.

Proposed studies are not limited to a specific medical domain and all areas of medicine are encouraged for submission (i.e., dental, dermatology, obstetrics, ophthalmology, and surgical fields); however, medical domains that have higher alignment with (or must have at least one demonstrated tool with traumatic/multi-casualty) treatment of traumatic and acute injuries/multi-casualty are preferential.

Eligibility Requirements

Offerors must be MTEC Members in good standing.



Amount Description

The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) currently has available a minimum of $2.5 Million (M) for this effort.  A period of performance no greater than 24 months is expected, and faster timelines are acceptable.

It is expected that MTEC will make at least two awards of $1.25M each to a qualified team to accomplish all tasks. Up to four awards may be made, contingent on the availability of additional funds.

Funding Type





Engineering and Physical Sciences
Environmental & Life Sciences
Medical - Basic Science
Medical - Clinical Science
Medical - Translational
Social Sciences

External Deadline

September 21, 2018