Roger Daglius Dias, MD, PhD, MBA

Mixed Reality care-delivery guidance system to support medical event management

Study: Mixed Reality (MR) care-delivery guidance system to support medical event management on long-duration exploration missions.

About the Study: This is a NASA-TRISH funded study. The purpose of this investigation is to develop and evaluate a Mixed Reality Training Platform for the training of astronauts on the key clinical skills necessary for autonomous medical event management on Long Duration Exploration Missions (LDEMs) such as Mars.

Principal Investigaytor (PI): Roger D. Dias, MD, PhD, MBA

Study component related to your participation:

Participants will engage in a series of spaceflight virtual scenarios at the STRATUS Center for Medical Simulation, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston. Each simulation will involve you and the other two virtual crew members. You will be asked to interact with technology to make decisions during simulated spaceflight medical emergencies. During this session, we will be asked to wear a wristband, a headband, an eye tracker, and a chest strap which collect your physiological data such as heart rate, electrodermal activity, brain activity and gaze data.

Information about the task:

What? We would like you to participate in our study as a crew team member which will involve playing the role of an astronaut in these virtual medical scenarios.

Why? We are interested in how crew members perform during different medical situations that may occur during spaceflight medical emergencies.

How? After meeting the eligibility criteria, you will be asked to come to STRATUS Center for Medical Simulation for a 3-hour session. Before beginning the simulations, you will be asked to complete a demographic information questionnaire, a personality test, and a technology acceptance questionnaire. During the simulations, you will use four wearable devices: a wristband, a headband, an eye tracker, and a heart rate chest strap (Fig. 1). To interact with the virtual environment, you will be randomly assigned to use one of the following devices: VR headset, AR headset, mobile device or screen-based desktop (Fig. 2).

The virtual simulations will involve you and the other two virtual crew members. You will be asked to interact with a simulated environment to make clinical decisions during simulated spaceflight medical emergencies. You will complete two medical scenarios in a random order, each followed by a cognitive workload questionnaire. Then, you will repeat the same scenarios for assessment purposes and complete a knowledge test.

Payment? As an appreciation for your time, you will receive a $50 gift card after the research session is completed. Parking vouchers will be provided. No travel or accommodation costs will be covered.

If I have questions or concerns about this research study, whom can I call?

Dr. Roger D. Dias MD, PhD, MBA at Brigham & Women’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School is the Principal Investigator for this study.  He can answer any questions. You can contact him at or (617) 525-7627.

Results? We are collecting this data for research purposes only. We will record the sessions, but we will not provide you or anyone else with specific recordings. Assessments of each video, survey responses and physiological data from the wearable sensors will be securely stored in our institutional servers for analysis by the research team. They will be analyzed anonymously and all data/results will be shared in an aggregated manner.

Risks? A potential risk is discomfort caused by interacting with the virtual environment in the mobile/VR/AR devices. You may experience simulator sickness. We plan to mitigate this issue by closely monitoring your conditions to ensure you do not experience motion sickness. To mitigate the risk of potential loss of privacy and confidentiality we will use confidential codes to diminish this risk and the only identifiable data (email address) will be stored in Mass General Brigham (MGB) servers.

Benefits? Although there will be no personal health benefits, you will benefit from the long-duration deep space exploration missions by improving the safety of the astronauts who go on these missions.

Privacy? Your confidentiality will be secured, and your data will be kept in MGB REDCap, which is a secure application supported by Partners Research Computing, Enterprise Research Infrastructure & Services (ERIS). ERIS has all the necessary physical and operational securities in place to meet or exceed Federal and State security and privacy regulations for data transmission and storage using REDCap.

Concerns? This study has been reviewed and approved by the Partners Healthcare Institutional Review Board (IRB). If you have complaints or concerns about the research, you can call the study staff (see above in ‘Who?’) or the Institutional Review Board that oversees research. They can be contacted at the Partners Human Research Committee, tel: (857) 282-1900.

Are you interested in participating in this study?

Please click on the link below to complete a 1-minute Pre-Screening Survey to assess your eligibility.  

Eligibility Pre-Screening