There is a need to be able to deliver just-in-time training and reference materials for first responders and skilled support personnel. Mobile computing platforms are becoming ubiquitous and provide an ideal means to reach users at any time in any location. The process of translating existing reference materials into mobile-friendly formats is currently manual and very labor intensive. Nicolalde R&D LLC is well under way to commercialize its mTraining mobile technology and service prototyped during a phase I SBIR from NIEHS. The mTraining technology is an objective and checklist-based method for delivering just-in-time training and reference materials, making it an effective Electronic Performance Support System (EPSS) for providing workers easy access to information after training, and on site prior to or during an assignment. It provides short, incident specific awareness and safety training that can be delivered prior to responding to an emergency situation. The proposed development under this phase II SBIR includes: a) a back-end document processing engine that is able to automatically parse, analyze, mark-up, and organize documents so that their content is easily cross-referenced, linked and re-organized for effective delivery on a mobile training platform or other electronic medium. This will be connected to a server and database architecture to facilitate its operation and support storing and accessing content;b) the front-end interface for the mobile training platform (mTraining) was prototyped in Phase I of this project for delivering training content to emergency responders, skilled support personnel, and volunteers before or during an incident. The improved back-end architecture will support intelligent search capabilities for a large repository of training documents with different structures. This capability relies on the document processing engine's ability to semi-automatically extract relevant data and automatically translate this data into a structured format. This data can then be used for display in the mobile application, stored into databases, and automatically populated into ontologies. Throughout this project the participatory-based design paradigm has been used for facilitating the integration of user requirements and the fast prototyping and testing of design alternatives. This approach will continue to be utilized in Phase 2 of the project.
The proposed research and development will advance the field of environmental health and safety training by bringing to it new and innovative advanced training technologies that are based on the mobile and just-in-time paradigm. Furthermore, the research and development proposed herein will advance the mobile information technology field by developing robust and scalable tools for processing and linking information residing in different source documents that are semantically related.