ACT for Healthcare: ARISE Project- Frequently Asked Questions

Updated 4/12/2019horizontal line decoration

Consortium Grant Project Ended 9/30/2018

The federal grant that supported the development of the ARISE project has ended. However the resources that allow the scenarios to be used currently do still exist in publicly available areas.

The Documentation for the scenarios and how to use them has been stored in Skills Commons. 

The ARIS iDevice App is still maintained by the entrepreneurs who created it in Madison Wisconsin. The scenario programs are stored on their servers, as well as some of the media used in the scenarios.

The majority of the media used by the scenarios is stored on servers maintained by WISC-Online

How are scenarios organized?

Scenarios have Storylines and functional categories.  The storylines are a growing number of patient based stories and can be used across many categories and disciplines.  Scenarios will be created based on combinations of these, and may also include levels that are appropriate for student experience or progression in their studies.

Some examples of existing storylines are:

  • End of Life
  • Heart Failure
  • Newborn
  • OB
  • Pediatric Asthma
  • Pediatric Pain
  • Wound Management

Some examples of existing disciplines are:

  • EMT/Paramedic
  • Medical Assistant
  • Nursing
  • Pharm Tech
  • Respiratory Therapy

The functional categories are:

  • Serious Games
  • Case Studies
  • Simulations

How are scenarios played?

Scenarios are played using iPads and the ARIS app. The app program will prompt students by giving them objectives to complete and information to care for the patient. Faculty should be present to assist students and for debriefing. All scenarios have common procedures that need to be followed in order for the scenario to progress. The following is a review of the procedures:

  • All scenarios can start by scanning the QR code for that particular scenario..
  • Published scenarios can also be searched for within the ARIS App if the user has registered a login name and password. When the App opens and after logging in, touch the search icon at the bottom (magnifying glass) and enter a key part of the title of the scenario you want to play, like 'pediatric’ or 'pain'. A list of currently published scenarios will appear that include that word (they might not all be part of this project). You can recognize results from our project by the logo next to each ARIS search result. Touch one to play.  RESET if prompted, and then ‘New Game’. 
  • The ARISE scenarios may require scanning of more QR codes when being played. Others just interact via the touchscreen. 

What are QR Codes?

QR codes are just a way for cameras to easily read a string of text to use as input for a program.  When the ARIS App is running, the QR code tells the App which scenario to load if you are at the login page, or what type of object you are scanning during the scenario.

What are common codes?

Common codes are QR codes used in more than one scenario. These codes can be placed on items and reused.  See the location picture within each scenario curriculum. A file containing the codes that can be printed for placement is located in the Secure Content Locker. They include but are not limited to:

  • Patient: Place this QR code on patient forehead or accessible head placement area
  • Family: Typically used for required scanning of family member in the room.
  • Patient ID Band: Place on the patient ID band or on the wrist.
  • Report: Place outside room on low fidelity representation
  • Leg: Can be used for any leg, foot, or ankle type placement called for by scenario
  • Chest: Can be used for any torso type placement called for by scenario
  • IV Site: Can be placed on hand/wrist/arm for IV or PICC line.
  • Facilitator: Instructor or other guiding influence in simulation.
  • Various medications

How do I print my own codes to start the scenarios and scan things during their use?

The material that seems to work best for repeated use is matte finish card stock.  Regular copier paper works OK too, but is not quite as durable.  Laminating them is not recommended because glare can interfere with the iPad camera's ability to read the code.

How do I set up a scenario?

Directions on the set up of each scenario are located in the scenario curriculum.

Message on iPad: iOS Software Update Available.  Update Yes/No.

It is OK to say no, or 'later' especially if you are in a hurry. But it is recommended that the iPads be kept up to date. Please, see FAQ ‘Can I update the iPad iOS?’

Will this work on other iOS (Apple) Devices?

Yes, but some pages might be too small/large to read or have other formatting issues. The ARISE scenarios are best seen on an iPad with the latest available ARIS App update version (2.6.1 as of 9/11/2018 a.k.a. 20180730).

Is there an Android ARIS App?

No, not at this time. There is an outside group that received a grant to work on this and what has been developed so far does not support our programs.

Can I update the iPad iOS?

Currently the iOS Apple release that we have tested as being OK to use is iOS version 11.4.1 (as of 9/11/2018)
Please update to this iOS version as soon as is convenient.
Always allow the ARIS App to update, and it does not take long. Consortium iPads should automatically update the ARIS App without you having to do anything as long as they are on and connected to Wi-Fi and the internet is available. This functionality should occur if the iPad has iOS 9.4 or later installed.

Apple periodically releases new updates of their operating system software. At this time, we are recommending that you update your iPads with the latest iOS and ARIS App, but it is a good idea to check the latest newsletter or other information from the ARISE team first. The reason is that there is always a small chance that the ARIS App used to run our scenarios could temporarily be unusable if some of Apples changes are incompatible with the ARIS App. This has not happened in a long time for the people who created ARIS however. If it did happen, the ARIS App programmers would need some time to adjust the ARIS App to comply with Apple's iOS changes. The ARIS app should always try to automatically update. To re-install on a consortium iPad, the best thing to do is delete the App and wait for it to automatically re-install.  The consortium iPad management software does this within 24 hours if the iPad is on, connected to Wi-Fi, and the internet. On a non-consortium iPad the ARIS App can be installed, uninstalled or updated anytime using the App Store. The latest updated published version will be there whenever the ARIS Software team releases one.

When I try to start the scenario from a QR code, all I get is a black screen.

  1. Make sure the camera on the side opposite of the touchscreen is not covered.
  2. Make sure the App has permission to use the camera in the App settings. Do this by opening the icon on the iPad home screen called ‘settings’ (It looks like a grey gear). On the left side of the screen, if you scroll down, you should see the ARIS App icon.  Touch this and on the right side will be a setting switch for ‘Camera’.  Slide the switch to the right and it should turn green.  Hit the home button to exit and try again.

When trying to play a video, I see the ARIS triangle fill the screen and videos will not play.

This typically means that the iPad has lost the WiFi connection. Make sure that you have a good connection to WiFi and the internet.

Alternatively it is possible that the ARIS App on the iPad ran out of video caching space. The scenario/app will have to be reset. There are three ways that normal operation can be restored.

  1. Clear the Cache: Go into iPad settings for the ARIS app and clear the cache. In the iPad's settings, each App that is installed will have an entry on the main setting screen, if you scroll down far enough. There is a button toggle in the ARIS App settings called 'Clear the Cache'. If this toggle is pressed (turns green) and the you Exit the settings for the iPad, the next time you go into the ARIS App, the cache will be cleared and you will have to restart the scenario or game.
  2. Force Close: Force close the ARIS app and re-open it. 'Force Closing' an App is done by double pressing the device's home button quickly; then the screen will show all the Apps that are currently active on the iPad. Swipe up on the ARIS App to force close the App and reset it. You will have to start a new instance of the ARIS scenario or game that you were using. Force closing will also probably make you have to work through the process for 'When I open the App, it wants me to take a picture, and it is stuck in this mode'. See below a few entries down for the FAQ entry for this circumstance.
  3. Uninstall and reinstall ARIS: This action fixes many possible causes for many issues by totally removing the App and any stored information it contains.

If none of these actions correct the issue, it is possible that the media that the App is trying to show is corrupt or unavailable. 

The scenario does not seem to be working right/ I’m seeing strange text characters.

  1. Check your WiFi in the area you are trying to play the scenario. This software depends on connection to the internet by WiFi or cellular.  The consortium iPads have only WiFi connectivity.  In the upper left corner of your iPad you should see at least 2 or 3 wave bars next to the word ‘iPad’. That means there is a strong WiFi signal.  On the iPads main screen you can use the Safari Web Browser to verify good internet function.  If you can watch a YouTube video or other internet based videos without any buffering or stoppages, then the ARIS software should be able to function.
  2. Sometimes the software gets a hiccup or something goes wrong. See the restart process below in the FAQ question ‘What do I do if the app freezes or the student is kicked out of the app?’

When I scan a QR code it displays the message, ‘Scan Successful, But… This code doesn’t mean anything right now. You should come back later.

This message appears when a code is scanned, but the ARIS software has no current instruction on what it should do with it in the current scenario you are running, or the current patient state.  It is a generic message that ARIS uses. So if a simulation room/manikin is ready for students to play multiple scenarios with QR codes placed for all of them, and the student scans a QR code that is not used in the current scenario they are playing, but is used in a different one; this message will display. This would also be the message that displays if a QR code is scanned to start a scenario that does not apply to one that is published.  For example, on the ARIS login screen, there is only one type of QR code that can be scanned here and it would be one of the 'scenario start codes'.  Other codes like the 'Patient ID' or 'Report' codes will give this error message because the game/scenario has not started yet.

How do I update the ARIS App?

Deleting, Installing, or Re-installing the ARIS App:

  • Delete:
    To delete the App touch the App icon until all apps begin to wiggle. Touch the ‘X’ that now appears on the ARIS App to delete it.
  • Install or Re-Install:
    If you have a Consortium managed iPad and a recent version of iOS (9.3.5 or later):
    • Leave the iPad connected to Wi-Fi and power for 24 hours. The App should re-install itself during the daily check-in that the management software does.
    • Alternatively, you can send us a message to force an update immediately, which we can do remotely from CVTC. Call the CVTC Help desk at 715-830-5555 and request that your college have their ARISE Consortium iPads get a App re-install command sent. If our Apple technician is available, this can happen very quickly.
    • A third option (not recommended for Consortium manage iPads*) is to re-install the latest version of the ARIS App from the App Store on the iPad, but you will need to have a working Apple ID supplied by you or your college to download it. Here is a link to the Apple recommended process for privately owned devices:
      *This breaks the ability of the management software (Consortium managed iPads only) to automatically update the ARIS App in the future because now it will require the Apple ID and password each time.
  • For non-Consortium iOS devices, feel free to install/re-install the ARIS App from the Apple App Store anytime using your own Apple ID and password. In the store, search for ‘ARIS’, and selection the option from the ‘Field Day Lab – University of Wisconsin – Madison’.

What do I do if the app freezes or the student is kicked out of the app?

There are several things to try in the event the iPad, ARIS App, or ARISE Scenario Programs are misbehaving:

  • Restart the App by pressing the home button and re-selecting app.
  • Force ending the App/Scenario. The ARIS App can be force closed in a similar way as any other App.  The iPad user can ‘double press’ the home button at the bottom of the iPad.  Several pages layered on top of each other may show on the iPad screen.  Swiping in an upward motion on any of the underlying pages will force close those applications and any data that is being temporarily stored in the background.  This does not hurt the iPad or its software but scenario progress for the current scenario being played will be lost. The ARIS App will restart fresh the next time it is opened.  It is likely that the user will have to take a selfie and enter a player name when the App restarts from a ‘force close’.  This is normal and the data is only temporary.  The iPad may retain the photo taken in its own photo folder and may be deleted later.
  • The ARIS App can be deleted and re-installed.  See the instructions for deleting and re-installing the ARIS App in the FAQ topic 'How do I update the ARIS App?' above.
  • Force a restart for the iPad (see

When I open the App, it wants me to take a picture, and it is stuck in this mode.

When you scan a QR code to start the game, and abort the game without exiting normally, the ARIS software loses track of the user login.  This happens if there is a glitch that kicks the user out, or if a user uses the ‘double click of the home button- swipe’ to force close the App.

This is because the QR code to start the game skips the normal log in routine (logs in as a random user) and spares the user of having to enter a username and password and/or take a picture.  The convenience of QR code starts has this side effect if the game is aborted abnormally.

So when you start up ARIS and the software wants you to take a picture (and is stuck in this state) here is a solution that should solve it.

  1. Take the picture (selfie)
  2. tap use photo
  3. Enter anything as a public name
  4. tap return
  5. tap save
  6. tap the ‘3 horizontal bars’ at the top of the screen (tab menu)
  7. tap ‘Log Out’ at the bottom of the screen

Now the App should be ready.

In some of the newer scenarios we have been including an exit tab that logs the user out, to allow a user to prematurely exit a QR code started game.  We are adding more ways to exit prematurely to the scenarios we have already published.  Also we are working on having the ARIS App developers help us with a more elegant solution to this issue when using the automatic login game start codes.

If the App crashes when trying to perform this process, try the following:

  1. Go into the iPad settings, and on the main screen scroll down to the ARIS App settings.
  2. Touch the ARIS item in the Ipad setting to open the ARIS App settings.
  3. touch the 'Clear Cache' toggle switch to turn it green.
  4. Exit settings
  5. Open the ARIS App.
  6. You should now be on the ARIS login screen.
  7. If this does not work, then uninstall and re-install the ARIS App on the iPad

Audio is not playing in ARIS

This is most likely due to the system sounds being muted. How to mute and unmute system sounds varies by device.

Consortium iPads (iPad Air models) have a side switch above the volume buttons that can be set to control either the muting of Apps OR rotation lock. This switch is protected by a rubber flap in the OtterBox protective case we provided with the iPads. This switch was inadvertently set to off on some iPads when they were placed into the cases causing the ARISE scenario sounds to be muted. Changing the position of the switch to ‘ON’ (no red showing) will fix this issue.

We recommend using this switch for muting and NOT for lock rotation. Locking rotation can be set in the settings of the iPad. Go to Settings > General > Mute (in the ‘USE SIDE SWITCH TO’ section). When this is set, the lock rotation will need to be selected in the ‘Control Center’ (see below).

In newer iPads (iPad Air 2) or other devices there may not be a side switch at all. In this case both mute and rotation are controlled via the ‘Control Center’

Apple has an article regarding the muting setting here:

Can I create my own games?

Yes.  A good place to start would be to go to to learn more about the software and other news.  Many K12 classroom are using the ARIS game design software as a learning activity for their students.  What we do with the software can get complicated, but grade school students have made a lot of interesting tours and games using the software as part of classroom activities for all sorts of Gen Ed classes.  If they can do it...

If you want to use images from the ARIS project, we are required as part of the grant to use or create media and content under the 'Creative Commons' licensing scheme.  In short this means the content is 'Open Source'. A Creative Commons (CC) license is one of several public copyright licenses that enable the free distribution of an otherwise copyrighted work. A CC license is used when an author wants to give people the right to share, use, and build upon a work that they have created.

Can the ARIS App rotate when I rotate the iPad?

ARIS and our scenarios are all currently designed to show content if the ‘portrait mode’, or to be taller than wider. With your device oriented vertically, access the control center and lock this orientation in place when using ARISE scenarios or serious games.

In fact we recommend setting the iPad to lock rotation in portrait mode.  A ‘Control Center’ menu exists on iPads and iPhones. This is accessed by using your finger to ‘swipe up’ from the bottom of the display towards the top.

Here you will see buttons, sliders and icons that let you quickly access some controls for your device. The lock rotation button will appear here if the iPad settings are using the side switch for muting or if there is no side switch. The round button looks like a paddle lock with a circular arrow around it. When it is set to lock the display (keep it from rotating) it will turn red.

Should I keep my iPads charging all the time?

Prior to a semester or other time of high use, keep your devices charged, ‘On’, and connected to Wi-Fi in order to be ready for use. This allows the Consortium iPads that have the management software to update the ARIS App automatically. It could also download any new iOS update and have it available to you to initiate the update more quickly. Also, if you notice a new release of iOS or the ARIS App has occurred, it would be good to look over the devices to see if things updated properly.

How do I best care for the iPad battery?

Here are some general tips for ensuring your iPad battery stays in the best possible condition for as long as possible.

  • Update to the latest software:  This ensures that the battery management programs in the operating system and programs are using the batteries as efficiently as possible.
  • Avoid extreme room temperatures: Storing and using the iPad in environments that are comfortable for us, is also good for the iPad. Excess heat (over 95 deg F)  while using, storing, or charging the iPad can damage the battery.  Very cold temperatures have no lasting effect on the battery, but cold batteries typically have less charge.
  • Storing the iPads long term: 2 factors affect the health of the battery when storing it long term...
    • Environmental Temperature
    • Percentage of charge – Do not fully charge or discharge the device when preparing it for storage. A 50% charge is the best percentage for long term storage.
  • Other tips for long term storage:
    • Turn it Off before storing it: Hold down the wake button on the top of the iPad until the power off slide option is shown to prevent the iPad from using battery power while it is being stored.
    • Check on the iPads every 6 months. Update the software, charge to 50%, turn off.
  • An iPad in a deep discharge state can take at least 20 minutes of charging before it can be used

This information was summarized in-part from the apple resource:

How important is Wi-Fi to using ARISE?

ARISE simulations and serious games are completely dependent on Wi-Fi and access to the internet. Everything you see during a simulation, from scanning the start codes to seeing images or videos, comes from servers located in Madison or Fox Valley. Strong Wi-Fi is essential to using this technology. Every college has policies for using Wi-Fi and configuring the accounts and passwords. If your college requires Wi-Fi connections have account passwords that need to be changed periodically, be sure to update your device when these changes occur. If allowed to lapse, your device will not be able to get the latest iOS, the latest ARIS App, or work at all during a scenario or serious game.

Where can I get support for iPad issues?

Keywords:ACT for health care grant taaccct users ARIS ARISE taaccct4 iPad   Doc ID:52444
Owner:Charles L.Group:Chippewa Valley Technical College
Created:2015-06-12 16:48 CDTUpdated:2019-04-12 10:04 CDT
Sites:Chippewa Valley Technical College
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