Soldiers on the battlefield will soon use a new portable digital
radiography system (PDRS) that is smaller, lighter, less expensive
and more cyber-secure than previously fielded systems.
U.S. Army Medical Materiel Agency will field the PDRS to the Army to
replace two aging devices, including an X-ray generator and an
accompanying computerized reader system. The PDRS combines these
capabilities into a single lightweight X-ray unit intended for use
by deployed medical, special operations and mortuary affairs Army
April 10, 2017 - U.S. Army Medical Materiel Agency Equipment Specialist Diego Gomez-Morales demonstrates the new Portable Digital Radiography System (PDRS) that will replace two aging devices, including an X-ray generator and an accompanying computerized reader system. The PDRS combines these capabilities into a single lightweight X-ray unit intended for use by deployed medical, Special Operations and Mortuary Affair Army units. (U.S. Army photo by
Ellen Crown, Medical Materiel Agency Public Affairs)
According to USAMMA equipment specialist Diego
Gomez-Morales, the move to the PDRS will significantly
reduce the cost per system and overall logistical footprint.
"The change will save the Army about $55,000 per
system," said Gomez-Morales, who has served the Army for
more than 30 years. "It will also reduce shipping weight by
about 60 pounds per system and reduce the number of shipping
containers from three to one."
Gomez-Morales said the PDRS will be fielded with a complete
training support package, including guides for operators and
maintainers. Additionally, all parts are cataloged and
sourced, which will expedite future repairs.
to be 'MacGyvers' in the field," he said, referencing a
1980s television series that featured a crafty secret agent
who used his practical knowledge to solve complex problems.
"The issue is that, without operator and maintainer
manuals to guide us, we risk doing more damage than good
when we try to work on this equipment in the field," he
continued. "Integrated product support is an essential part
of the acquisition and fielding of medical solutions. We are
not solely focused on just putting out new materiel; we must
think about the entire lifespan of these devices."
Additionally, the Navy and Marine Corps will also field the
same system, according to Gomez-Morales, to move the
military health system toward greater medical system
"Having the same system or device
used across the military is easier for trainers, operators
and maintainers," he said.
devices also means ensuring they meet stringent Army
cybersecurity requirements. Many modern medical devices need
to connect to military computer networks to operate
properly. In an effort to ensure medical devices purchased
by the government do not introduce security vulnerabilities,
each device must pass a robust security certification
The PDRS is the first Army medical device
to receive its Authority to Operate (ATO) under the new Risk
Management Framework (RMF) -- a process that took more than
a year to complete. RMF integrates security and risk
management activities into the system development life
cycle. The risk-based approach to security control considers
effectiveness, efficiency and constraints due to applicable
laws, directives, executive orders, policies, standards or
"Achieving an ATO under RMF gives us
peace of mind that this device complies with all of the
current cybersecurity requirements, ensuring patients'
private health information remains secure at all times,"
said Andrew McGraw, chief of USAMMA's Cybersecurity
Division, Integrated Clinical Systems Program Management
The PDRS received cybersecurity testing at
the Information Security and Engineering Command;
environmental testing at the Aberdeen Test and Evaluation
Center; and operational testing at the U.S. Army Medical
Center Department Center and School.
The PDRS was
developed with support from the U.S. Army Medical Center
Department Center and School's Capabilities Development
Integration Directorate (CDID). The PDRS's integrated
product team included members from the Navy and U.S. Marine
Corps, CDID, the USAMMA National Maintenance Program, the
USAMMA Cybersecurity Division and the Defense Logistics
Agency Troop Support.
"The PDRS IPT did a great job
of working together to get through the final steps of the
acquisition process," Gomez-Morales said. "They really
demonstrated strong teamwork, which was ultimately why this
project is a success."
USAMMA is a
subordinate agency of the U.S. Army Medical Research and
Materiel Command, which is the Army's main medical materiel
developer. USAMMA's mission is to develop, tailor, deliver
and sustain medical materiel capabilities and data in order
to build and enable health readiness.
By Ellen Crown, U.S. Army Medical Materiel Agency Public Affairs
Army News Service
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