Today's Army medics can be slowed down during medical evacuation
missions by the need to document patient data and medication logs.
In the future, however, medics may be free from such tasks that can
deter their focus on treating the wounded.
The Army Medical Materiel Agency, or AMMA, at Fort Detrick,
Maryland, has been working with Nett Warrior Soldier and industry
partners to develop new transport telemedicine systems that will
automatically do the work for them. The Medical Ultra Wideband
Broadcast, or MEDHUB, is a hands free system that uses bluetooth
technology to capture data, including patient information, inventory
and arrival times. The bluetooth system uses a broad range of
frequencies at very low amplitude.
October 12, 2017 - U.S. Army Retired Sgt. 1st Class Jeffrey Jones demonstrates how to use the Medical Ultra Wideband Broadcast or MEDHUB system, which allows Army medics to tend to patients while recording data hands free. (U.S. Army photo by Joe Lacdan, ANS)
Members of AMMA performed a demonstration of the
developmental equipment at the Association of the U.S. Army
Annual Meeting and Exposition, Oct. 10. The system includes
a tourniquet with built-in sensors, a heart rate monitor
that records a patient's heart rate, blood pressure cups and
vital sign monitors.
Patient data will be captured
using a tablet that records and stores information. The new
system could see the field as soon as 2020.
those things identify a new patient," said Lt. Col.
Christian Cook, MEDEVAC Mission Equipment Product manager.
He explained that with MEDHUB, a medic won't need to record
the patient's record on paper.
"The best thing about
this is it doesn't stop there, it flows off of the platform
wirelessly to a medical treatment facility -- where we're
taking the patient to, therefore they can prepare for the
arrival of one or more patients," Cook said.
18 years experience as a MEDEVAC pilot and flew three combat
tours during Operation Iraqi Freedom. He said as U.S. forces
shift their focus to potentially new threats, data
collection issues in the field may continue.
think these problems will exist in the multi-domain
battlefield," Cook said. "We've got to be able to return our
EVAC assets to the fight quicker and that means … quicker
exchange of information."
Often a flight paramedic or
MEDEVAC pilot must now call the hospital and verbally give a
patient's status and the number of patients being
transported. The transport telemedicine system using the DOD
tactical satellite network will record and transmit patient
data to the hospital.
When treating patients on the
battlefield, medics often must write down patient
information on cards or memorize the data. They must also
guess a patient's weight to determine an appropriate amount
of medication. A proposed electronic scale will not only
calculate a patient's accurate weight, but calculate the
amount of medication needed based on the patient's weight.
Since the Vietnam era, medics have had to manually
perform these tasks that often will slow down treatment on
the battlefield, said Army Transport Telemedicine product
manager Jay Wang.
The new products will help medics
focus on administering patient care. Medical data on
patients will also be forwarded to hospitals up to 30
minutes prior to a patient's arrival, enabling hospital
personnel the ability to perform more effective patient
"There is no data being sent to the hospital
ahead of any medevac arrival, especially in the battlefield
where we don't have a lot of communication," Wang said. "So
what we've done here is a system that does two things:
provides the hospital with that vital critical information
of how many patients, what's their basic vital signs, what's
their ETA and how many are littered so that they be carried
in so that the hospital can assign resources, number of
Medics must also keep a log whenever they
remove medicine from inventory, remove medication from the
building and when they administer medication to a patient.
The proposed system will automatically document the
medication using sensors and the wireless technology.
"What we're trying to do is create a scale of
accountability," Wang said.
Wang said that the
products are still in development stage and his team is
still finalizing concepts, but he is excited to turn the
concepts into a final product.
By U.S. Army Joe Lacdan
Army News Service
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