Battlefield medicine has advanced significantly since the days when surgeons used whiskey as an anesthetic, and in the last year several new technologies have rolled out to deployed soldiers facing physical or psychological disorders. The U.S. Army program responsible for fielding software and the hardware on which it resides is pushing the cutting edge of diagnostics and treatment to the tip of the spear. Personnel hope the effort will save lives and limbs not only by treating injury or illness, but also by keeping troops off the road in war zones.
For many, the words "homeland security" and "counterterrorism" conjure up images of federal investigators engaged in large-scale battle with a host of enemies bent on death and destruction. But the war often begins on a smaller, more subtle level.
The U.S. Navy and the medical community share seemingly different but surprisingly similar problems—finding undersea mines and identifying certain cells, such as cancer cells. And they have discovered that software designed by the Navy to locate undersea mines also contributes to faster, more accurate diagnoses of diseases and can foster medical breakthroughs.