During the final days of November, managers for the Joint Telemedicine Network (JTMN) powered down the central teleport facility in Landstuhl, Germany, officially closing the network that had provided a dedicated worldwide satellite communication (SATCOM) network to U.S. Army medical personnel treating wounded soldiers at field hospitals and forward operating bases in combat zones.
Advanced medical devices empower medics to maximize “golden hour” of emergency treatment.
Internal Defense Department research and development coupled with commercial off-the-shelf technologies is speeding medical care to wounded soldiers on the battlefield. In ongoing programs, scientists are investigating remote health maintenance and trauma care tools ranging from dog tags that hold an entire medical history to diagnostic equipment that helps evaluate the severity of an injury.
Copper and fiber optic cables form electronic umbilical cord, distributing medical expertise and extending health care options.
Technology providers are responding to the growing demand for telemedicine services by combining individual strengths. Companies that specialize in integration are working hand in hand with medical personnel to determine preferences and needs and then are bringing this information back to hardware and software developers for implementation into products. Individually, these companies could only bring part of the solution to the medical community; together, they are helping to increase the use of telemedicine.
New dimension of medical imaging explored for today’s soldiers, tomorrow’s astronauts.
Lightweight ultrasound technology that captures three-dimensional images may help determine the extent of internal bleeding of injured soldiers on the battlefield at least 40 times faster than current equipment. Although the capability to acquire these pictures has been achieved in the past, a system currently being developed by a medical center under contract with the U.S. Defense Department would put this medical service closer to the front lines by making the equipment easily portable.
|A surgeon sitting at a console (rear) uses an Intuitive Surgical Inc. Da Vinci robotic surgical system to operate on a patient. The U.S. Army employs one of these robots and is experimenting with systems that would allow a doctor to operate tens of thousands of miles distant.|
Research plans a telerobotic future for medics and physicians.
|Larry Markins (r), technical consultant, Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center (TATRC), and Lt. Col. Morgan Williamson, USA, radiologist, 31st Combat Support Hospital, Balad, demonstrate the teleradiology system that was deployed to Iraq in the summer of 2004.|
Remote medicine technology provides better access to specialty care for deployed soldiers in Iraq.
|The medical scancorder, under development at the U.S. Army Institute for Surgical Research in San Antonio, uses a microimpulse radar device built into a medical personal digital assistant to detect vital signs such as respiration and heart movement.|
Portable scanner determines casualty status with the push of a button.