Certainly, the latest technology is useful for military surveillance and weapons. However, the Internet of Things (IoT) is also making a difference in medical care for soldiers. The Defense Health Agency (DHA), which supports medical services for the Army, Navy, and Air Force, is working on several projects that will bring the latest IoT technology to military health care.
At the Global City Teams Challenge Expo in Washington, D.C., Army Lt. Col. Mark Mellott and DHA colleagues discussed some of the innovative projects that are currently in development. “All we are doing will help improve the readiness of warfighters, and perhaps increase their chances of survivability, should they sustain an injury,” said Mellott, in a DHA statement. “What’s really ground-breaking is that a lot of this technology doesn’t require that a physician touch the patient in order to gather information about them.”
For example, self-powered biosensors could be placed in a soldier’s uniform to monitor vital signs so that doctors and nurses can spend less time and energy assessing health and more time providing care. Another project focuses on theater mobile computing applications that will send automated alerts to medical staff when injuries occur on the battlefield. DHA teams are also researching ways to automate detection, triage and treatment of severe contagious disease outbreaks so that medical professionals can provide care remotely in order to minimize exposure to the disease. But before it can be used on the battlefield where stakes are especially high, new technologies will be tested in a simulated military environment called the “Innovative Ecosystem.” All this adds up to data-driven medical care that can help doctors take better care of soldiers on military bases or in remote regions around the world.