Marines test diagnostic telemedicine device for the battlefield
- By Defense Systems Staff
- Feb 03, 2014
Time is critical when treating injuries on the battlefield, which is why the military services regularly test and deploy new portable medical devices, both for treatment and diagnostics.
The Marine Corps’ Field Medical Training Battalion has been conducting operational and informational tests on the Tempus Pro, a tactical telemedicine device, in Camp Pendleton, Calif. over two days of trials on Jan. 22-23.
The device is attached to a point of injury on the patient and then broadcasts vital signs to a battalion aid station or an assisting physician who then guides and helps the injured corpsman.
The Tempus Pro broadcasts a patient’s vital signs back to a battalion aid station or aiding physician.
According to Remote Diagnostic Technology, the creator of the Tempus Pro, the technology is designed to provide monitoring functions, patient record data collection and sharing, as well as voice and video capabilities. It also features a flexible plug-and-play architecture that allows additional capabilities to be added. The Tempus Pro can incorporate tools such as electrocardiograms, invasive and non-invasive blood pressure measuring tools, video laryngoscopy and ultrasound.
The military also has specified that the Tempus Pro be able to withstand ball bearings dropped from four feet onto the screen, 10 to 15 minutes of being blasted by a fire hose, and 26 drops from all acute angles, according to the Marines’ website.
The current trial is intended to see how the device would work in a controlled setting and whether the Tempus Pro makes sense for use by the military.
“That’s part of the reason why we’re here today; we don’t just want to look at the technology in isolation,” said Lt. Cmdr. David Gribben, project head of expeditionary medicine with Marine Corps War Fighting Lab. “What we want to do is look at it as a part of an operational concept.”
One advantage the system offers is that users can be easily trained in its use – the standard training time is three hours – and the system offers an assist screen that guides new users. Soldiers without medical experience could be assisted in emergencies by physicians several miles away, with the Tempus Pro sharing vital signs and increasing situational awareness of forward troops’ casualties.