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NEWS | Oct. 28, 2021

Army Medicine tests new smartphone, tablet apps at JBSA-Camp Bullis

By Jose E. Rodriguez U.S. Army Medical Center of Excellence Public Affairs

The U.S. Army Medical Test and Evaluation Activity, or USAMTEAC, in collaboration with the United States Army Medical Materiel Development Activity, or USAMMDA, recently tested two medical devices employing the latest in smartphone technology in critical hands-on assessments during a simulated real-world scenario at two different locations at Joint Base San Antonio-Camp Bullis.

Utilizing mobile device applications and technology, the USAMTEAC team tested a Heat Strain Decision Aid, or HSDA, and Mental Acuity and four different Ultrasound Field Portable, or USFP, devices.

If adopted for use, these systems bring portability, ease of use, and lower maintenance requirements in a compact size to deployed Army Medicine.

The HSDA is an operational planning mobile application designed to be readily installed and accessed on any handheld mobile device.

This application allows unit commanders to perform real-time risk assessments for heat injury based on environmental factors, activity levels, and individual clothing factors based on algorithms derived from Technical Bulletin 507.

The HSDA incorporates an output display that provides operational planners with estimates of the warfighter’s core temperature and calculates recommended safe work times, water requirements and risk of heat casualties.

The application calculates probabilities of heat injury and illness for training and deployed operations. Geared for Infantry units and mission planners, HSDA combines state-of-the-art laboratory-based models and the Six Cylinder Thermal Model to predict the risk of heat illness/injury in Soldier populations.

The HSDA diagram depicts a functional view of data flow that generates core body and sweat rate outputs from four categories of inputs derived from end-users.

The USFP is a new requirement to fill a capability gap for the Tactical Combat Medical Care military provider Medical Equipment Set. This test assessed the operational effectiveness and suitability of the USFP to assist with an acquisition decision.

The USFP is a rapid, non-invasive, diagnostic imaging device to visualize or rule out injuries, such as internal bleeding, collapsed lung, musculoskeletal injuries.

This device will bring diagnostic imaging to Role 1 in the Battalion Aid Station, and at the Role 2 Area/Brigade Support Treatment Platoon to improve the care provider's ability to triage life-threatening injuries and prioritize emergency evacuation, as well as diagnose lesser injuries, providing treatment in-place, and fostering a return to duty in prolonged field care scenarios.

During the test, there were four different USFP devices. Test players with various specialty backgrounds performed focused assessments on high-fidelity phantoms and live volunteer participants with the USFP and used a tablet and a cell phone to view the ultrasound images.

“This one is pretty impressive,” said Lt. Col. Brett Gendron, a 65D Emergency Medicine Physician Assistant at the Brooke Army Medical Center, in describing the USFP. “They all bring something to the table, and this one I think has been the easiest to use. Portability is paramount, not requiring a large system that requires logistical support.”

After testing USAMTEAC prepares a detailed report for a decision authority to review and possible procurement and fielding. To learn more about USAMTEAC, visit their website at https://medcoe.army.mil/usamteac.