Battlefield medical network: biosensors in a tactical environment
Montgomery, Ralph R.
Anderson, Yekaterina L.
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Lack of tactical health information is an issue that military leaders and healthcare providers face at all organizational levels today. Incomplete or missing treatment information undermines the provision of downrange care at higher echelons. Furthermore, absence of timely, aggregated, and actionable information on combat-related morbidities can affect strategic capacity planning for health resources within the Department of Defense as well as the Department of Veterans Affairs. Using biomedical sensors can mitigate these issues by monitoring health and environmental metrics of personnel operating in tactical settings. This thesis proposes a system- of-sensors concept that addresses both tactical medical treatment and decision-making needs as well as informed strategic planning for health. A literature review on frameworks for networking, information systems, and key health metrics provided guidance for the proposed system. Bench and field experimentation with available sensors served as proof of concept and was used to evaluate sensors for viable use in a maritime environment. Based on this research, the authors were able to determine that the tested devices were not efficacious for a tactical environment as configured. However, the authors submit that if the sensors were reconfigured to synchronize with a mobile smart device that communicates via a mobile ad-hoc network, these sensors could meet the needs of Maritime Interdiction Operations tactical personnel. This is contingent on having an application suite that is capable of collecting data from multiple biomedical sensors regardless of sensor vendor.
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