A group of air force researchers have developed a medical software for the battlefield
A group of Air Force researchers have developed a medical software that allows medics to monitor multiple patients electronically while in the battlefield. This technology could potentially save countless lives and alleviate some of the chaos that burdens medics in the battlefield. The technology that was developed is called the Battlefield Assisted Trauma Distributed Observation Kit (BATDOK) and it can be run on a smartphone or tablet.
BATDOK: A Medical Software for the Battlefield
BATDOK allows medics to monitor patients in the field by drawing vital information from extensive lists of commercially available and U.S Food and Drug Administration approved sensors. The technology reconstructs a chaotic environment and simplifies it so it is easier to manage information of multiple patients.
Dr. Gregory Burnett, from the 711th Human Performance Wing’s Airman Systems Directorate in the Warfighter Interface Division, managed the development on BATDOK for the Airforce along with a team of researchers. Not only did it take the teams extensive knowledge in computer engineering to develop BATDOK, but also getting to experience on the battlefield firsthand. The team rode in helicopters and witnessed Airmen in action as they “stabilize and package up patients for transport and load them back on the helicopter.” During these live experiences, researchers could see firsthand every challenge and limitation medical airmen face out in the field or at point of injury.
The team used any challenges found out in the battlefield and outside the lab in the development process. This firsthand knowledge served as an opportunity to improve the technology, find solutions to and come up with feedback to fix any gaps, as well as come up with solutions to any short falls that were witnessed. Feedback was provided during the development process to make this additional gear taken into battlefield as tactical as possible.
In an interview with Peter Holstein, Burnett said, “BATDOK was designed to not add any additional burden to battlefield Airmen’s tactical ensemble. From the beginning, we are designing to enhance capabilities, while aiding their survivability and lethality. Being part of the Air Force gives us flexibility and firsthand, unfiltered access to operators and perspective on the challenges that Airmen face. This is true for both humanitarian and combat missions. Being able to observe in person is invaluable and helps us contribute to the overall readiness mission.”