USAF researchers develop new battlefield electronic patient monitoring tool


US Air Force (USAF) researchers have developed a new electronic patient monitoring tool for use on the battlefield.

The new battlefield assisted trauma distributed observation kit (BATDOK) has been designed to allow medics to monitor multiple patients in the field.

It has been developed to meet the challenge of delivering life-saving care in a battlefield environment, the USAF stated.

The software can be used on a smartphone or other mobile device to collect patient information from a wide variety of commercially available sensors approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

USAF 711th Human Performance Wing airman systems directorate in the Warfighter Interface Division official Dr Gregory Burnett said: “BATDOK is a multi-patient, point of injury, casualty tool that assists our human operators and improves care.

“It can be a real-time health status monitoring for multiple patients, a documentation tool, a user-definable medical library, a portal to integrate patient data into their electronic health records, and finally it is interoperable with battlefield digital situation awareness maps, which helps identify the exact location of casualties.”

The BATDOK is claimed to integrate mobile capabilities for airmen in the field.

The tool was validated by pararescue airmen and combat rescue officers that were involved in the design, integration and testing process.

"We are designing to enhance capabilities, while aiding their survivability and lethality."

Burnett added: “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 airforce gives us flexibility and first-hand, 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.”

Image: Developing BATDOK required airforce medical researchers to embed with pararescue jumpers on live missions to ensure the tool met the rigorous standards required by combat airmen. Photo: courtesy of the USAF.