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Crossroads of the Marine Corps

New radio for Corpsmen

18 Jul 2013 | Lance Cpl. Cuong Le Marine Corps Base Quantico

Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory is working on a new radio communication-enabled casualty care monitoring capability called Tactical Telemedicine that can enhance the capabilities of corpsmen at extended ranges.

“Tactical Telemedicine’s objective is to have technol¬ogy that corpsmen can use to enhance the casualty care they can provide to Marines conducting distributed operations from a sea base,” said Lt. Cmdr. Henry S. Warren, expeditionary medicine project officer, MCWL.

The paired casualty monitor and radio will allow corpsmen to move physiological data and documenta¬tion, and even to talk to higher level medical providers about the patient for as long as he needs to without stopping other radio communications, because the sig¬nal will be on a private channel that only the two will hear, said Warren.

The new technique uses a two-way radio in which a Corpsman can access a medical doctor very quickly after injury over a data channel and report the condition of the Marine, as well as, what treatments and actions have been taken, said Warren.

“We are hoping to improve the accuracy and care of patients on the battlefield, as well as improve the speed of which information is sent back to the sea base,” said Warren.

“If we can start to mirror even a portion of the advances larger healthcare facilities have made with telemedicine, we can potentially save lives,” said Lt. Cmdr. David Gribben, expeditionary medicine project officer, MCWL.

Corpsmen will be able to make the most of the golden hour by sending information to supporting medical treatment facilities, ashore or on ships, about the patient’s injuries including the severity along with other important information while waiting for the heli¬copter to arrive, Warren said.

The golden hour represents the span of time in which treatment of bleeding offers the greatest hope of survival.

However, the device is only in the experimental stages and costs more than $35,000, said Warren.

There have been amazing advances in larger healthcare facilities with telemedicine and it can reasonably be expected that those advances can be used on the battlefield to save lives, said Gribben.

Marine Corps Base Quantico