The 44th Medical Brigade (Med. Bde.) had the opportunity to train with advanced technology during a field exercise March 17 through 22. During this exercise, members of the brigade, in conjunction with the U.S Army Medical Materiel Development Activity (USAMMDA) Project Management Offices (PMO), Army Medical Department (AMEED) IM/IT Testing and Evaluations branch, conducted a three-day operational test of a technology called Hands-Free Unified Broadcast (MEDHUB).
MEDHUB is technology used to track patients from the point of injury to the point of care.
“It’s a system to capture patient data, store it and forward to provide situational awareness to the gaining medical facility,” said Lt. Col. Christian Cook, USAMMDA. “That’s something we can’t do on the battlefield right now very well. This system is to reduce the burden on the flight or ground medic.”
The technology is used to autonomously collect, store and transmit non-personally identifiable patient information from a device, such as a handheld tablet. The information is sent to the receiving field hospital, through existing long-range communication systems used by the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD).
Cook expressed how this equipment can be beneficial when it comes to overcoming certain obstacles.
This technology can eliminate that problem by transmitting data using MEDHUB to the receiving hospital. He data is displayed on a large screen in order to enable clinicians to have a clear idea about the number of patients,their vital statistics and other virtual information.
“Communication has historically been an issue with all field units and the Emergency Departments,” said Rosalie C. Bennett, Department of Emergency Medicine, Womack Army Medical Center.
However, Bennett said, MEDHUB is the bridge that allows full communication with the 28th Combat Support Hospital and 44th Med. Bde. medics, without the hassle of faulty radios and phone service. It allows them to call in specialists and assemble the appropriate team, therefore getting Soldiers what they need immediately.
The field training exercise served as a method for the brigade to judge the readiness of the staff and direct reporting units. Each day, units were given the task to support missions such as medical evacuation, react to chemical contamination, and a mass casualty exercise.
The brigade is currently missioned to support Joint Task Force Civil Support (JTF-CS), a unit based out of Fort Eustis, Virginia. JTF-CS anticipates, plans and prepares for chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear response operations.
The 44th Med. Bde. serves as Joint Task Force Medical, serving as the headquarters and mission command for all medical support to JTF-CS.
“With this training, the 44th Med. has been phenomenal in supporting in the field development of this product that improves the medical field of saving lives,” said Cook.