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Chief Master Sgt. Robert Bean, an Air Force pararescue jumper, demonstrates how the Battlefield Assisted Trauma Distributed Observation Kit can be worn on the wrist, providing awareness of the health status of multiple patients. Developing BATDOK required Air Force medical researchers to embed with pararescue jumpers on live missions to ensure the tool met the rigorous standards required by combat Airmen. (Courtesy photo)

FALLS CHURCH, Va. — FALLS CHURCH, Va. (AFNS)– Imagine the chaos and challenge of delivering life-saving care in a battlefield environment. That’s what faced a group of Air Force researchers as they developed a new electronic patient monitoring tool for use on the battlefield. Overcoming this challenge required an integrated development process, where researchers left the lab and embedded on missions with medical Airmen.

The technology they developed, the Battlefield Assisted Trauma Distributed Observation Kit, or BATDOK, is software that can run on a smartphone or other mobile device, and draws patient information from a wide variety of commercially available, U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved sensors. It lets medics monitor multiple patients in the field, seeing vital information and managing multiple patients in a chaotic environment.

The integrated development process was critical to making BATDOK a tool that seamlessly integrates mobile capabilities for Airmen in the field, said Dr. Gregory Burnett, from the 711th Human Performance Wing’s Airman Systems Directorate in the Warfighter Interface Division. Dr. Burnett managed the development of BATDOK for the Air Force.

“BATDOK is a multi-patient, point of injury, casualty tool that assists our human operators and improves care,” said Burnett. “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.”

Dr. Burnett’s background in computer engineering, with an emphasis in embedded electronics and mobile interfaces helped the Air Force Research Laboratory development team design the look and feel of BATDOK. However, more intimate knowledge was needed for the tool to be most useful for operators in the field.

 

 

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