Beginning the Mission: MedCom 5

Our first step as a team has been to further establish our working problem. In doing so, our first week was exclusively dedicated to Beneficiary discovery. Below, we list the people we’ve interviewed and the highlights of each conversation.

  • Brian Smedick – Former 4th Battalion Surgeon
    • Provided high-level prolonged field care procedure and considerations
    • Described historical development of BATDOK and potential technical challenges
    • Explained security challenges to some current and proposed telemed solutions
  • Russell Dallas – Medical Sergeant (18D)
    • Strong healthcare background specific to austere environments
    • Emphasized experience using communication devices purchased from local systems
    • Emphasized need to camouflage signatures that can tie communication to US sources
  • Robert Collins – Operations Sergeant (Former 18D)
    • Some deployed soldiers and healthcare workers purchase and use civilian devices because difficulty with official devices
    • Communication with base doctors often require direct communication, but in subacute situations, can be okay with delay
    • Endorsement for BATDOK-like communication devices
  • Phil Cotter – Captain, 3rd SFG
    • Elaborated on training program for non-medical operators that will need to be considered heavily in final product
    • Emphasized that ideal solution will not be 100% correct to everyone that we interview
    • Emphasized potential applications of this project to adventure sports and civilian medtech industries
  • Dr. Richard Leidinger – Former Chief Medical Officer, Kirkuk Field Base, Iraq
    • Provided excellent insight to operations of field hospitals in war zones
    • Emphasized that insurgents are not the same as those portrayed in media – often, they are clever and seek to jam any communications between operators and base
  • Brad Olsen – LifeFlight Pilot
    • Described process of civilian medical evacuation procedures
    • Directed us to future contact who is paramedic on civilian air rescue team
  • Kal Rathnayaka Gunasingha – General surgery resident, Walter Reed Military Hospital
    • General military healthcare structure: 4 lines of healthcare deployment
    • Ethical considerations to treat or not to treat in resource-scarce situations
    • Resource allocation considerations
  • Maddie Gervais – Navy military procurement
    • Procurement experience in Navy, familiar with mobile hospitals
    • Established connection point and contacts for next steps
  • Greg Hauser – Statewide Interoperability Coordinator) for NC Emergency Management
    • Connections to more contacts in emergency personnel
    • US emergency procedures
    • Protocol  and current training of personnel in urgent situations
  • Mohammad Noshad – Co-founder/ CEO VLNComm
    • Experience using innovative visible light communication and li-fi tech
    • Established time to reconnect when more specifics are known about telecommunications capabilities of team
    • Connection and knowledge of VLNComm’s most current tech offerings,

In addition to our interviews, we used the three following sources as primary reference to the problem at hand and work that has previously been done in the field of battlefield telemedicine:

Telemedicine to Reduce Medical Risk in Austere Environments

StratComm TATRC 

Teleconsultation in Prolonged Field Care Position Paper (JSOM Volume 17, Edition 3, Fall 2017)

From the collective input of our contacts and these sources, we’ve decided to focus on the key areas moving forward with the following guiding questions:

    1. What happened with BatDok? How does it deal with classified information? Bluetooth Security?
    2. Telecommunications industry specifics – how can one establish connections in remote areas?
    3. What body-monitoring tech do SF operators already wear?
    4. Continue to validate our Mission Model Canvas