Home » Uncategorized » Learning How to Show and Test Value: Week 8

Learning How to Show and Test Value: Week 8

This week, we were able to make some progress technologically, as well as test the product and gather feedback from old and new beneficiaries (within the same beneficiary group of 18D’s). Using Overpass Turbo, a suggestion from one of our tech expert interviewees, and converting those open searches to ArcGIS, we were able to show beneficiaries how we might complete a search for medical facilities, using Morocco as an example. Showing them actively through a screen share during interviews proved to be more effective in clarifying the product’s function than just showing a video of the prototype. Through this, we also received many common suggestions on features beneficiaries would like to see, primarily photo capabilities and a “last verified” date for the information.


We also explored another complication this week in the current medical planning process we hope to alleviate: the sheer number of medical planning resources that 18D’s use, ranging from the National Center for Medical Intelligence to Google searches. We also found that there are also some classified resources, so ideally we would want our product to consolidate at least all unclassified medical asset information. Through this work we found that one possible saboteur could be groups of planners within the Defense Health Agency, whose roles are to identify gaps in military medical resources. It’s possible that they have begun similar projects and, as our mentor suggested, feel that we are overlapping with their jobs- we are planning to speak to DHA members next week though, hear feedback, and engage in discussion.


Interview #1: Rick Hines, Currently Medical Instructor SFMS Refresher and Retired 18D

  • Loves the idea of the product- one issue with the current forms is that if 18D’s don’t know a field to fill out or if it isn’t relevant, they may not submit the information at all- but if you can “skip” a question when filling out information on your assessment, it will make it even easier to keep it updated
  • If kept classified just for 18D’s or within the military, you could add a way to contact whoever updated the information to talk to them directly about a clinic’s capabilities
  • But he sees benefits with making it open to the public- imagines it like Wikipedia where information would be updated enough to be generally accurate over time
  • Product could also be helpful in finding doctors for certain procedures- more specifically:
    • He is, as an 18D, trained to do anesthesia and surgery but if he can find someone who does that regularly, lose limb, etc. then he will pull out all the stops to go to nearest clinic and find any qualified assistance before attempting complicated procedures

Interview #2: Chris, 18D (Repeat)

  • Over time, with a couple of iterations, this could become the primary tool for medical planning, apart from the classified assets that he uses for planning purposes; he would still call the clinics in the area to “verify” the information but he would not have to look at 10 different databases
  • Google Maps satellite map interface would be most intuitive to use, especially if you could zoom in to an area that shows clinics maybe across the border that are easier to get to; if you could also look at the map and have icons for Role 1, 2, 3 facilities that would be helpful
  • Shared story of treating 2 men who were hurt in a sandstorm and had broken pelvises and desperately needed blood- they did a walking blood bank within their camp but eventually decided to use blood from a local clinic because it was a life or death situation
  • This product could help you make those decisions by seeing proximity and resource availability for all kinds of medical situations that you can’t specifically detail on a medical plan- particularly if you can offload the maps

Interview #3, Dennis Jarema, Former 18D and current Assistant Deputy Director SOCM

  • Hosts the prolonged field care podcast and has a deep interest in all things medical care in austere environments
  • Some things to think about with the MVP:
    • Transferability of criteria of civilian hospitals to military medical assets and how they align when searching for a medical asset
    • Possibility of saving your progress when adding clinics- might be useful in environments when you can’t finish a full assessment, but you want to put in any information on a clinic that you did see
    • Be careful about adding options to upload photos, and make sure faces aren’t shown
    • These concerns suggest it might be best to do a limited release to military users first
  • Good concept but there are some challenges to getting it regularly used in the military, ex. Many teams working on the same issue, like his efforts with the PFC resources
  • Value in use because the drudgery of filling out these forms on what 18D’s saw on a mission; many will say “I didn’t see anything” just because the forms are such a pain and this would really make it a lot easier
    • They want to share that info but it’s just kind of hard to do so right now

Interview #4, Benjamin Schwartz, Director of Content at Tesla Government Inc.

  • Overpass turbo allows you to pull from open strings and Wikimaps and pull data sets from there using Python- provided step-by-step tips on how to create these for an area
  • Dig deeper to find what military technology and software we would have access to for this project specifically
  • To keep your customers using the product, need to consider how it will be integrated into their daily workflow and how it will be an easy thing to use- not just make things easier
  • Getting as much feedback as possible will really shape product to where it’s really good- think about how you want to keep testing with a more advanced product each week and who you want to test with

Interview #5, JJ, 18F

  • If this product is deployed in a constantly changing operational environment like Africa, it could be really helpful, if it is regularly updated
  • ArcGIS is used by the military so that would be a good way to compile geospatial data
  • Suggested several improvements and features to make the product easier to use, like hovering over a symbol could show the full information, and differentiating between pharmacies, clinics, hospitals, etc. easily

Interview #6, CPT Liz, Air Force ER DIrector

  • Integrating into training is essential for implanting such a technology and ensuring it is used
  • If open sourcing information on facilities and their assets, maybe a useful feature could be having information that is reviewed and identified as being correct starred (a review mechanism of sorts is absolutely necessary if you open source)
  • Information should include medical services offered and type of medicine practiced

Interview #7, Xiuyuan Hao, Medical Aid team in Morocco

  • Ground Ambulance Services are available in city area. The time for an ambulance to reach to an rural area could be 1-2 hrs
  • Air Ambulance is a new program for emergency launched by the government
  • There are also some commercial companies providing this service, but mostly for prolonged medical care transferring
  • International medical aid teams have better medical capabilities but is harder to assess and update

Interview #8, Jonathan, Former 18D and military consultant for SOCM training AIT group

  • Jonathan has deep knowledge into the implementation and acquisition of military manuals and protocol for AIT Advanced Individual Training (AIT) at Fort Sam Houston to obtain their 68-Whiskey Military Occupational Speciality (MOS) and Airborne School at Fort Benning.
  • His insights on the MVP:
    • Love the visual interface
    • How are these assets vetted?
    • How can I trust the same asset will be there when I return?
    • Interested in testing it on his former SOCM trainees
    • Wondering if there is a fail-safe if data is wrong or corrupt
  • Good start to a complex problem, will likely need testing before 18D’s can use reliably

Interview #9, William, Current 18D transitioned from BCT ranger medic school

  • Graduated the Special Operations Combat Medic (SOCM) program in June 2013 as part of pipeline to become a Ranger Medic. This is a condensed evaluation of the course to give any other Rangers an insight into what to expect.
  • His insights on the MVP:
    • How much would this cost?
    • Interested in seeing if this works in enemy territories
    • Wondering if there is a fail-safe if data is wrong or corrupt?
    • Interested in seeing if existing tech can be used to boost the MVP potential. Used example of AirBnB and Uber.
  • Good start to a complex problem but only valuable if good in enemy zones
  • Wouldn’t use it himself until it’s been thoroughly tested

Interview #10, Larry Mills, Just retired 18D transitioned from Navy SWCC medic

  • Larry was formally a Navy SWCC after-SOCM and transitioned to a different environment entirely. Says 18Ds mission quite physical. As a SOCM you are considered a mid-level provider. He cites his mixed feelings about the steep learning curve that really never ends as an 18D.
  • His insights on the MVP:
    • Love the use of mapping to chart the assets
    • How does this data get updated?
    • How can I trust another 18D will use it in the right way?
    • Interested in seeing if this works in enemy territories
    • Interested in seeing if it would work with the 18D ‘battle buddy’. These are partner medics who may not be as trained as you. This was especially difficult for some new 18Ds who transitioned from civilian careers as a Registered Nurse.
  • Wants to see if this can be vetted with other branches such as Air Force or Navy where land isn’t the only arena of battle. Where would I find a pharmacy in the middle of the Indian Ocean? Islands? How does that work?

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *