The Army’s Rapid Equipping Force (REF) has partnered with Medical Research and Materiel Command to deploy the first traumatic brain injury (TBI) detection devices to forces in Iraq, Afghanistan, Kuwait and Korea next month, officials said on Monday.
Soldiers will receive a non-invasive head injury assessment device and handheld medical screening tools that officials believe will address a need to improve rapid detection of brain injuries.
“The technologies the REF is equipping provide an essential capability for deployed Soldiers with early screening devices for intracranial bleeding. If there’s an incident where a head injury is suspected, these devices can help quickly identify which Soldiers need immediate referral to a CT scan and neurosurgical intervention,” an REF representative told Defense Daily.
REF said it held a non-traditional selection process for the TBI devices to respond to an urgent need for the equipment, and as such is not disclosing the names or vendors for the devices.
“While the REF has supported similar detection tools in the past, this is the first time these specific devices have been equipped to units in each of these locations,” the representative for REF said.
The partnership between REF and Medical Research and Materiel Command will allow the devices to be quickly deployed to more remote areas and offer opportunities for user feedback from soldiers, according to officials.
“Utilizing the REF to deploy the latest FDA-cleared technologies, will provide programmatic feedback for locations where medical resources are limited. Information gathered from equipping units with these devices may influence future fielding plans to fill capability gaps for optimal patient care,” Brian Dacanay, a TBI device product manager for Army Medical Materiel Development Activity, said in a statement.
The devices’ mobility and ease-of-use will allow Army units to identify soldiers that are in need of potential CT scans and further medical care, officials said in a statement.
“These two technologies will provide soldiers with early screening devices for intracranial bleeding and will quickly identify those who would benefit most from immediate referral to a CT scan and neurosurgical intervention,” Maj. Stephen Cheng, assistant program manager for REF, said in a statement.