The U.S. military has long been a pioneer in the use of cutting-edge health technologies that provide real benefit to clinicians and patients. Not only does it provide the ideal location to create and implement such technologies, but it’s also a key testing ground for a range of new solutions that can and should be implemented in hospitals and health networks across the U.S.
As a Navy physician deployed with the Marines in the Helmand Province, Afghanistan, I was able to witness and experience firsthand the impact of new electronic health technologies. Despite the inhospitable environment and lack of existing infrastructure, we had wireless monitoring devices to measure vital signs, X-ray machines that provided digital images, and often the ability to access a ‘light’ version of the military’s electronic medical records system. We could also send pictures and clinical summaries via secure email to specialists for expedited consultations. Continue reading