On behalf of COL Karl Friedl, the Director of the Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center (TATRC), an element of the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command, I would like to welcome you to the American Telemedicine Association’s (ATA) 2009 Mid-Year Meeting. TATRC and the ATA are co-sponsoring this half day seminar entitled: “Innovative Technologies to Identify and Treat Traumatic Brain Injuries: Crossover Technologies and Approaches between Military and Civilian Applications.”
Recent wars have generated many patients who have incurred a Traumatic Brain Injury to such an extent that it is now become known as the wars’ signature injury. Once the TBI patients return to their duty stations, medical treatment facilities or homes the challenge gaining access to care and to the appropriate specialists, as soon and as, often as necessary. Many of these patients reside great distances from the medical facilities that have the necessary specialists and equipment to treat their TBI conditions.
Recognizing the growing need to treat TBI patients who are remotely dispersed TATRC proposed in September 2007, establishing an AMEDD-wide infrastructure of telemedicine equipment and personnel. These resources were to be located where the patients reside and within the distant medical facilities where the appropriate medical specialists are located. Currently sixty sites have been established worldwide and the number of sites will grow to over eighty by the end 2009. Now that the infrastructure has been built, additional administrative, clinical, and technical personnel are being acquired to support and take care of the patients.
One of TATRC’s missions is to find cutting edge technologies which can be beneficial to military medicine. Specifically for our teletbi initiatives we are seeking-proven clinical applications that can be used via telemedicine modalities, to assess, diagnose, treat and/or rehabilitate TBI patients. To achieve this goal TATRC has invited distinguished scientists, researchers, clinicians and others involved in TBI related fields from around the United States to participate in this seminar. These distinguished speakers are recognized subject matter experts from the military, federal government, academia and private industry.
During our half day seminar we will discuss mature, clinical applications for assessment, diagnosis, treatment and/or rehabilitation of Traumatic Brain Injured patients via telemedicine. The intent of our seminar is to learn about current initiatives and to leverage the clinical applications that have been or will soon be validated with evidence-based science, and supported by published literature. Once identified and validated our goal is to integrate these applications into the U.S. Army Medical Department\'s tele-TBI infrastructure. Vital to these goals is the importance of identifying standardized clinical processes and guidelines; and outcome based metrics that measure clinical value. A summary of today’s presentations and comments will be compiled and submitted to a refereed journal for publication.
Again, welcome to the seminar. I look forward to spending time with you discussing our challenges and potential solutions.