Mobile Health Innovation Center (mHIC)

FOBOTS3S: A New Air Force Research Partnership in 2019

December 31, 2018  |  Download PDF

In FY18, TATRC was invited to partner with the United States Air Force Ophthalmology Element Leader at the Warfighter Eye Center in Joint Base Andrews. Key senior staff from TATRC’s Mobile Health Innovation Center (mHIC) worked with Maj William G. Gensheimer, MD to develop a successful proposal entitled, “Forward Operating Base Ocular Trauma Triage and Stabilization (FOBOTS3S).” This exciting application was approved for funding by the 59 MDW Chief Scientist’s office on 1 October.

Photo of mCare app with diabetes monitor FOBOTS3S to utilize tele-ophthalmology to improve and extend ophthalmic trauma in remote deployed environments. (U.S. Army Reserve Photo by Sgt. Stephanie Ramirez)

The research project addresses a gap in virtual health; during Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom, 10-15% of combat-related trauma injuries involved the eye. There is currently limited access to ophthalmic care at forward operating bases. Currently in the military, there are three primary methods for obtaining tele-ophthalmology support. In ocular emergencies or time-sensitive cases, first responders and point-of-care providers at Role 1 or 2 call and speak directly with physicians at Role 3, which may include an ophthalmologist.

The research project hypothesis is that tele-ophthalmology will greatly improve and extend ophthalmic trauma care in remote deployed environments.

The goals and objectives of this research project are to:

  1. Evaluate and test image acquisition and communication devices for use in military tele-ophthalmology
  2. Develop a secure mobile tele-ophthalmology application
  3. Develop a standardized and reproducible protocol for utilizing tele-ophthalmology
  4. Assess the cyber and data security of tele-ophthalmology acquisition devices and communications devices
  5. Create a tele-ophthalmology training program for military ophthalmologists

The project funding is expected to be awarded in early Spring this year, and the TATRC mHIC team is looking forward to establishing closer research ties with the Air Force through this effort.

This article was published in the July 2019 issue of the TATRC Times.