TATRC Tech-Watch Weekly

A weekly collection of COVID-19 focused Telemedicine articles, emerging technologies, clinical guidelines, and workflows from across industry, academia, medical research, and government. Brought to you by the USAMRDC's Telemedicine & Advanced Technology Research Center.

Week of January 10 - 16, 2021

A photo of a smart watch. THANES.OP/SHUTTERSTOCK
Army Picks Fitbit to Develop Wearable Presymptom COVID-19 Detectors

The health and wellness wearable company plans to use the award to partner with the Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research to expand testing of its internally developed algorithm.

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The public-private partnership between the Defense Department and Philips Healthcare is trying to use biometric data to catch COVID-19 symptoms early. (Tech. Sgt. Anthony Nelson Jr./U.S. Air Force)
What does military AI need to detect COVID? Data from wearables

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Defense Department is expanding a research study that detects potential COVID-19 infections through wearable devices to “several thousand participants,” officials announced Tuesday.

The project, from the Defense Innovation Unit, Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) and Philips Healthcare uses artificial intelligence to analyze biometric data to detect potential COVID-19 infections in asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic carriers and slow the spread of the virus.

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Illustration of Virus vs. Immune System. Illustrations: Chris Philpot
What AI Can–and Can’t–Do in the Race for a Coronavirus Vaccine

The precious few molecules that could end the COVID pandemic are hidden by millions that can't. Can AI help find them in time?

In an achievement that would have startled biomedical researchers merely a year ago, vaccines against COVID-19 were already being tested in humans this past March, less than three months after the initial outbreak was identified in China.

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In 2020, Army Futures Command launched the Army Software Factory designed to build and sustain a Soldier-led software development capability to raise the level of digital proficiency across the Army for future warfare in 2028 and beyond. (U.S. Army photo by Patrick Enright)
AFC remains future-focused while supporting present challenges

Austin, Texas -- In the midst of a global pandemic, U.S. Army Futures Command has stepped into the fray to support the nation’s response effort, while forging ahead on Army modernization priorities during 2020.

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Photo By Savannah Blackstock | Dr. Jamie L. Adler, lead for the DHA’s Virtual Health Clinical Integration Office, addresses how partnerships and COVID-19 are catalysts for enterprise virtual health.
Partnerships, COVID-19 are catalysts for enterprise virtual health

In the pre-COVID-19 world, nearly all health care was delivered in person within brick-and-mortar facilities. Telehealth, referred to in the Department of Defense as virtual health or VH, was a promise of the future—a capability whose time had not quite yet arrived. VH, in those pre-pandemic days, and years, was relegated to pilot demonstrations and to specific specialties such as behavioral health delivered in limited settings.

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The U.S. Army Medical Materiel Development Activity's Warfighter Expeditionary Medicine and Treatment Project Management Office is involved in the DOD's effort to produce N95 respirators. Shown here are various prototypes of N95 masks that have been considered for production. These particular examples are elastomeric half-mask respirators, which have a reusable frame produced by a 3D printer, with a disposable media or cartridge that filters at the 95-percent level. The two masks on the left are the most recent iterations from the U.S. Coast Guard Mechanical Engineering Department and the Navy Underwater Warfare Center Keyport, respectively. They are currently undergoing test and evaluation at the Army's Chemical Biological Center to determine if they will meet NIOSH N95 standards for filtration efficiency, inhalation resistance and exhalation resistance. The middle product is a source control mask produced by U.S. Forces Korea, and used by health care providers and others to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The two products on the right are earlier prototypes from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy Mechanical Engineering Department. Performance feedback from these models directly contributed to their current iteration. (Photo by Jeffrey Soares, USAMMDA public affairs)
DOD utilizes 3D-printing to create N95 respirators in the battle against COVID-19

In response to the COVID-19 global pandemic, the U.S. Army Medical Materiel Development Activity's Warfighter Expeditionary Medicine and Treatment Project Management Office, as part of the U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command's Additive Manufacturing Working Group, has played an integral role in the ramped-up effort to produce N95 respirators for healthcare and frontline workers across the nation.

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FILE PHOTO: A mask used to help prevent transmission of the novel coronavirus. (Chava Sanchez/LAist)
Department of Defense Medical Team Assisting With Pandemic Response In Riverside

A team of approximately 20 federal military medical personnel are providing support treating COVID-19 patients in Riverside County.

The team arrived Thursday at the Riverside University Health System-Medical Center to support hospitals in the region that are strained by a crush of patients requiring hospitalization and intensive care treatment.

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Week of January 3 - 9, 2021

Photo of Magnifying glass magnifying HIPPA Requirements
OCR Clarifies HIPAA Guidance for HIEs Sharing Public Health Data

The updated guidance answers key questions around health information exchanges and disclosing PHI during a public health emergency

The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has updated guidance on how HIPAA permits covered entities and their business associates to use health information exchanges (HIEs) to disclose protected health information (PHI) for public health purposes during an emergency."

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general news graphic
New technology allows local healthcare students to learn from home

ROANOKE, Va. – The pandemic has sparked the launch of a new virtual learning program for future nurses.

It’s called eHospital, a health care simulation platform for ECPI University students that includes many areas you would find in a hospital-like operation, patient and emergency rooms, a medical lab and more."

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SwRI is developing machine vision tool to improve military medical training

Southwest Research Institute is developing a machine vision tool to help the U.S. Department of Defense assess the biomechanical movements of military medical personnel during training exercises.

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Vricon combines stereophotogrammetry and big data processing to produce its 3D models-like this one of Las Vegas, using real textures and 3-meter absolute accuracy in all dimensions.
Simulation and mission rehearsal relies on state-of-the-art computing

Artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and virtual reality are becoming essential parts of today’s military simulation and mission rehearsal to keep warfighters on the cutting edge.

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MedTech Intellingence Logo
Returning to ‘Normal’: Non-Invasive Screening Via Vocal Analysis

A return to normalcy requires us to address the limits of current testing approaches and broadly deploy reliable screening tools that facilitate early detection and encourage more focused testing of those at high-risk of spreading the coronavirus.

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Modelling blood The tumour models that Paul Sweeney builds at the University of Cambridge use well-established mathematical models, such as those for microcirculatory blood flow (image at top of article), in combination with new approaches for predicting fluid distribution through the interstitial tissue (above). Both models are parameterized and validated against biomedical imaging data. (Courtesy: Paul Sweeney)
How computational modelling is transforming medicine

Computational modelling has been brought under the spotlight during the COVID-19 pandemic, with scientists trying to predict how the SARS-CoV-2 virus will spread. But epidemiology is not the only medical field in which modelling is sparking breakthroughs, as Sam Vennin explains

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Both of KSS’s AW169s together
Interview: Dr Duncan Bootland, Medical Director, Air Ambulance Kent Surrey Sussex

Mandy Langfield spoke to Dr Duncan Bootland, Medical Director of Air Ambulance Kent Surrey Sussex in the UK, about how medical care onboard helicopters has changed for the better, and why ongoing research and education is key to keeping standards of care as high as they can be

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The views, opinions and/or findings contained in these articles are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of Defense and should not be construed as an official DoD/Army position, policy or decision unless so designated by other documentation. No official endorsement should be made. Reference herein to any specific commercial products, process, or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise, does not necessarily constitute or imply its endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by the U.S. Government.