The United States Army has been testing a telemedicine platform that can provide essential information directly to hospitals so that health care providers can be better prepared for patients. The service can potentially be used in the future by EMS providers and health care systems to make care better in medical emergencies.
Officials are seeking tests for the Medical Hands-Free Unified Broadcast, also known as MEDHUB. This digital health service gathers data from many types of health devices, such as wearable tech and tablets. From there, it sends the information to hospitals. It was developed by a collaboration of two organizations in the armed forces’ medical sector to take note of pertinent medical information that is traditionally entered into laptops by emergency medical technicians and then sent to hospitals. In doing this task wirelessly, it not only gets transmitted ahead of time but also frees the EMTs so that they are able to concentrate on providing emergency care to the patient. It also allows for more accurate patient information to get to the hospital before the patient arrives through emergency transports, which makes thing easier for all parties.
Jay Wang, the product manager for Army Transport Telemedicine, stated that MEDHUB is about better awareness and saving people’s lives. He added that thanks to the system, medical personnel are getting more of the information they need, which allows them to be better equipped for the arrival of the patient. He compared the situation to being a medic on a battlefield, who has the solitary goal of treating the individual to save their life. At the same time, in that scenario, a medic would have no idea of how many patients would be brought in or the nature of their conditions. The MEDHUB technology helps in a big way so that doctors and hospitals have that information ahead of time.
Overall, the technology is very similar to that of mHealth telemedicine that is available in the form of apps and which are being tested and used by EMS services so that essential information can be immediately sent to hospitals prior to emergency transports. However, MEDHUB allows data to be sent anywhere throughout the world, even in areas where there are different, more challenging means of communication.
Officials believe that this technology may one day be used by traditional health care providers throughout the United States.
Retired flight paramedic Jeff Jones stated that he could see MEDHUB being used in civilian medicine. He said that although civilian paramedics and EMTs may face different situations, they also struggle with effectively getting the patient’s information over to the hospital before the patient is transported there. He sees MEDHUB as solving those issues and more.
The armed forces also seeks to incorporate more digital health tools into MEDHUB. While the earliest parts of testing were performed a year ago, a number of things were examined, including sensors and scales, as well as additional items that can check vital signs.
Wang concluded that MEDHUB would be further tested at volunteer units and that he hopes the service would go live by next year.