Wednesday, December 1, 2010

MC4 Testing Apps

The Army’s Medical Communications for Combat Casualty Care (MC4) is testing specific EMR apps for use on the iPad, iPod Touch, iPhone, HTC EVO, and Samsung Epic. Early results show that apps can technically operate on the Apple iOS and the Droid OS using the devices stretch, tap, and swipe functionality.

However, according to the November online issue of “The Gateway” publication, LTC William E. Geesey, MC4 Product Manager, said, “Initial tests show promise but there is still a long way to go before we can consider fielding these technologies. They must clear a myriad of hurdles, including data-at-rest encryption requirements, clearance for wireless use in theater, and a bevy of DOD and local signal certifications.”

Application upgrades currently underway for the MC4 EMR systems used in Iraq and Afghanistan will provide better methods for capturing and reporting mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) data. The MC4 program will field the apps upgrades first in Southwest Asia and then to the other 12 countries where MC4 systems remain operational.

“The Army is focusing on the development of effective tracking systems, mechanisms, and business practices to trace soldiers potentially suffering from mTBI,” said LTC Geesey. “This upgrade helps to track and report on exposures of head trauma on the battlefield.”

MC4 is also fielding upgrades to the medical supply application referred to as the Defense Medical Logistics Standard Support Customer Assistance Module. Using an improved user interface, medical logisticians are able to more efficiently manage medical supplies in the combat zone using the application’s new bulk ordering and receipts functionality.

In addition, a new mobile version of the Transportation Regulating and Command and Control Evacuation System (TRAC2ES) application is being added to MC4 systems. Units using TRAC2ES are able to track the movement of sick and injured soldiers in transit. Adding the new TRAC2ES mobile app on MC4 systems provides a store-and-forward capability so users can generate patient movement requests even during times of low-to-no connectivity so that the information will transmit when internet access is restored.

The Patient Movement Items Tracking System (PMITS) also is on the list of additions to MC4 systems. PMITS not only enables patient tracking but also monitors the equipment that travels with wounded service members during medical evacuations. PMITS is able to do this now electronically, but the system was not previously accessible via MC4 systems. Now PMITS as part of the MC4 suite of applications, medical units can access the system on their MC4 laptops.