Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Military's 1st Mobile MRI

The Naval Medical Logistics Command (NMLC) awarded a contract to Philips Healthcare for two mobile MRI systems to help diagnose and treat soldiers with traumatic brain injuries in Afghanistan. The Navy has been working with the Army and Air Force to develop unprecedented MRI capabilities to help the deployed forces.

The procurement of the MRI systems has been a joint initiative between NMLC’s partners that includes the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, Army Medical Material Agency, Chief of Mobility Command, the VA, and the Army’s Rapid Equipping Force.

According to James B. Poindexter, Commanding Officer of NMLC, MRI systems going to Afghanistan are unlike anything commercially available. These specific units have to be self-contained and require that the system be designed from the ground up to account for the many unique and challenging working environments that will be encountered in combat theater. These factors can include vast temperature differences, fine blowing sand, and power issues, so in addition, the MRIs need to meet size and weight requirements to be capable of being airlifted into war zones.

NMLC headquartered at Fort Detrick Md., provides logistics expertise, healthcare services strategies, medical equipment and logistics for Navy Medicine and designs and administers individualized state-of-the-art solutions to meet healthcare needs.

NMLC operates as the technical manager for the Navy’s Healthcare Services Contracting Program and has formal agreements with the Marine Corps, and the Coast Guard to provide medical logistics and materiel management information plus medical mobilization planning assistance.