Skip to main content

Military Health System

Innovative mobile technologies impact DOD health surveillance

Image of Medical personnel using a syringe to inject a fluid into a test tube. Dr. Peter Larson loads an Oxford Nanopore MinION sequencer in support of COVID-19 sequencing assay development at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, Fort Detrick, Maryland. (Photo by John Braun Jr., USAMRIID.)

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus & the MHS Response | Research and Innovation | Health Care Technology

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of collaboration and information-sharing forums for those working in the health field.

An example of one such forum is the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Division (AFHSD), Global Emerging Infections Surveillance (GEIS) Branch’s Next Generation Sequencing and Bioinformatics Consortium (NGSBC) and their mobile next generation sequencing (NGS) working group.

The NGSBC was created in 2017, bringing together DOD partners for coordination and improvement of pathogen genetic sequencing and analysis efforts. Subject matter experts from the Naval Medical Research Center, U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID), Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, U.S. Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine, and the Naval Health Research Center assist the overseas service laboratories and other partners with protocol development, sample processing, and sequence data analysis.

As genetic sequencing capabilities have evolved and grown, so has the desire to have mobile platforms that could shorten the time from sample collection to final results reporting. Therefore GEIS and partners are exploring the use of mobile NGS technology in the laboratory, the field, and austere environments. To support these efforts, the mobile NGS working group was derived from the NGSBC in 2019 and focuses on increasing knowledge and use of mobile NGS technologies.

“This is a much needed working group to connect portable sequencing platform users across the DOD,” said Dr. Cory Bernhards, a member of the group who uses mobile NGS methods. “It will boost efficiency and foster collaboration among the different laboratories.”

The mobile NGS forum supports communication and collaboration between DOD and other government laboratories by creating a platform for partners to share protocols and provide training sessions. Participants meet regularly to discuss issues like how to address unique matters related to the way work is conducted in the field and not in a traditional lab - such as how to keep reagents and supplies at safe temperatures and how to perform remote complex computer-based data analysis. They also present use cases of pathogenic viruses including SARS-CoV-2 sequencing results from the Oxford Nanopore MinION, a type of mobile NGS technology.

“This working group will greatly accelerate progress toward fielding sequencing capabilities to serve and protect the warfighter,” said Bernhards.

The working group currently has more than 100 participants from 28 different organizations, including interagency partners from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Food and Drug Administration.

GEIS will continue to support partners in implementing capabilities for mobile NGS platforms, to set goals for using the technology, and to provide resources to address challenges. Navy Capt. Guillermo Pimentel, chief of GEIS, expressed his optimism for this mobile lab capability. 

"Having a mobile sequencing capability could provide an advantage in the early detection of an infectious disease that could negatively impact our deployed forces." Pimentel also highlighted the potential use of the technology, “The platform could also be used to determine if insects collected as part of regular vector surveillance carry viruses that could cause diseases in an operational setting."

You also may be interested in...

Leadership visits the exhibit hall at MHSRS 2022

Video
9/14/2022
Leadership visits the exhibit hall at MHSRS 2022

Leaders from across the Military Health System toured the exhibit hall at the Military Health System Research Symposium in Kissimmee, Florida on Monday, Sept. 12, 2022. Exhibitors demonstrated a wide variety of technologies and knowledge products from a wide variety of military medical research disciplines. Exhibitors represented agencies from the Army, Navy, Air Force, Defense Health Agency, and the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences.

Recommended Content:

Research and Innovation | MHS Research Symposium

Accelerating Digital Health Across the MHS

Video
3/22/2022
Accelerating Digital Health Across the MHS

Across the Military Health System, we are partnering together to leverage digital health wherever we can – to keep our patients at the center of everything we do.

Recommended Content:

Health Care Technology | MHS Video Connect | Mobile Apps

Does CSM Gragg Have COVID-19?

Video
2/9/2022
Does CSM Gragg Have COVID-19?

CSM Gragg demonstrates how to use a COVID-19 at home rapid test.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | At-Home COVID-19 Tests | Coronavirus & the MHS Response

CSM Gragg Vaccine Statement

Video
8/24/2021
CSM Gragg Vaccine Statement

CSM Gragg shares his personal story dealing with COVID and the loss associated with it and urges all to take precautions.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | Coronavirus & the MHS Response | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

Lt. Gen. Place and Command Sgt. Maj. Gragg on Getting Vaccinated

Video
8/16/2021
Lt. Gen. Place and Command Sgt. Maj. Gragg on Getting Vaccinated

DHA Director Lt. Gen. Ron Place and DHA Senior Enlisted Leader Command Sgt. Maj. Michael Gragg talk about how getting vaccinated against COVID-19 is more important than ever.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | Coronavirus & the MHS Response | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

The Battle Against the COVID-19 Delta Variant

Video
6/29/2021
The Battle Against the COVID-19 Delta Variant

Like our enemies in the past, the coronavirus has adapted and we're now dealing with the most transmissible variant yet, Delta. The fight can be won with vaccination. If you're not yet vaccinated against the coronavirus, go get your shot today. Otherwise you're at high risk for severe disease, hospitalization, and death.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | Coronavirus & the MHS Response | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

The Delta Variant: A New Reason to Get Vaccinated

Video
6/25/2021
The Delta Variant: A New Reason to Get Vaccinated

Are you a service member age 18 to 30? Are you unvaccinated? You may be entitled to severe disease, hospitalization, and death. To avoid these options, get vaccinated today!

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus & the MHS Response | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine

Are mRNA vaccines safe?

Video
5/28/2021
Are mRNA vaccines safe?

Dr. LC Collins explains the years of research and ongoing monitoring to show how mRNA vaccines are safe and effective.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | COVID-19 Vax Facts | Coronavirus & the MHS Response | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

VAX Facts: Breastfeeding after the COVID-19 Vaccine

Video
5/28/2021
VAX Facts: Breastfeeding after the COVID-19 Vaccine

Dr. LC Collins encourages people who are breastfeeding to get the vaccine. Since the vaccine doesn't contain live virus, you can't pass COVID to your baby.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | COVID-19 Vax Facts | Coronavirus & the MHS Response | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

What is an mRNA vaccine?

Video
5/28/2021
What is an mRNA vaccine?

Dr. LC Collins explains how mRNA vaccines work to protect you from COVID-19.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | COVID-19 Vax Facts | Coronavirus & the MHS Response | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

VAX Facts: Do I Need the Vaccine if I Had COVID?

Video
5/28/2021
VAX Facts: Do I Need the Vaccine if I Had COVID?

Dr. LC Collins talks about the importance of getting vaccinated even if you already had COVID. We're not sure how long natural immunity lasts, so getting vaccinated is the best way to protect yourself.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | COVID-19 Vax Facts | Coronavirus & the MHS Response | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

VAX Facts: Which Vaccine is Right for Me?

Video
5/28/2021
VAX Facts: Which Vaccine is Right for Me?

Dr. LC Collins talks about the importance of getting the first vaccine available to you. Don't hold out for a certain brand; they're all safe and effective.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | COVID-19 Vax Facts | Coronavirus & the MHS Response | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

Town Hall May 26 2021

Video
5/26/2021
Town Hall May 26 2021

RADM Anne Swap will discuss the National Capital Region's response to COVID-19

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | Coronavirus & the MHS Response | Direct Reporting Markets

MHS Town Hall, May 12, 2021

Video
5/12/2021
MHS Town Hall, May 12, 2021

Tune in for another MHS and Military OneSource Town Hall with the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | Coronavirus & the MHS Response | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

Donate Blood: It's Mission Critical

Video
4/21/2021
Donate Blood: It's Mission Critical

The pandemic has affected nearly every part of our lives, including reductions in blood donations. Find a military blood donor center today to donate blood in a safe environment where we take all precautions against COVID-19.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | Armed Services Blood Program | Coronavirus & the MHS Response
<< < 1 2 3 4 > >> 
Showing results 1 - 15 Page 1 of 4
Refine your search
Last Updated: February 02, 2021
Follow us on Instagram Follow us on LinkedIn Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Follow us on YouTube Sign up on GovDelivery