Skip to main content

Military Health System

Test of Sitewide Banner

This is a test of the sitewide banner capability. In the case of an emergency, site visitors would be able to visit the news page for addition information.

Telemedicine advances put to the test during pandemic

Image of Uniformed service member stands behind wall of computer screens . Virtual health exercise at Madigan Army Medical Center. (U.S. Army photo)

In the wake of the COVID-19 crisis, the Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center continues to develop technology that increases medical capabilities and provides rapid, flexible critical care expertise at the point of need.

During a recent Medical Museum Science Café, held virtually by the National Museum of Health and Medicine in Silver Spring, Maryland, TATRC director Army Col. Jeremy Pamplin described the implementation of the National Emergency Tele-Critical Care Network (NETCCN) and how telemedicine can improve outcomes for disaster response.

COVID-19 has led to the need for physical distancing and has overwhelmed the capacities of health systems, compelling many to adopt telehealth solutions. Clinicians discovered how telemedicine can enhance communication efforts, reduce exposure and personal protective equipment consumption, improve efficiency and quality of care, increase access to specialty services, and in some cases lower costs and optimize the use of resources.

However, as Pamplin mentioned, the findings fluctuated due to the complex nature of the U.S. health system, which is an intricate mix of local, state, and federal policies and diverse expectations, cultures, and belief systems. For example, the implementation of telehealth may improve outcomes for one organization, whereas the same implementation elsewhere may not.

Pamplin described how he and his colleagues studied the implementation of telemedicine in a military environment.

“Telemedicine in the military has consistently enabled military clinicians around the world to work beyond their typical scope of practice while deployed in austere, resource limited environments by providing reach-back capability to military experts working in referral centers across the globe,” he said.

Pamplin then looked at the potential use of a telecritical health system for large-scale military operations. According to Pamplin, telehealth technology could be adapted to a variety of care contexts including large-scale combat situations or natural disasters that rely on military aid.

Partnering with the civilian sector, Pamplin and his colleagues developed NETCCN, a telehealth system that could consolidate telehealth networks and manage a high patient capacity during an emergency or a national crisis.

When COVID-19 emerged, Pamplin and his team began the implementation of NETCCN to help respond to the current stressed health care system. According to Pamplin, the network brings remote critical care expertise to the point of care, providing e-consult support, remote home monitoring, relief coverage, tiered staffing, and specialty services.

“The NETCCN addresses the lack of critical care clinicians across our nation by shifting these resources where and when needed,” Pamplin said. “In a dynamic, flexible fashion, NETCC links remote expertise to frontline providers, often working beyond their scope of training, using secure, HIPAA compliant applications on mobile devices, thus bypassing the lengthy process of purchasing and installing expensive hardware packages.

Said Andrea Schierkolk, NMHM’s public programs manager: “TATRC’s efforts to address the benefits and challenges of telemedicine were put to the test during the COVID-19 pandemic, and documenting these innovations in military medicine contributes to NMHM’s mission to share the value of the nation’s investment in programs like those of TATRC.”

For more information on TATRC and its initiatives, please visit at www.tatrc.org

You also may be interested in...

Topic
Aug 24, 2023

Health Care Technology

Health care technology is any technology, including medical devices, IT systems, algorithms, artificial intelligence, and more designed to support health care organizations.

Article Around MHS
Aug 24, 2023

Walter Reed National Military Medical Center Performs First Robotic Bronchoscopy Within the Defense Health Agency

Walter Reed’s Interventional Pulmonology team gears up for first Robotic Bronchoscopy within the Defense Health Agency. Retired U.S. Navy Capt. Robert F. Browning (1st row 4th from left) and U.S. Navy Capt. Sean McKay (1st row 5th from left). (Photo: James Black)

Walter Reed performed the first robotic bronchoscopy procedure in the Defense Health Agency. Using the robotic bronchoscope to augment our current cutting edge cone beam CT Bronchoscopy program, Walter Reed now offers state of the art services in precision lung biopsy and early lung cancer diagnosis previously unavailable within the DHA.

Article
Aug 23, 2023

Military Health System: How Ideas Are Adopted to Help Patients, Providers

Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Victoria McPhall hands Lt. Laken Koontz an intrauterine device at Naval Health Clinic Patuxent River. IUDs are one of the many birth control options offered during the clinic’s walk-in contraceptive clinic every Wednesday from 1-2 p.m. The Defense Health Agency’s Women’s Health Clinical Management team faced an aggressive three-month deadline to roll out new Walk-in Contraceptive Services walk-in contraceptive services at military hospital and clinics across the Military Health System. (Photo: Photo by Kathy Hieatt, Naval Health Clinic Patuxent River, Maryland)

New evidence-based practices can improve health care, yet they don’t always get adopted. There are many reasons for this, including a lack of awareness, lack of training and implementation support, and a reluctance to doing things differently than in the past—to name a few. Even mandates to adopt a certain new service or practice may not overcome some ...

Article Around MHS
Aug 23, 2023

Researchers Say 'Warfighters Must Train like They Fight,' Emphasizing Mental Resilience During MHSRS

Susannah Knust, a research psychologist at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, speaks during a 2023 Military Health System Research Symposium session on Warfighter Operational Resilience on August 17, 2023. (Photo credit: Danae Johnson, USAMRDC Public Affairs)

Nearly all military physical and field training exercises can enhance mental toughness and physical endurance, which researchers at the U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command believe can prepare Warfighters for the future, they explained during a session on the final day of the 2023 Military Health System Research Symposium on August 17, ...

Article Around MHS
Aug 23, 2023

Forward Care for the Warfighter: U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command Talks Battlefield Countermeasures at MHSRS

Soldiers with the U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command perform a battlefield care scenario during the MRDC 2023 Best Squad Competition at Fort A.P. Hill, Virginia, on April 11, 2023.  (Photo: Danae Johnson)

With time spent on the battlefield being an increasing reality, products to help deliver immediate prolonged care to the Warfighter are now more important than ever. A concept known well by Maj. Zachary Booms, an emergency medicine physician at the Combat Casualty Care Research Team at the U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command's Institute ...

Article Around MHS
Aug 23, 2023

MHSRS 2023 Kicks Off with Powerful Message: Medical Readiness for the Future Fight

Team members from the U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command's Medical Material Development Activity - Broad Spectrum Snakebite Antidote (BSSA) program, receive the Military Health System Research Symposium 2023 Outstanding Research Accomplishment award in team/program management in Kissimmee, Florida on August 14, 2023.  (Photo: Danae Johnson)

Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs Dr. Lester Martinez-López kicked off the 2023 Military Health System Research Symposium with a keynote speech on the morning of August 14, delivering powerful words to the more than 4,000 people attending the event. Weaving his heartfelt sentiments into an overall call for action, Martinez put the ...

Article Around MHS
Aug 7, 2023

Naval Medical Center San Diego Uses Robotics System for Total Knee Arthroplasty

Sailors attached to Navy Medicine Readiness and Training Command in San Diego use the 3D model from the Stryker Mako system while conducting a total knee arthroplasty in the main operating room. NMRTC‘s mission is to prepare service members to deploy in support of operational forces, deliver high-quality health care services and shape the future of military medicine through education, training, and research. (Photo by U.S. Navy Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Raphael McCorey)

Naval Medical Center San Diego continues to lead in medical technology being the first Navy Medical Treatment Facility military hospital to conduct a total knee arthroplasty utilizing the Mako Robotics system. The Stryker Mako system is a state-of-the-art robotic arm that uses haptic technology, or commonly referred to as 3D touch, to achieve high ...

Refine your search
Last Updated: July 11, 2023
Follow us on Instagram Follow us on LinkedIn Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Follow us on YouTube Sign up on GovDelivery