Army tests mobile EMR, patient tracking apps on iPhone, Android

The U.S. Army is testing EMR, medical supply-chain and patient-tracking applications on a variety of mobile devices for possible deployment in combat zones, a Pentagon publication reports.

The Army's Medical Communications for Combat Casualty Care (MC4) unit is looking at the feasibility of running the AHLTA-T (in-theater) and TMIP CHCS Cache (TC2) inpatient EMR on Apple's iPad, iPod Touch and iPhone--as well as the HTC EVO and Samsung Epic--rather than the thick-client versions currently in use. According to MC4 Product Manager Lt. Col. William E. Geesey, both EMRs "can technically operate" on both the Apple iOS and Google Android mobile operating systems.

"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," Geesey writes in an MC4 publication called The Gateway.

MC4 currently is upgrading EMR systems in use in Afghanistan and Iraq to provide combat medics and other Military healthcare professionals with a better means of capturing and reporting data on mild traumatic brain injury. The unit also is working on an upgrade for a medical supply-chain app called the Defense Medical Logistics Standard Support Customer Assistance Module and on deploying a mobile version of the Transportation Regulating and Command and Control Evacuation System (TRAC2ES).

The TRAC2ES app helps track the movement of sick and wounded soldiers, regardless of whether an Internet connection is immediately available. A related piece of software, the Patient Movement Items Tracking System, is being added to the MC4 suite of applications to monitor the movement of medical equipment during medical evacuations.

To learn more about these MC4 mobile initiatives:
- see this Federal Telemedicine News post
- read the original item in The Gateway