Dr. Colleen Rye, chief of Army Virtual Health in the Office of the Army Surgeon General, addressed plans to advance the Army’s implementation of telemedicine procedures at an Association of the United States Army Medical Readiness panel on September 22.
The Army is currently developing a teleconsultation portal that will allow global access to a wide variety of specialists and health care providers, ensuring that medics at the point of injury are able to get the information they need to properly treat soldiers.
As Rye noted, the future of combat will likely not appear as it does in Iraq and Afghanistan. Rather, combat areas may be contested to such a degree that medevacs may not be possible and field hospitals may not be located nearby. Rye said:
[The] virtual hand will be reaching out, guiding medics through what they need right at the point of injury.
The new technology is also being applied outside of the Army, with 67 Naval ships currently being outfitted with the telemedicine technology. Further, civilian health providers are now incorporating Army’s remote health monitoring and telestroke developments into their own operations.