DOD issues RFI for mobile TBI units

Troops or veterans in remote areas could receive treatment for psychological and traumatic brain injury from mobile units equipped with sophisticated tele-medicine technology if a vision of the Departments of Defense becomes a reality.

In a request for information released on Dec. 3, the U.S. Army Medical Research Acquisition Activity said it is considering acquiring van- or shipping container-sized mobile units for that purpose.

Industry sources said that such mobile units are not currently on the market. “Nothing of this kind is directly available today,” said Gary Sharpe, government sales manager at Scotty Tele-Transport Corp. in Norcross, Ga. , which customizes secure data and video transmission systems.

Laura Bennett, business development director at Amdex Corp., a Silver Spring, Md.-developer of telehealth software, said the technology being sought appeared to be “pioneering,” at the stage of university-level research and development.

The RFI was short on details, but it did indicate the military wanted units that supported video-teleconferencing, a variety of tele- and face-to-face psychological and TBI treatments, and internet connectivity.

Gerald Perkins, an executive with Infomedia Group Inc. a San Antonio-based provider of telehealth products and services, said the RFI seemed to describe a tele-medicine rather than a telehealth solution.

Telehealth involves providing software assisted health advice over the telephone, Perkins said. “Telemedicine involves monitoring and treating a patient as if there is a doctor on location,” he added. “The system is connected to medical staff” located elsewhere.

About the Author

Peter Buxbaum is a special contributor to Defense Systems.

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