responder with cellphone

Medical response app for mass casualty incidents

During mass casualty incidents, trauma and burn victims often need immediate and specialized care. Surprisingly, research has found that the biggest challenges to providing care during these events are resource and communication restraints, according to the Department of Health and Human Services’ Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority.

As a result, BARDA has selected Johns Hopkins University’s Applied Physics Laboratory to pilot a regional disaster response application for medical responders across jurisdictions.

The online- and mobile-based Resource Information Tracking and Medical Communications Application will enable both synchronous and asynchronous peer-to-peer communication between clinicians and local response personnel who can chat and videoconference. RITCA will also function as a repository for clinical capacity and capability data, present essential information in a dashboard and allow health care staff and federal, state and local responders to communicate.

Designed to operate in a low-tech, low-power environment, the app will address the information challenges faced during frontline care, according to the March sources sought notice. In some instances, users will be able to access to just-in-time training for specific clinical issues, including videos for burn victim care, showing types of burns, how to calculate the total body surface area, appropriate dressings and more.

The information request outlined other desired features, BARDA including the capability to interface with various government systems and telemedicine technologies. BARDA also wants to use the platform “to develop models and perform analysis to support operational decision making related to allocation, distribution, and long-term planning of health system resources.”

About the Author

Shourjya Mookerjee is an associate editor for GCN and FCW. He is a graduate of the University of Maryland, College Park, and has written for Vox Media, Fandom and a number of capital-area news outlets. He can be reached at [email protected] – or you can find him ranting about sports, cinematography and the importance of local journalism on Twitter @byShourjya.

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