DOD to ship handhelds to FEMA workers on Gulf Coast

DOD to ship handhelds to FEMA workers on Gulf Coast

The Defense Department's Theater Medical Information Program will ship handheld devices to Federal Emergency Management Agency workers to help them treat Americans displaced by Hurricane Katrina.

The Battlefield Medical Information System-Tactical [BMIS-T] “is on its way down there” to help FEMA teams treat casualties from the Category 4 storm, said Tommy Morris, project manager of the Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center, which developed the tool. The handhelds will provide military medics with instant access to patient records and potential treatment plans.

TATRC is a part of the Army Research and Material Command based in Fort Detrick, Md.

BMIS-T is a point-of-care diagnostic tool that runs on the Hewlett-Packard Co.’s iPAQ Pocket PC. Using the handheld device, medics can document a clinical session in seconds. Individual patient accounts—such as immunization, dental records and current medication information—are embedded in the system.

The device has been used in conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq.

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