For wounded warriors, mobile apps can offer life-saving impact

Today’s wounded warriors return from combat to face an overwhelming landscape: Beyond readjusting to civilian life, there are injuries to cope with, scarce jobs to find and broken connections to mend. But some new solutions are becoming available that troops can fit in their pocket and use anytime once they’re home.

The marketplace for mobile apps has exploded, including within the military space. There are apps for handling traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder, and apps for job-hunting resources. Government agencies are collaborating to get resources delivered to troops through a medium with which they’re highly familiar – their smart phones and tablets.

Recently the Army announced a comprehensive smart phone app that provides troops with a guide to mobile resources including medical coordination, compensation and benefits and reintegration into daily life outside the military.

Another new app links wounded warriors through video. It can help connect troops back to their units, or put them in touch with others who have similar injuries and experiences.

The Injured Military Personnel Assisting Combat Troops (IMPACT) app for iPad connects users in first-person interviews, both pre-recorded and live, like Skype or Google+ chats. It also makes use of multi-media content – including throughout the counter-IED community, where information has the potential to save lives.

“IMPACT stems from visits to Walter Reed and Bethesda [Army medical centers], where we talked to troops who were saying, ‘I can’t wait to get back to my unit,’” said Ken Falke, co-founder of Shoulder 2 Shoulder, which developed the app. “In terms of the big picture, we’re hoping IMPACT can help protect troops. A wounded warrior who forgot his metal detector [in combat] and lost his legs to an IED can use this to tell guys in the theater, ‘Hey, don’t forget your metal detector.’ They can share lessons learned.”

IMPACT is a different spin than some of the other apps geared for use by troops, but it’s part of a bigger movement that harnesses the growing power of mobile technology.

“It’s an obvious trend – people are looking for help, and people are looking how to help,” Falke said. “We know that linking people to those with similar life experiences is a very positive opportunity for morale, intervention, therapy and connecting people who are alike and want to share and connect to the combat theater. They want to be part of something.”

IMPACT is a free app that will be available May 1 in the iTunes store.

About the Author

Amber Corrin is a former staff writer for FCW and Defense Systems.

The Fed 100

Save the date for 28th annual Federal 100 Awards Gala.


  • computer network

    How Einstein changes the way government does business

    The Department of Commerce is revising its confidentiality agreement for statistical data survey respondents to reflect the fact that the Department of Homeland Security could see some of that data if it is captured by the Einstein system.

  • Defense Secretary Jim Mattis. Army photo by Monica King. Jan. 26, 2017.

    Mattis mulls consolidation in IT, cyber

    In a Feb. 17 memo, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told senior leadership to establish teams to look for duplication across the armed services in business operations, including in IT and cybersecurity.

  • Image from

    DHS vague on rules for election aid, say states

    State election officials had more questions than answers after a Department of Homeland Security presentation on the designation of election systems as critical U.S. infrastructure.

  • Org Chart Stock Art - Shutterstock

    How the hiring freeze targets millennials

    The government desperately needs younger talent to replace an aging workforce, and experts say that a freeze on hiring doesn't help.

  • Shutterstock image: healthcare digital interface.

    VA moves ahead with homegrown scheduling IT

    The Department of Veterans Affairs will test an internally developed scheduling module at primary care sites nationwide to see if it's ready to service the entire agency.

  • Shutterstock images (honglouwawa & 0beron): Bitcoin image overlay replaced with a dollar sign on a hardware circuit.

    MGT Act poised for a comeback

    After missing in the last Congress, drafters of a bill to encourage cloud adoption are looking for a new plan.

Reader comments

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above

More from 1105 Public Sector Media Group