Magazine Article | July 25, 2016

Portable 3D X-Ray Diagnostic Imaging: Improving Patient Outcomes In Battlefield Emergency Settings

By Nuruzzaman Noor, Zena Patel, Kristen Schmiedehausen, and Gil Travish

A portable diagnostic tool with localization and quantification capabilities could eliminate trips to medical facilities and improve patient survival outcomes in emergency settings.

Diagnostic imaging in war zone battlefields and mass casualty events is uniquely characterized by unpredictable resource- and time-limited environments. This austerity impacts every diagnostic and treatment decision, from first-responder combat medics treating casualties under fire (Role 1: point of injury care) to physicians caring for critical patients in forward-operating field hospitals (Role 2: basic primary care), as well as the various critical care transport methods.

Additionally, terror attacks on civilian centers throughout the world mean that such restrictive and overwhelming conditions are also faced by civilian healthcare providers. For example, shrapnel injuries, once confined to the battlefield, are now frequently seen in non-combatants.