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Posts made in: 'Science' (5) Currently Viewing: 1 - 5 of 5

May 9, 2013 at 7:08am

Morning Report: Benghazi attacks thoughts, drones, camouflage kookiness and more ...

What will you wear today? Photo courtesy of U.S. Army

MANGUDAIR EXERCISE: A report embeds with the Mangudai Senior Enlisted Leader Development exercise at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

BENGHAZI: The six things Foreign Policy learned during the House Oversight Committee hearing concerning the attacks in Benghaz.

TICK, TICK, TICK ...: A decision on which bases will host the US Air Force's new tanker program is coming before the end of May.

SACRIFICES OF CAPT. VAN THACH: Trained as a lawyer, a man joined the infrantry after 9/11 to "engage the enemy "face to face."

DRONES: Ex-lawyer in State Department doesn't think drones are cool.

PRETTY COOL: Wounded Warriors share their journey with Boston Bombing victims.

SCIENCE!: Army lab engineers want "smart energy" for warfighters. Who doesn't?

WHA WHAT?: The U.S. military has 10 kinds of camouflage uniforms.

July 29, 2011 at 12:13pm

JBLM mental health services extends reach

Dr. Daniel Christensen, on screen, Madigan’s chief of Soldier Readiness Service, chats with a room full of Telehealth and Technology’s Introduction to Telemental Health Delivery workshop participants July 21. (Photo by Ingrid Barrentine)

Imagine being a psychologist sitting across from your patient.

Now imagine that patient is actually hundreds of miles away.

The first-ever live Introduction to Telemental Health Delivery Workshop at the National Center for Telehealth and Technology's (T2) headquarters on Joint Base Lewis-McChord last week offered guidance to providers on offering mental health services from a distance - in this case, using videoconferencing technology.

"The (Department of Defense) is pushing for this form of care because it's a way to reach a lot of people who otherwise wouldn't get care," T2 clinical health psychologist Dr. Greg Kramer said.

Kramer was one of the all-day workshop's presenters. About 25 health care professionals from every military branch attended the training, some coming from as far away as Japan. The idea was to build a knowledge base so that clinicians can provide care even when their patient is too far to get to.

The session included information on the history of teletechnology in health care, addressed legal concerns and gave them the chance to practice videoconferencing with each other.

"It allows them to get comfortable with the technology," Kramer said.

In fact, the use of remote technology in mental health care is relatively new. Efforts to incorporate it into DOD policies and procedures increased in the late 2000s.

Since then emphasis on these programs has increased, in hopes to better serve those who live in areas where there are shortages of mental health care providers. An estimated 87 million Americans live in places where care is scarce, and up to 25 percent of servicemembers screen positive for mental health concerns, according to T2's Introduction to Telemental Health.

"This allows us to provide things like telepsychiatric appointments especially in rural and high needs areas," T2 clinical telehealth division chief Dr. Jamie Adler said.

The technology can be used in a variety of ways, from treating post-traumatic stress disorder and depression to wellness and resiliency interventions.

Of course, the new medium for care comes with some specific quirks. Participants at the workshop got a taste of technical difficulties when T2's network went down briefly during the training. Other issues had to do with clinical practice - for instance, if a patient appears to be avoiding eye contact, it's more likely that they're looking at the face on the computer screen instead of the video camera.

Many of the attendees had already begun using teletechnology to provide services to patients at off-site locations, but the rare in-person training (as opposed to online sessions) gave providers the chance to learn about and discuss technical, legal and clinical elements of providing telemental health care.

"I took some notes that I think are valid points for implementing this," Dr. Agnes Babkirk, a psychologist from U.S. Naval Hospital in Okinawa, Japan, said.

She's bringing that information back to her colleagues, who currently use teletechnology to interact with patients three or four times a week.

Dr. Daniel Christensen, the chief of Madigan's Soldier Readiness Service, had a similar experience. The service has been using teletechnology for post-deployment behavioral health screenings since March of this year. He said the training validated the practices they already had in place.

In the future, psychologists at T2 hope to offer more trainings, and expand them to reach providers at different levels (for instance, separate sessions for those considering using teletechnology, beginners and experienced clinicians).

For more information, including a Telemental Health Planning and Implementation Guide, visit

April 27, 2011 at 6:07am

Aviators praise F model Chinook

The U.S. Army and its industry partner Boeing have built 126 CH-47 Chinook "F" model helicopters, the latest modernized cargo aircraft built with state-of-the-art avionics, automated flight controls and a digital cockpit GPS map display, service officials said. 

"When I talk to aviators in theater today about the "F" model Chinook, the one thing I hear is 'awesome,'" said Lt. Col. Brad Killen, CH-47F product manager. 

The "F" model Chinook, tasked with delivering supplies and troops at high altitudes in mountainous terrain such as in Afghanistan, is engineered with a Common Aviation Architecture System, or CAAS, cockpit, which consists of five multi-functional digital displays giving pilots key situational and navigational information, Killen explained. 

"The CH-47 Chinook demonstrates its exceptional capabilities every day in combat operations making them powerful combat multipliers that save soldiers' lives and support overall contingency operations in theater," Killen said. 

The aircraft also has a digital automated flight control system which, when coupled with the avionics built into the CAAS cockpit, can help stabilize flight and even help the aircraft to fly a given route by itself, Killen said. 

Also, unlike previous Chinook airframes, which were built with rivets, the "F" model helicopter is engineered with a "one piece" monolithic airframe. 

"With older helicopters you had rivets that held everything together. With the F model we went with one monolithic airframe. In a monolithic airframe you don't have cracks. It is one big piece," said Killen. 

The technologies built into the Chinook "F" can even help pilots land in "brown out" conditions, said Col. Bob Marion, program manager, Cargo Aircraft. 

"There is symbology on the multi-functional display that will show you where you are," Marion said. 

Overall, the Army plans to field at least 440 Chinook "F's" by 2018, Killen said. 

The U.S. Army is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Chinook helicopter this year. The first flight was completed in September 1961.

Filed under: Science,

January 27, 2011 at 3:26pm

New concussion care program being tested

WASHINGTON - A new concussion care program being fielded by the Marine Corps in Afghanistan is giving psychiatrists, physicians and even chaplains and sergeants a better way to treat those with the No. 1 battle injury, military combat medicine experts said today.

Navy Cmdr. (Dr.) Charles Benson, 1st Marine Expeditionary Force psychiatrist and 1st Marine Division's deputy surgeon, and Navy Cmdr. (Dr.) Keith Stuessi, director of the Concussion Restoration Care Center at Camp Leatherneck in Afghanistan, spoke with Pentagon reporters in a video teleconference.

The Navy-Marine Corps effort, launched in August and called the Operational Stress Control and Readiness Program, or OSCAR, has two parts, Benson said.

"The first part [includes] psychiatrists and psychologists who we field with the combat team," Benson explained. "These are organic embedded assets in the division's regiments and battalions. They live with the troops, train with the troops and get out in the field with them."

Such an arrangement, he added, "allows the Marines to come forward to the psychologists and psychiatrists [and] kind of breaks down the barriers and allows the [providers] to become very effective at ... delivering mental health care."

The second part of the program offers special training to medical officers, corpsmen, chaplains, religious personnel and key leaders at the sergeant and first sergeant level so they can deliver basic mental health care to troops in harm's way.

"Those folks constantly monitor their Marines," Benson said, "helping them with simple issues and understanding at what point [a Marine with an injury] needs to be referred back for more comprehensive care."

Together, the programs "have generated quite a bit of success out here in Afghanistan," the psychiatrist said, treating concussions and musculoskeletal injuries -- the No. 1 nonbattle injuries of the war.

For more on the story, click here.

Filed under: Defense News, Health, Science,

December 30, 2009 at 4:13pm

A flying car for real

As kids, we all knew it should be possible.  Now DARPA is working on just such a concept.  See Army Times for the story.

Filed under: Science,

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