RT&L FOCUS AREA(S): Autonomy
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Biomedical
OBJECTIVE: Reduce the workload on medical personnel through the development of a system that can provide automated real-time supply ordering, tracking, and monitoring capabilities to integrate into existing USMC medical logistics systems (e.g., Defense Medical Logistics Standard Support, DMLSS) and their operational parameters, DoD enterprise digital medical logistics systems, and medical common operating picture (MedCOP) management systems in order to allow demand-based just in time push/pull logistical resupply of medical consumables and supporting products.
DESCRIPTION: The USMC has a need for as-needed, just-in-time custom medical resupply. Current Authorized Medical Allowance List (AMAL) logistical resupply is handled through the push or pull of large resupply or consumable blocks consisting of 1-5 pallets of environmentally ruggedized cases (e.g., AMAL 636, Battalion Aid Supplies). These resupply blocks are a “one size fits all” approach based upon the projected needs for a fixed number of patients per a fixed time period and do not take into account the actual consumption rates of specific medical products. This approach drastically increases the logistical footprint and cannot flexibly adjust to specific needs as driven by operational use.
Advances in wireless information technology are bringing the Navy Medical Corpsmen new ways to monitor and track patients in the theater (e.g., the USAF Air Force Research Laboratory’s (AFRL’s) Battlefield Assisted Trauma Distributed Observation Kit or BATDOK, and Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory’s (MCWL’s) prototype concept, Medical Common Operating Picture (MedCOP). Advances in automated and expeditionary Unmanned Systems (UxS) could be applied as new methods of “small-payload on the spot” delivery of critical medical resupply items, such as blood products or medical consumables (e.g., drugs, bandages, IV lines) to Navy Corpsmen. These technologies, when combined with supply tracking technologies such as RFID, offer the potential for the real-time tracking of medical consumable use rates and for automated Push-Pull resupply requests for medical consumables. For example, the consumption of intravenous needle/tubing kits in response to battlefield casualties can be automated to keep track of the number of kits on hand at a field medical facility and automatically send a demand signal for additional kits once a critical threshold is reached. Furthermore, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) algorithms can hypothetically be developed that can predict future resupply needs based upon operational tempo and tracked casualty types. Such a predictive algorithm could automatically send demand signals in advance of casualty arrival at a field medical facility.
A Just-in-Time Medical Logistical Resupply System (JITMEDLOG) relieves the Navy Medical Corpsmen from the necessity to actively track consumable use rates by automatically tracking usage and automatically initiating critical resupply via unmanned vehicles (UxV) or other expeditionary means. It offers the ability for custom delivery of needed medical supplies while avoiding waste and oversupply. JITMEDLOG further allows for a smaller initial deployment footprint, reducing the upfront logistical burden and allowing for the deployment of more mobile and expeditionary medical teams, which will be critical under Distributed Maritime Operations (DMO).
The proposed system must address the following requirements, at a minimum:
• The USMC seeks the development of new algorithms and architecture integration to add Just-In-Time Medical Logistical tracking technology and predictive algorithms to the Project Phoenix architecture (e.g., BATDOK, MedCOP).
• The JITMEDLOG shall integrate with BATDOK and the prototype MedCOP architecture.
• The JITMEDLOG shall integrate with existing DoD medical logistics systems (e.g., DMLSS).
• The JITMEDLOG shall be compatible with UAS critical resupply systems. Any JITMEDLOG hardware supporting this architecture shall comply with MIL-STD-810x standards for use in all operational environments to which the USMC deploys.
• The JITMEDLOG shall be designed for use by any Navy Medical Corpsman, regardless of Navy Enlisted/Officer Code or specialty, and include new user training and operator and maintainer manuals.
• System transactions shall be timestamped.
• The system shall be accessible to all Expeditionary Medical and Tactical C2 nodes on the network.
• The system architecture shall provide location and inventory of Class VIII supplies.
• The system architecture shall provide the ability to send/receive forms.
• User interfaces shall provide the ability to copy and paste information within various user screens/forms. • The system shall create a network sharable list of all consumables.
• The system shall create a network sharable list of blood supply.
• The system shall create a network sharable list of equipment.
• The system shall automatically pull information from designated sensors or databases relevant for the display.
• The system shall allow the user to enter information relevant to the display.
• The system shall minimize data sets when possible through packet size and compression to leverage narrow bandwidth.
• The system shall be capable of operation in an A2AD environment in mind.
PHASE I: Develop a concept for an architecture for a Just-in-Time Medical Logistical Resupply System (JITMEDLOG) that meets the requirements described above. Demonstrate the feasibility of the concepts in meeting Marine Corps needs. Establish that the concepts can be developed into a useful product (software and hardware) for the Marine Corps. Prove feasibility through material testing and analytical modeling, as appropriate. Provide a Phase II development plan with performance goals and key technical milestones, and addresses technical risk reduction.
PHASE II: Develop a scaled prototype. Evaluate the prototype to determine its capability in meeting the performance goals defined in the Phase II development plan and the Marine Corps requirements for the Just-in-Time Medical Logistical Resupply system. Demonstrate system performance through prototype evaluation and modeling or analytical methods over the required range of parameters, including numerous deployment cycles. Use evaluation results to refine the prototype into an design that meets Marine Corps requirements. Prepare a Phase III development plan to transition the technology to Marine Corps use.
PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: Support the Marine Corps in transitioning the technology for Marine Corps use. Develop the Just-in-Time Medical Logistical Resupply system for evaluation to determine its effectiveness in an operationally relevant environment. Develop commercial operator and maintainer manuals and user new equipment training programs to support the system’s operations and maintenance in the field environment. Support the Marine Corps for test and validation to certify and qualify the system for Marine Corps use.
JITMEDLOG technology has potential for use with commercial and non-governmental organization in remote areas such as interior Africa, remote parts of Alaska or Canada, the Amazon basin, or other places lacking in infrastructure. Such technology can be used for disaster relief or pandemic response and can support remote hospitals and other medical facilities, vaccination efforts, or even non-medical applications such as critical equipment or food/water deliveries.
- “MIL-STD810H. Department of Defense Test Method Standard. 31 Jan 2019.” http://everyspec.com/MIL-STD/MIL-STD-0800-0899/MIL-STD-810H_55998/
- "Zipline." 7 Jul 2020. https://flyzipline.com/
- Bedi, Shireen. “BATDOK improves, tailors to deployed medics.” Military Health System, 7 Jul 2020. https://health.mil/News/Articles/2019/06/07/BATDOK-improves-tailors-to-deployed-medics
- “Defense Medical Logistics Standard Support.” Military Health System, 7 Jul 2020. https://www.health.mil/Military-Health-Topics/Technology/Defense-Medical-Logistics/Defense-Medical-Logistics-Standard-Support