Virginia Tech's Arlington Innovation Center for Health Research has been awarded a contract to develop a field smartphone for military medics, the school announced Monday.
The U.S. Army Medical Research and Material Command awarded the $2.2 million, three-year contract to the center thanks, in part, to the years of combat casualty care research by the center's director, Seong K. Mun, and the graduate school's associate dean for the National Capital Region, Kenneth Wong, according to a news release.
The center, at 900 N. Glebe Road, has partners in Seoul National University in South Korea for its Android expertise, and Irvine, Calif.-based Starix Technology for ultra-wideband communications interfaces between the phone and field medical devices, the release states. Additional partners are expected.
“We’ll be starting with state-of-the-art off-the-shelf components because there is just so much tech in the mobile phone market now there’s no reason to duplicate that effort,” Wong said in a statement.
“We will be responsible for the overall project with primary focus on requirement driven systems integration and testing with special emphasis on user interface to make sure the product is responsive and built around medical needs in the most demanding environment.”
The MedicPhone, as it is called, will likely be slightly larger than a typical cell phone. It will allow medics to monitor patients with substantially less equipment in their physical proximity.
The goal is to create a hand-held device that collects patient information from a variety of sources and allow medics to monitor those patients remotely, the news release states.
Developers believe the phone will evolve into a hands-free communication hub for military personnel that would also work for civilian emergency responders.