Data Helps Prevent Injuries

The Defense Department’s goal is to understand threats in the field so that improved tactics, techniques, and procedures can be developed to prevent or mitigate traumatic injuries in combat. The “Joint Trauma Analysis and Prevention of Injury in Combat” (JTAPIC) program is a partnership among DOD intelligence, operational, medical, and materiel development communities to collect, integrate, and analyze injury and operational data from the theater.

Dr. Paul Tanenbaum, Director of the Army Research Laboratory’s “Survivability/Lethality Analysis Directorate (SLAD) said, “The most exciting development is that JTAPC has opened up the flood gates of communication. We now receive lots of very timely and detailed medical data along with what is being executed along with information on threats.

This has opened new channels to enable SLAD to analyze data and make recommendations. Engineering, computer science, chemistry, operations research, and biology are just a few of the scientific fields that converge at SLAD to provide the most accurate analysis for survivability of personnel.

For example, SLAD has developed an end-user tool for coding injuries. The software program called “VisualAID” provides a way to illustrate injuries to warfighters in a way that is appropriate for a variety of audiences. The software also helps translate the medical implications of the injuries to non-medical audiences.

With the appropriate data, SLAD is able to analyze fragments and small arms munitions recovered by medical examiners from victims killed in action (KLA). In 2011, SLAS was able to analyze all garments and small arms munitions recovered from KIAs and that trend information is available which has proven to be valuable in redesigning helmets.

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