טכניון מכון טכנולוגי לישראל
הטכניון מכון טכנולוגי לישראל - בית הספר ללימודי מוסמכים  
M.Sc Thesis
M.Sc StudentYonatan Ben-Haim
SubjectWearable Digital System Design for Seamless
Documentation of Medical Treatments in the
Prehospital Care Stage
DepartmentDepartment of Architecture and Town Planning
Supervisor Full Professor Tarazi Ezra
Full Thesis textFull thesis text - English Version


Abstract

The chapter about documentation in the Tactical Combat Casualty Care Handbook, of the US Army, opens with the words "Battlefield documentation of injuries and care rendered in the prehospital arena is sorely lacking". The missing medical documentation from battlefields is a known problem, common to many armies around the world. The first responder in the majority of military injury cases is not a medic doctor but rather a combat medic. The patient usually evacuated from the field without that responder, and valuable information, like the cause of injury, initial vital signs and initial treatment, which is crucial for subsequent treatment, almost always gets lost.

A possible solution was presented by the medical corps to the Technion. The solution included a bracelet shaped wearable digital device, which the combat medic puts on the patient at the point of injury. The patient then travels through the entire evacuation route wearing this device. Supporting peripheral systems of NFC tags, android application, and central database, allows the device to collect and present treatment information and vital signs. This thesis presents the development and design process of that device and of the supporting systems to a working prototype. This thesis also covers testing of this prototype in a real live simulation, and analysis of the findings using observations and interviews to assess the quality of the proposed solution.

A POC (Proof Of Concept) of a full working system was rapidly developed and presented for initial feedback. The entire system was simulated and tested under lab conditions to better understand the wearable device function in the system. And a working prototype of the wearable device was developed and tested in real live combat medics' trainings.

The research resulted in two main conclusions. First, since the combat medic may have to perform lifesaving operations that are of higher priority than documentation, the device must reward with treatment supporting information. Real time vital signs monitoring as part of the system was found to be a proper incentive. However, further research is needed. The second conclusion is that the device and system must be designed and developed in a general level. The physical attributes of both the internal electronic components and the wearable device must be generic. The internal circuit must be minimized and divided so it can be rearranged rapidly to fit different packages. The package itself must allow a dynamic range of wear, apply, and use methods, to allow testing a wide range of scenarios, which with the testing progress will reveal the correct physical form. In addition, the system?s digital content and data architecture must be designed as a platform, to allow dynamically modifying the content and avoid tying the system?s functionality to set treatments and medications, which are sure to become obsolete over time.