Dartmouth-Hitchcock awarded $3 million to develop medical technology

Technology would provide early alarm when trauma patients begin to deteriorate

Doctors and researchers in the Emergency Department at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center and colleagues at Dartmouth College have been awarded a $3 million Precision Trauma Care Research Award from the Department of Defense’s Combat Casualty Care Research Program to improve care for seriously injured patients. 

The three-year grant will develop an easy-to-use, noninvasive system for the detection of ongoing internal hemorrhaging in soldiers or other seriously injured patients initially classified as injured but stable. The development team will include trauma specialists, engineers, computer programmers, and other experts to create a monitoring system that will gather signals continuously from multiple sites on the patient, using state-of-the-art sensors and computational technologies. The project includes collaborating with the Mayo Clinic, the Ohio State University and Maryland Shock Trauma. 

“The combination of machine learning and state-of-the-art sensing technology will allow us to better understand the early responses to hemorrhage,” said Norman A. Paradis, MD, an emergency physician at D-H and professor of emergency medicine at Geisel, who serves as the project’s principal investigator. “We anticipate not only creating an innovative medical technology, but to also producing important new science.”

In a press release, Paradis said the grant was inspired by an email from Baghdad written in June 2007. Battlefield military physicians wrote: “There are three groups of casualties: 1) the ones who are really sick and [almost] everyone knows it; 2) the ones who have minimal injuries and will live almost regardless of what we do; and 3) those who look like they aren’t too bad but then deteriorate. [We are] most interested in identifying group three.”

“Emergency providers don’t currently have a good way to predict which patients will remain stable, and which will go into shock,” explained Paradis. “Our objective is to develop a non-invasive system that gives an accurate and early alarm that a patient has begun to deteriorate. Individual patients will benefit from early intervention and medical systems will benefit because they can focus their attention and resources on patients who have been correctly identified as needing immediate care, while our system continuously monitors their other patients.”

Categories: Health