Attrition: Compact Medical Droids Go To Sea


April 19, 2011: The U.S. Navy is equipping its nuclear subs with small (40.6 cm x 41.4 cm x 41.4 cm/ 16 x 16.3 x 16.3 inch), lightweight (13.6 kg/30 pound) blood analyzers to help keep crews safe. American nuclear submarines stay at sea up to six months at a time, depending on stealth (no one knowing exactly where they are) to evade detection and attack. If a crew member takes sick, and the resident medic can't treat the problem, the sub has to reveal its location and surface to transfer the sick sailor to more advanced medical facilities on a larger ship or ashore. But with the portable, and fully automatic blood analyzer, many problems can be diagnosed and treated on board, without surfacing for a patient transfer. Such portable, highly automated and rugged, medical analysis gear is becoming more common, and finding its way to military medical facilities in remote locations. This saves lives, not just of troops, but (in the case of the army) of local civilians who are often treated as well.



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