Support: Dog Tags Go To College


October 28, 2006: The U.S. Army is replacing dog tags with smart tags ( memory chips). These "smart dog tags" would contain all the health related information about the soldiers. The final version of the new dog tag would be the size of a credit card. There are currently some 13,000 troops carrying a bulkier prototype. 


Dog tags are a 20th century development, and by World War II, they were carrying a very vital bit of medical information, the soldiers blood type. Transfuse a wounded soldier with the wrong type blood, and you kill him. The "smart dog tags" would  replace the existing ones (made out of stamped metal), when they became rugged and reliable enough to do so. By then, in 5-10 years, combat medics would use a small, PDA size, device to read the smart dog tags, by just holding the scanner near wounded soldier. As the soldier is treated, the smart dog tag would get updated. Thus the soldier would always have his complete medical history with him. That data would include allergies (especially to some medicines) and previous treatments. 


The army has computerized medical information on 9.2 million troops and their dependents. The thousands of  medics in Iraq and Afghanistan have PDAs that can access that data as needed. Quick access to this data is one of the many factors that has brought down the death rate in the combat zone. Having all that data in an electronic database also makes it much easier to find useful patterns in treatments, injuries and diseases. This, in turn, makes it easier to find and fix problems.





ad Help Keep Us Online!

Help Keep Us Afloat! Go to other sites on the World Wide Web and they look like the a mad marketer has gained control of them. Lots of ads and little content! Ad revenues are down for everyone! We don’t want to follow the crowd. But here is the deal we cannot keep our site relative ad free without your support. Each month we need your subscriptions or contributions plus what meager ad revenue we do receive to stay in business. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close