Field hospital of the future is self-powered, deployable by C-130 aircraft

Developed to be of use to troops at forward operating bases and other remote areas across the globe, the portable hospital can be run off solar panels and provides a sterile environment for treating the wounded.
By Nathan Eddy
11:31 AM
Field hospital of the future is self-powered, deployable by C-130 aircraft

(Photo: World Housing Solution demo video)

Mobile response unit manufacturer World Housing Solution has taken the wraps off of a prototype military field hospital that is designed to be delivered by a C-130 aircraft and can be up and running in a matter of hours.

WHY IT MATTERS
Developed to be of potential use to troops stationed at forward operating bases and other remote areas across the globe, the prototype shelter doesn’t require the use of heavy equipment or forklifts, or any special expertise to construct, the company claims.

The field hospital can be run off solar panels and batteries and boasts an additional backup generator and provides a sterile environment for treating the wounded.

Additional features include the possibility of including pre-op, post-op and intensive care unit beds to provide different levels of care, as well as the option of positive or negative pressure rooms to keep possible contaminants in – or out.

The company has deployed a scalable design paradigm that allows the units, which are built from prefabricated panels to serve the needs of a small clinic with a few beds or could be designed with multiple operating rooms and beds to care for dozens of patients.

The portable field hospitals are also reusable, according to the company, which noted that it has already demonstrated the units for the Air Combat Command, Office of the Command Surgeon, during the 2019 Manpower and Equipment Force Packaging Summit.

THE LARGER TREND
As the DoD continues to expand its MHS-Genesis EHR modernization – alongside the other complex imperatives of the Defense Health Agency – the mobile hospital could offer a staging area where medics could access service members' digital health records in the field as they deliver care.

As for other battlefield innovations, in May, Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine announced they had each been awarded four-year contracts from the U.S. Department of Defense to create an autonomous trauma care system that would help stabilize forward-deployed soldiers with critical care interventions.

The autonomous or nearly autonomous system, TRAuma Care In a Rucksack, is essentially a backpack containing an inflatable vest or perhaps a collapsed stretcher that can treat and stabilize soldiers injured in remote locations. Its overall goal is to treat and stabilize soldiers in the battlefield, even during periods of prolonged field care, when evacuation is not possible.

ON THE RECORD
Ron Ben-Zeev, founder and CEO of World Housing Solution said that as the nature of warfare continues to evolve, so do the technologies to treat and care for soldiers wounded in combat.

"The nature of warfare has changed dramatically over the past few decades, but we’re still treating injured warfighters in tents – a tactic that dates back to the Revolutionary War," said Ben-Zeev in a statement. "Our new solution is designed to deliver a field hospital anywhere in the world that is a comparable setting to what you would find at your local hospital."

Nathan Eddy is a healthcare and technology freelancer based in Berlin.
Email the writer: nathaneddy@gmail.com
Twitter: @dropdeaded209