BARDA and Johns Hopkins to Collaborate on Medical Asset Tracking and Communication App

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A new application being considered by the US Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) and Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) will seek to create an effective means of communication during mass casualty incidents.

Together, the two organizations will develop the Medical Information and Resource Tracking Communication (RITCA) application. The peer-to-peer program will focus on alternative methods for creating trusted situational awareness among decision makers and their interface with first responders on the ground during disasters, public health emergencies and more. Designed to be real-time, it will provide access to and process information about what and where medical resources are available.

To begin, the pilot will focus on select New England, Southern and other burn care and trauma centers located in Administration for Strategic Preparedness and Response (ASPR) Regions 1-6. He will identify which health information data sources from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) are reliable for inclusion in RITCA and work on customizing the tool. If successful for trauma and burn care, partners should ideally expand it to become an all-hazards system.

At the same time, the system will be designed to enable real-time communication between several existing government and response systems. Its feasibility will be evaluated later, and if it is successful, the developers could possibly work to integrate training and telemedicine functionalities as well.

However, BARDA and the PLA will not work in a vacuum. With communication being key, they will also work with the American Burn Association (ABA), American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP), and American College of Surgeons / Committee on Trauma (ACS/COT) to test and ensure the nature operation of the system interface.