News | Oct 2, 2018

Navy engineers patent high-tech self-aid system for wounded troops

Solo tourniquet tactics and technologies advanced by engineers at the Naval Surface Warfare Center

A U.S. Marine with Task Force Southwest (Afghanistan) reassesses his tourniquet application during a Combat Lifesaver Course at Camp Shorab.

Luke Hoogendam/USMC

A patent was recently awarded to three Navy engineers for a self-aid system of high-tech devices that could improve the survivability of hemorrhaging wounds on the battlefield.

U.S. patent 10,080,531 was awarded on September 25 to Gerry Miller, Garry Wieneke, and Ameer Beitvashani at the Naval Surface Warfare Center in Crane, Indiana.

The self-aid technology begins with the application of a one-handed tourniquet, which then activates and connects via Bluetooth to a smartphone or tablet.

“The rapid, temporary use of a tourniquet is the recommended management for all life-threatening extremity hemorrhage,” according to the Tactical Combat Casualty Care Handbook. “Standard field dressings and direct pressure may not work reliably to control extremity hemorrhage.”

The wounded can then trigger an auto-injector, using a three-button safety switch, that delivers a dose of Vitamin K clotting agent and morphine for pain management.

The system can also monitor heart rate via clothing-embedded sensors, according to the patent, and “be equipped with a transmitter/receiver, e.g., a system such as Bluetooth or another long-range system (e.g., WiFi, cell phone system), for communicating with … a remote medical monitoring by doctors in remote locations, not on-site.”

With the patent in hand, the Navy’s technology transfer professionals can license the invention to industry partners for development of an available product line.

A lifeguard demonstrates the one-handed ratcheting operation of an OMNA marine tourniquet. (via Pexels)

TechLink, the Department of Defense’s national partnership intermediary, has assigned Senior Technology Manager Sean Patten with providing patent license guidance to interested companies.

“Uncontrolled bleeding can kill a soldier or sailor in minutes, so new techniques are vital to saving lives,” Patten said. “But this has applications for civilian uses so we’ll be looking for business partners who see both markets for potential sales.”

Preparation of federal patent license applications and the required commercialization plans, as well as procedural advice, is available to companies and entrepreneurs at no charge. TechLink acts as a neutral third party, helping businesses access inventions from defense laboratories for the betterment of the U.S. economy and national defense.

“Research that leads to new warfighter capabilities often begins in a DoD laboratory,” Patten said. “And technology transfer agreements are often the first step towards product development.”

To learn more about licensing U.S. patent 10,080,531 email Sean Patten at spatten@montana.edu or call 406-994-7721.

Headshot Image of Sean Patten, CLP

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