As far as high stakes healthcare goes, providing emergency treatment to soldiers in warzones and humanitarian relief efforts globally is a logistical challenge of heroic proportions, and now the Australian Department of Defence is in the next stage of its military medicine tech overhaul.

The ADF delivers world-class clinical care in treacherous, remote and complex contexts, and in 2008 its East Timor facility saved the life of the country’s President and Nobel Peace Laureate Jose Ramos Horta after an assassination attempt in which he was shot twice.

Defence’s mammoth efforts to modernise its medical capabilities will see the deployed trauma service integrate electronic medical records worldwide, and meet NATO performance targets for surgery on patients within two hours of injury when life, limbs or eyesight are threatened, according to The Australian.

Defence’s current purchasing projects – known as JP2060 Phases 3 and 4 – are aimed at upgrading its Deployable Health Capability services, and will also advance the healthcare of service personnel stationed at home from Bonegilla to Townsville.

With a price tag of between $250 million and $450m, Phase 3 will lead to the replacement of legacy equipment and create a modernised and integrated clinical care system, with Defence evaluating submissions and expected to shortlist down to two.

Bidders include Saab Australia with Philips Electronics, Aspen Medical and Marshall Land Systems. Leidos Australia is also partnering with Cerner, Device Technologies, OPEC Systems, ECLIPS and International SOS.

“In Phase 3, Defence wants to re-equip its three field hospitals – two army, one air force – that can be set up and dismantled in a matter of days,” Leidos Australia’s defence health program director James Evans told The Australian.

“Each hospital can include two operating theatres, four intensive-care beds, a ward of around 20 beds and ancillary services such as X-rays, CT imaging, laboratory diagnostics and dental services.”

Medical equipment carried in army ambulances and aircraft will also be replaced.

Phase 4, which is anticipated to come to market in 2019, will see Defence roll out an IT enterprise knowledge solution to capture health data and manage the information across the ADF healthcare continuum, wherever deployed and non-deployed service personnel are garrisoned.

The ambitious health knowledge management tech will interface with Defence ICT platforms, allied coalition partners, Australian healthcare providers and government agencies such as Veteran’s Affairs.

The system, which will be predominately a commercial off-the-shelf solution, will enhance the prevention, treatment and evacuation of casualties in joint operations, and provide advanced diagnostics, surgical capability, and the management of specialist and allied health care.

Defence is seeking the centralised system to integrate electronic health records for about 55,000 ADF personnel and 30,000 reservists while they are on active service at home and abroad during exercises, war deployments, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief efforts.

Leidos Australia has flagged its intention to bid.

“Phase 4 is a complex system integration challenge that will optimise commercial products to work effectively in the Defence environment,” Evans said.

“It will have to include dental records and be integrated into wider Defence systems such as human resources.”

In the United States, Leidos has provided systems to the Department of Defense, the Department of Homeland Security’s Customs and Border Protection agency and the NSA.

The HIMSS AsiaPac18 Conference & Exhibition in Brisbane from 5-8 November will feature its inaugural International Military Health IT (IMHIT) track on 7 November.

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