Request for Information on Autonomous Systems for Medical Evacuation

A Request for Information (RFI) on autonomous systems for medical evacuation and related operations has been posted at this link:

Please respond to the RFI if you have relevant information.

The Warfighter Health, Performance, and Evacuation PMO is issuing this RFI to identify current projects or initiatives that could help inform an inventory and roadmap related to autonomous systems to support their mission. Of primary interest are any Service or Defense Health Agency (DHA) efforts, but also any efforts by other government agencies, industry, or academia. While the focus is on autonomous systems in and for use in military medical operations, any autonomous systems that could be leveraged to support medical missions are also relevant. For instance, efforts on autonomous transport not designed or currently used for casualty evacuation (CASEVAC), but that could reasonably be utilized or modified for that purpose would be relevant.

Uses of autonomy of particular interest are resupply, evacuation, prolonged field care, and transition and transfer through to Military Treatment Facilities (MTFs). Here are some areas of potential relevance under these categories. These should not be considered exhaustive.

  • Both autonomy-in-motion (e.g., autonomous vehicles) and autonomy-at-rest (e.g., analytics, decision support systems) are relevant.
  • All domains should be considered relevant including all unmanned systems, unmanned vehicles (UxV), unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) including drones, unmanned ground (surface and subterranean) vehicles (UGV), unmanned water (surface and underwater) vehicles (USV, UUV), and multidomain vehicles, for instance vehicles for use in littoral operations.
  • Navigation assistants that can dynamically combine terrain data, combat environment data, injury data, etc., to plan optimal routes, equipment, and contingencies for evacuation missions.
  • Decision support systems or cognitive assistants that can provide disconnected, autonomous advice to Warfighters or Medics beyond their level of knowledge and provide prolonged care when evacuation is delayed.
  • Cognitive assistants for personalized medicine that can combine Warfighter and environment sensor data with medical record data to understand how particular injuries affect particular individuals and keep track of conditions and treatments.
  • Population health assistants that can aggregate information about injuries in particular locations and identify trends and make recommendations to improve Service Member and Medic performance and outcomes.
  • Systems that predict casualties and suggest prepositioning of equipment or personnel.
  • Cognitive assistants that are aware of personnel medical training and can provide continuously updated training based on trends or new threats.
  • Systems that are fully autonomous, as well as systems that have a human in or on the loop are relevant. This includes systems that can operate with or without human intervention. When human control is involved, it can be either local or remote control.
  • Leader/follower systems – vehicles and transport systems such as robotic stretchers that can follow humans are relevant.
  • Human-machine teaming efforts are relevant. That is, efforts where autonomous systems interact with and supplement humans as part of a team. The autonomous system may be replacing one or more members of a traditional team, such as reducing the number of people needed to load a stretcher onto a transport vehicle.
  • Live health and safety monitors with anomaly detection and status indicators to ensure a high degree of trust that such systems are operating as intended.
  • Surveillance of data produced by autonomous systems, including analytics and explainability.