Dr. Palter from docinthemachine.com has a couple of interesting posts about the amazing medical advances that we owe to overwhelming military funding. Unfortunately, a particularly promising project known as the Trauma Pod is in danger of losing its funding.
Doc in the Machine quotes Dr. Satava’s description of the Trauma pod:
Like many revolutionary ideas, science fiction imagines what might be possible and it takes decades for hard science to catch up. Such is the case for Trauma Pod, a new capability and a new challenging research project for pre-hospital or far forward battlefield casualty care. Concepts of Trauma Pod can be traced back to the 1957 science fiction book “Starship Troopers” by Robert Heinlein, in which a self contained casualty “cocoon” was sent automatically from the spaceship directly to the wounded soldier on the battlefield. The casualty was placed inside this cocoon or pod, which was imagined to be a combination intensive care unit (ICU) and operating room (OR), capable of completely rescuing and, if necessary, operating upon a wounded soldier while being returned safely to the spaceship. As fantastic as that might have seemed, we are well over half way there, with systems that are currently deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan (and in clinical trials in select U.S. civilian trauma centers) and future systems to ultimately realize the full potential as so clearly articulated by Heinlein
The first of three videos illustrate how the Trauma pod would function if allowed to be fully developed.
To view the remaining videos, including both the prototype and the currently deployed product, head on over to Dr. Palter’s blog.