Back to Top Skip to main content

GMU researchers developing system to help ensure blood safety

Recommended Content:

Armed Services Blood Program | Health IT Research and Innovation Strategy | Innovation

Researchers at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., are developing an automated validation and verification system to help ensure blood safety. 

Army Lt. Col. Mark Mellott, chief of the Execution Branch of the Health IT Innovation and Advanced Technology Development Division at the Defense Health Agency, and Navy Cmdr. Leslie Riggs, director of the Navy Blood Program, attended a demonstration of the system at the university in May. 

“A partnership between the military and an educational institution such as George Mason University is a way to explore new technologies that may, in the future, help on the battlefield and in military treatment facilities around the world,” said Navy Capt. Roland Fahie, director of the Armed Services Blood Program. “As this partnership develops, it will be interesting to see if we can incorporate research like this into the military blood banking system.”

Duminda Wijesekera, professor of computer science at GMU’s Volgenau School of Engineering and the group leader for the project, said that organizations such as the Food and Drug Administration and the AABB have “gone to great lengths to design tests that ensure the safety of blood,” but “it turns out that safety depends on the pathogens that are around and testing is method dependent.” 

This led the GMU team to design an automated system that could document workflow procedures to ensure these safety tests performed at different places in the blood supply chain have been correctly applied, Wijesekera said. 

“The software operates in the background of electronic health record systems,” Mellott said. “What we were able to see today in the demo, the software will be able to enforce relevant safety requirements for patients, and verify and automate workflows that are used by health care providers.” 

According to Noha Hazzazi, PhD candidate in information technology and one of the lead researchers for the project, the system gathers all of the FDA and AABB safety regulations and as safety standards change, the system grows.

“It will be pushed as a plug-in, so it’s not actually even changing the electronic health record systems,” Hazzazi said. “Currently, a lot of blood banks and a lot of processes in healthcare are manually documented. Even if it’s not manually documented, there are simple databases that capture information and save it. But it’s not really doing anything with that information, which means that information is not linked from one process to another.”

Wijesekera said the team has been working on the system for eight years. 

“We started in automating and integrating surgical check lists designed to prevent unintended errors during procedures,” Wijesekera said. “We went from there to ‘dialysis’ workflow automation and blood supply safety was a natural progression from that work.” 

While the system is strictly in the research phase, Bo Yu, who is part of GMU’s computer science department research faculty, said the team does have an operational prototype that that can be integrated with existing blood bank systems or commercial products. 

“Additionally, our prototype systems are able to extend to other areas,” Yu said. “For example, the consent management that works with many treatments regimes, checks for regulatory compliance and auto-generates consents from inside electronic medical records, biobank data sharing, as well as sensitive data security and privacy preservation.” 

Hazzazi said the system could, for example, have several benefits for the ASBP including decreasing maintenance costs, enforcing safety through automation and replacing paper documents with electronic records.  

“I can see the value of a system like this for the military blood program,” Riggs said. “The biggest benefit I can see is that it would run in the background of current systems. The military blood program’s electronic health record systems are a little different than those used at the civilian organizations; so having a system that has the potential to run in conjunction with our current systems to look at the inefficiencies that might exist would help us ensure that we are keeping the blood supply as safe as possible.” 

In the end, Mellott said the partnership between the blood banking community and educational facilities is something that should continue to be explored. 

“Innovation is increasingly coming from industry and academia and we need to continue to develop new partnerships and grow existing ones with academic institutions and federal labs to share knowledge, advance research and solve difficult and important problems for the benefit of the warfighters, beneficiaries and the external community,” Mellott said.

Disclaimer: Re-published content may have been edited for length and clarity. Read original post.

You also may be interested in...

Fresh from HIMSS: Building a single tech platform will modernize MHS joint readiness

Article
3/8/2018
DHA leaders at HIMSS shared how creating one military health IT platform will help the MHS to better support joint readiness. Broadly standing up MHS GENESIS – the military’s integrated medical and dental electronic health record – will continue over the next few years and replace more than 50 legacy systems. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Defense leaders share military health IT advancement plans, standards, and activities

Recommended Content:

Health IT Research and Innovation Strategy | MHS GENESIS | Military Health System Electronic Health Record

From an award ceremony to panel talks, senior leaders will have presence at HIMSS

Article
3/8/2018
Vice Adm. Raquel Bono, director of Defense Health Agency, will be honored as a recipient of the HIMSS Most Influential Women in Health IT Awards on March 8 in Las Vegas.

Federal health, IT experts come together for discussion on hot topics

Recommended Content:

Access to Health Care | Health IT Research and Innovation Strategy | Innovation | Patient Safety | Quality and Safety of Health Care (for Healthcare Professionals) | Research and Innovation

Air Force robotic surgery training program aims at improving patient outcomes

Article
2/9/2018
Air Force Col. Debra Lovette (left), 81st Training Wing commander, receives a briefing from Air Force 2nd Lt. Nina Hoskins, 81st Surgical Operations squadron room nurse, on robotics surgery capabilities inside the robotics surgery clinic at Keesler Medical Center, Mississippi. The training program stood up in March 2017 and has trained surgical teams within the Air Force and across the Department of the Defense. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue).

Robotic surgery is becoming the standard of care for many specialties and procedures

Recommended Content:

Technology | Innovation | Military Hospitals and Clinics

2017 Year in Review: Places where Military Health System leaders, experts gathered

Article
12/21/2017
Navy Vice Adm. Raquel Bono, director, Defense Health Agency, speaks at the Defense Health Information Technology Symposium, July 25, in Orlando, Florida. Conferences like this one help MHS and other health care personnel to exchange ideas and information to help improve care to beneficiaries. (Courtesy photo)

Conferences offer opportunities to focus on the best health care for beneficiaries

Recommended Content:

Innovation | Military Health System Electronic Health Record | MHS GENESIS | Health IT Research and Innovation Strategy | Warrior Care

First cold storage platelet unit collected in Southwest Asia

Article
9/15/2017
Air Force Staff Sgt. Jonathan Flannigan, NCO in charge of the apheresis element with the 379th Expeditionary Medical Group, monitors the Trima Accel Automated Blood Collection System machine used to obtain blood platelets from donors at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar. Apheresis element Airmen are tasked with collecting and storing platelet products and providing them for distribution throughout the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Cynthia A. Innocenti)

It is likely that cold storage platelets, a method developed by the military, will eventually be the standard practice around the world for handling and shipping platelets

Recommended Content:

Armed Services Blood Program | Health Readiness | Innovation

Freeze-dried plasma saves life

Article
9/13/2017
Navy corpsmen apply first aid to a training manikin during a training exercise. Since December 2016, every MARSOC special amphibious reconnaissance corpsman deploys with a supply of freeze-dried plasma and the experience to administer it. By October 2017, every MARSOC unit deployed will be outfitted with FDP. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Joshua Young)

Freeze-dried plasma is a dehydrated version of plasma that replaces the clotting factors lost in blood

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Armed Services Blood Program

Combat medic students train using hologram technology

Article
9/7/2017
Alonzo Gonzales, a Combat Medic Program emergency medical technician course instructor, lectures students in Alpha Class 70-17 about different obstetrics complications  utilizing a specialized OB training manikin. The OB manikins resemble life-size pelvic cavities inside which the “fetus” can be positioned to replicate any number of complicated situations. (U.S. Army photo by Lisa Braun)

The Combat Medic Training program is the first METC program to incorporate hologram technology to augment training

Recommended Content:

Technology | Innovation

Possible cause for severe eczema has been found

Article
8/21/2017
Some patients living with severe eczema – a possible disqualifying factor for military service – have been found to have mutations on a gene called CARD11. Identified as a possible cause for the condition, the discovery can lead to exciting possibilities for advancements, according to the researchers.

Some patients living with severe eczema have been found to have mutations on a gene called CARD11 – Identified as a possible cause for the condition, the discovery can lead to exciting possibilities for advancements, according to the researchers

Recommended Content:

Conditions and Treatments | Innovation | Warrior Care

Military members are 'blood brothers and sisters' in more ways than one

Article
8/17/2017
Since 1962, the Armed Services Blood Program has served as the sole provider of blood for the United States military. As a tri-service organization, the ASBP collects, processes, stores and distributes blood and blood products to Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and their families worldwide. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Tenley Long)

Armed Services Blood Program sole provider of life’s essential liquid

Recommended Content:

Armed Services Blood Program

Bono to DHITS: Use health IT to better serve patients

Article
7/26/2017
Navy Vice Adm. Raquel Bono, director, Defense Health Agency, speaks at the Defense Health Information Technology Symposium, July 25, in Orlando, Florida. The three-day meeting brings together more than 2,000 information technology professionals, health care providers, and administrators who use IT solutions to better serve patients.

Navy Vice Adm. Raquel Bono, director, Defense Health Agency, tells the Defense Health Information Technology Symposium in Orlando, Florida, that health IT is vital to taking care of service members and their families.

Recommended Content:

Technology | Health IT Research and Innovation Strategy

Health IT team working on creating an information ecosystem

Article
7/25/2017
Health IT team working to create ecosystem of information for patients, providers.

Highly interactive environment benefits patients, providers

Recommended Content:

Technology | Innovation

Counter-hemorrhaging medical device saves service members' lives

Article
7/18/2017
U.S. Army Spc. Courtney Natal provides aid to a simulated casualty. Born out of necessity on the battlefield, a new medical device is buying vital time for critically wounded patients in combat and in emergency care environments worldwide. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Harley Jelis)

Born out of necessity on the battlefield, a new medical device is buying vital time for critically wounded patients

Recommended Content:

Research and Innovation | Innovation

With success comes ‘great momentum’ in hearing center’s future

Article
7/13/2017
Marine Staff Sgt. Charles Mitchell takes the annual audiogram test at Camp Pendleton, California. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Khoa Pelczar)

DoD’s Hearing Center of Excellence works closely with other departments and organizations, including VA and NIH, to facilitate research focused on prevention, diagnosis, mitigation, treatment, and rehabilitation of hearing issues

Recommended Content:

Hearing Loss | DoD/VA Sharing Initiatives | Innovation

Partnership improves care, prosthetics for wounded warriors

Article
7/10/2017
Experts across the DoD and VA come together to collaborate on research and innovation through the Extremity Trauma and Amputation Center of Excellence. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Anastasia McCarroll)

The Extremity Trauma and Amputation Center of Excellence brings DoD and VA together to conduct research aimed at saving extremities and improving care for patients with amputations

Recommended Content:

Research and Innovation | Extremities Loss | DoD/VA Sharing Initiatives | Innovation

Army scientists hope to unlock clues to bone healing in space experiment

Article
7/3/2017
Bintu Sowe, an associate scientist at the U.S. Army U.S. Army Center for Environmental Health Research, processes samples from the bone healing experiment that was aboard the International Space Station. The samples were delivered back to Earth by SpaceX's Dragon cargo craft in March. (U.S. Army photo by Crystal Maynard)

Scientists at the U.S. Army Center for Environmental Health Research are hoping to determine how bones heal in microgravity, based on an experiment that launched to the International Space Station aboard SpaceX in February and returned to earth aboard SpaceX's Dragon cargo craft in March

Recommended Content:

Research and Innovation | Extremities Loss | Innovation
<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 1 - 15 Page 1 of 6

DHA Address: 7700 Arlington Boulevard | Suite 5101 | Falls Church, VA | 22042-5101

Some documents are presented in Portable Document Format (PDF). A PDF reader is required for viewing: Download a PDF Reader or learn more about PDFs.