Back to Top Skip to main content

Innovative mobile technologies impact DOD health surveillance

Medical personnel using a syringe to inject a fluid into a test tube Dr. Peter Larson loads an Oxford Nanopore MinION sequencer in support of COVID-19 sequencing assay development at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, Fort Detrick, Maryland. (Photo by John Braun Jr., USAMRIID.)

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Research and Innovation | Technology

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of collaboration and information-sharing forums for those working in the health field.

An example of one such forum is the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Division (AFHSD), Global Emerging Infections Surveillance (GEIS) Branch’s Next Generation Sequencing and Bioinformatics Consortium (NGSBC) and their mobile next generation sequencing (NGS) working group.

The NGSBC was created in 2017, bringing together DOD partners for coordination and improvement of pathogen genetic sequencing and analysis efforts. Subject matter experts from the Naval Medical Research Center, U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID), Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, U.S. Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine, and the Naval Health Research Center assist the overseas service laboratories and other partners with protocol development, sample processing, and sequence data analysis.

As genetic sequencing capabilities have evolved and grown, so has the desire to have mobile platforms that could shorten the time from sample collection to final results reporting. Therefore GEIS and partners are exploring the use of mobile NGS technology in the laboratory, the field, and austere environments. To support these efforts, the mobile NGS working group was derived from the NGSBC in 2019 and focuses on increasing knowledge and use of mobile NGS technologies.

“This is a much needed working group to connect portable sequencing platform users across the DOD,” said Dr. Cory Bernhards, a member of the group who uses mobile NGS methods. “It will boost efficiency and foster collaboration among the different laboratories.”

The mobile NGS forum supports communication and collaboration between DOD and other government laboratories by creating a platform for partners to share protocols and provide training sessions. Participants meet regularly to discuss issues like how to address unique matters related to the way work is conducted in the field and not in a traditional lab - such as how to keep reagents and supplies at safe temperatures and how to perform remote complex computer-based data analysis. They also present use cases of pathogenic viruses including SARS-CoV-2 sequencing results from the Oxford Nanopore MinION, a type of mobile NGS technology.

“This working group will greatly accelerate progress toward fielding sequencing capabilities to serve and protect the warfighter,” said Bernhards.

The working group currently has more than 100 participants from 28 different organizations, including interagency partners from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Food and Drug Administration.

GEIS will continue to support partners in implementing capabilities for mobile NGS platforms, to set goals for using the technology, and to provide resources to address challenges. Navy Capt. Guillermo Pimentel, chief of GEIS, expressed his optimism for this mobile lab capability. 

"Having a mobile sequencing capability could provide an advantage in the early detection of an infectious disease that could negatively impact our deployed forces." Pimentel also highlighted the potential use of the technology, “The platform could also be used to determine if insects collected as part of regular vector surveillance carry viruses that could cause diseases in an operational setting."

You also may be interested in...

Army Recruiter volunteers to administer COVID-19 vaccination

Article
3/2/2021
Military health personnel wearing a face mask giving someone the COVID-19 Vaccine

Army Master Sgt. Carolyn Lange has kept up her skills as a licensed practical nurse by administering COVID-19 vaccines on Fort George G. Meade in Maryland

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | COVID-19 Toolkit

NMCSD launches MHS GENESIS

Article
3/2/2021
Military personnel wearing face mask standing in front of the Naval Medical Center in San Diego cutting a red ribbon

Naval Medical Center San Diego deploys MHS GENESIS over the weekend.

Recommended Content:

MHS GENESIS | Technology

COVID-19: DOD vaccinates more than 1 million beneficiaries worldwide

Article
3/1/2021
Military personnel wearing face mask standing in line to receive their COVID-19 Vaccine

As DOD surpasses the administration of 1 million COVID-19 vaccine shots in arms, leaders reflect on how each military treatment facility community made the success possible, despite challenges.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | COVID-19 Toolkit

DOD officials provide COVID-19 response update

Article
3/1/2021
Military personnel wearing a face mask handling prescription refills at a pharmacy

DoD officials present update on COVID-19 response efforts

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | COVID-19 Toolkit | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

Cardiovascular providers counter pandemic-induced sedentary lifestyle

Article
2/26/2021
Military health personnel sticking an IV in a patient's arm

COVID-19 fears likely affecting cardiovascular care but not at military medical treatment facilities.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Heart Health | Medical and Dental Preventive Care Fitness | February Toolkit | Preventing Heart Disease

Secretary of Defense Video to the Force on COVID-19 Vaccinations

Video
2/24/2021
Image of soldier looking through COVID vaccine information laid out on a table

The Secretary of Defense addressed the entire workforce to encourage informed decision-making with regards to coronavirus-19 vaccination.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | COVID-19 Toolkit | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

Trained military personnel ready to help with COVID-19 vaccinations

Article
2/23/2021
Military health personnel wearing a mask giving the COVID-19 vaccine to a man who is also wearing a face mask

Military prepped and ready to help with civilian COVID-19 mass vaccinations

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | Immunizations

DOD participates in new COVID-19 antibody combination prevention trial

Article
2/23/2021
Woman gets blood drawn

Five DoD sites across the United States will be part of the STORM CHASER trial, a study to observe the efficacy of a long-lasting antibody product to prevent COVID-19 among people who have been exposed to others suffering from the disease.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit

Call for abstracts open for Military Health System Research Symposium

Article
2/22/2021
Military personnel speaking in front of an audience at the Military Health Systems Research Symposium

Abstracts for this year’s MHSRS are due by March 31.

Recommended Content:

About the MHS | Research and Innovation

Marines, Sailors with PHIBRON 11, 31st MEU receive COVID-19 vaccine

Article
2/19/2021
Military health personnel giving the COVID-19 Vaccine to military personnel

Vaccination for service members is voluntary, as vaccines are currently authorized for emergency use.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Immunization Healthcare | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

USU cohort study investigates COVID-19 impacts on DOD personnel

Article
2/18/2021
Military health personnel wearing a mask and a face shield holding up a sign that has the number eighteen on it

USU is conducting a study to better understand the symptoms and course of COVID-19 disease and identify risk factors in the military population.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Toolkit | Immunizations | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | Coronavirus

COVID-19, Influenza provide twice the challenge to healthcare workers

Article
2/17/2021
Military personnel wearing a face mask while holding hand sanitizer

The ongoing pandemic outbreak has overlapped with the annual Northern Hemisphere influenza season.

Recommended Content:

Influenza Vaccine Availability | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

COVID-19 vaccine does not affect fertility, immunization experts say

Article
2/16/2021
Black and white photo of a couple holding hands

COVID-19 vaccination when pregnant or breastfeeding shows no harm, immunologists weigh in.

Recommended Content:

Women's Health | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

DHA IT helps beneficiaries, providers and workforce through pandemic

Article
2/12/2021
Several military personnel, wearing masks, filling out paperwork. One woman is giving the thumbs up sign

DHA IT Teams Deliver Innovative Solutions During Pandemic.

Recommended Content:

Technology | Coronavirus

Printable VAX Fact Should Children Get the COVID Vaccine?

Publication
2/12/2021

This is a printable version of the VAX Fact graphic

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | COVID-19 Vax Facts
<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 1 - 15 Page 1 of 40

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.