Back to Top Skip to main content Skip to sub-navigation

ADVISOR brings support to medical personnel in austere environments

Image of Photo of Michael Kile, LPN, the operational readiness program manger. ADVISOR provides support to medical personnel in remote operating locations (Courtesy of DHA Connected Health).

Recommended Content:

Health Care Technology | Combat Support | Health Readiness

U.S. military medical personnel often serve in remote operating locations with limited external communications and often a sparse health care infrastructure. Traditional land-line phones remain their primary connection to the outside world.

When these highly trained clinicians encounter medical emergencies beyond their considerable skills and local resources, having experts on the other end of the line to guide them can vastly improve outcomes for forward-deployed patients. Providing a single point of contact makes it easier for those frontline personnel to get the immediate assistance they need, which is why the Military Health System offers the Advanced Virtual Support for Operational Forces program, or ADVISOR.

The only program of its type across the Department of Defense, ADVISOR provides global on-demand access to a full spectrum of medical tele-consultation services for emergent and urgent care. ADVISOR also delivers those services 24/7/365 in austere environments that have limited to no local specialty support.

Field medical personnel anywhere in the world can call one phone number – 1-833-ADVSRLN (1-833-238-7756 or DSN 312-429-9089) – and get immediate live help in 13 different medical specialties, from emergency care and critical care, to infectious diseases and toxicology.

Think of ADVISOR as a "phone-a-friend" capability that connects field medical personnel with the MHS' best experts for when medical situations require assistance far from home – similar in spirit to NASA's Mission Control. Field personnel are not on the Moon, but handling a medical crisis in faraway, resource-constrained locations can feel that way.

Imagine being hundreds of miles from the nearest medical facility and having to answer the question, "I have two intravenous saline bags, three bandages, and a lollipop stick from last night's Meals Ready to Eat – how do I keep this patient alive until the chopper comes?"

With ADVISOR, field medics get real-time access to capabilities they otherwise lack and guidance on improvising care using whatever resources are at hand – huge confidence and capability boosters that can make a life-or-death difference for patients.

Goal: 100 percent survival

ADVISOR aims to provide the same level of clinical accuracy as in-facility care and achieve a 100% survivability rate of casualties with potentially survivable wounds. The program enables virtual access to advanced monitoring and decision support systems to improve remote casualty location, triage, and treatment for:

  • Emergent care, including combat casualty care, advanced critical care, and prolonged care when evacuation is delayed
  • Urgent care, including specialty and emergency care consults and remote medical and behavioral health diagnosis and treatment
  • Routine care by connecting field medics to the MHS' Global Teleconsultation Portal system

ADVISOR's integrated, interoperable system works across all DOD platforms and networks and flexibly scales to whatever technology resources field clinicians have available, from text message to video. At all times, callers can reach two staff providers for each specialty, who have both operational and virtual health experience.

ADVISOR currently has 127 volunteer providers from all three services, many of whom are chiefs of departments at their respective medical institutions. Providers commit to helping service members solve problems in the field based on real-time conditions, resources, and challenges on the ground.

Hundreds of Consultations

ADVISOR started in June 2017 as a pilot program for Special Operations Forces. Since then, it has supported clinicians throughout all combatant commands, as well as from NATO and other partners in multi-national operations.

To date, ADVISOR has provided 322 real-world emergent care or urgent care consultations, mostly in emergency care and infectious disease cases. Additionally, ADVISOR has been a valuable resource for garrison care as a centralized consultation line, supporting smaller military hospitals and clinics lacking onsite specialty capabilities.

ADVISOR has also aided pre-deployment training to help increase field clinicians' skills in prolonged field care and delayed evacuation care. Additionally, the program has provided 427 training consultations across all military branches, predominantly in critical care and general surgery.

User feedback for ADVISOR has been overwhelmingly positive. More than 90% of those surveyed said ADVISOR was easy to access, and the quality of their remote consultant's recommendations were above average or exceptional.

COVID-19 Response

ADVISOR's capabilities became profoundly useful in addressing the COVID-19 pandemic that swept the globe in March 2020. All U.S.-based MHS medical treatment facilities faced an unprecedented surge in cases while enforcing distancing requirements to keep patients and providers safe. These constraints limited providers' ability to evacuate many patients to higher-level care and made ensuring continuity of care and high-quality outcomes more challenging.

To help MHS clinicians, ADVISOR immediately reworked its workflows to provide on-demand COVID-19-related services for pediatric and adult critical care, infectious disease, and palliative care to all military hospitals and clinics. ADVISOR continues to contribute to the MHS' five-tier COVID-19 response plan, which supports virtual health throughout the enterprise from a foundation of telephone-based communication all the way up to tele-critical care.

Looking Forward

Offering access to capabilities across the MHS anytime, anywhere by phone and other electronic means is a dream MHS providers have had for decades. For instance, when I was chief wardmaster of the 47th Combat Support Hospital at the former Fort Lewis in Washington state, during Operation Iraqi Freedom, I brought a copy of Madigan Army Medical Center's phone book with me on every deployment. ADVISOR helps fulfill that dream and is a successful example of virtual health technology solutions that make it easy to deliver more capability wherever and whenever needed.

The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated demand for such solutions, which will be a permanent and growing part of the health care landscape going forward. This ongoing evolution will in turn improve operational readiness while decreasing the costs and complexities of care delivery.

Through ADVISOR and other virtual health programs, the MHS can leverage the capabilities of the largest health care system in the world to improve the readiness, health, and well-being of all MHS beneficiaries.

You also may be interested in...

Influenza

Infographic
7/1/2019
Influenza

Adminstration of a seasonal flu vaccination. (U.S. Navy photo)

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Epidemiology and Analysis | Medical Surveillance Monthly Report | Public Health

Psittacosis

Infographic
7/1/2019
Psittacosis

Green-winged Macaw. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Epidemiology and Analysis | Medical Surveillance Monthly Report | Public Health

Zika

Infographic
7/1/2019
Zika

Anopheles merus mosquito. (CDC photo by James Gathany)

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Armed Forces Health Surveillance Division | Epidemiology and Analysis | Medical Surveillance Monthly Report | Public Health

Mononucleosis

Infographic
7/1/2019
Mononucleosis

A specimen is tested for mononucleosis at the medical clinic on Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota (U.S. Air Force photo)

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Epidemiology and Analysis | Medical Surveillance Monthly Report | Public Health

Norovirus

Infographic
6/1/2019
Norovirus

Norovirus Outbreak in Army Service Members, Camp Arifjan, Kuwait, May 2018 In May 2018, an outbreak of gastrointestinal illnesses due to norovirus occurred at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait. The outbreak lasted 14 days, and a total of 91 cases, of which 8 were laboratory confirmed and 83 were suspected, were identified.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Armed Forces Health Surveillance Division | Epidemiology and Analysis | Medical Surveillance Monthly Report | Public Health

Female infertility

Infographic
6/1/2019
Female infertility

Female infertility, active component service women, U.S. Armed Forces, 2013–2018 This report presents the incidence and prevalence of diagnosed female infertility among active component service women. During 2013–2018, 8,744 active component women of childbearing potential were diagnosed with infertility for the first time, resulting in an overall incidence of 79.3 cases per 10,000 person-years (p-yrs).

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Armed Forces Health Surveillance Division | Epidemiology and Analysis | Medical Surveillance Monthly Report | Public Health

Cyclosporiasis

Infographic
6/1/2019
Cyclosporiasis

Outbreak of Cyclosporiasis in a U.S. Air Force Training Population, Joint Base San Antonio–Lackland, TX, 2018 While bacteria and viruses are the usual causes of gastrointestinal disease outbreaks, 2 Joint Base San Antonio (JBSA)– Lackland, TX, training populations experienced an outbreak of diarrheal illness caused by the parasite Cyclospora cayetanensis in June and July 2018. Cases were identified from outpatient medical records and responses to patient questionnaires.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Armed Forces Health Surveillance Division | Epidemiology and Analysis | Medical Surveillance Monthly Report | Public Health

Hospitalizations, Active Component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2018

Infographic
5/1/2019
Hospitalizations, Active Component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2018

Hospitalizations, Active Component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2018 This report documents the frequencies, rates, trends, and distributions of hospitalizations of active component members of the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps during calendar year 2018.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Armed Forces Health Surveillance Division | Epidemiology and Analysis | Medical Surveillance Monthly Report | Public Health

Absolute and Relative Morbidity Burdens Attributable to Various Illnesses and Injuries, Non-Service Member Beneficiaries of the Military Health System, 2018

Infographic
5/1/2019
Absolute and Relative Morbidity Burdens Attributable to Various Illnesses and Injuries, Non-Service Member Beneficiaries of the Military Health System, 2018

The current report represents an update and provides a summary of care provided to non-service members in the MHS during calendar year 2018. Healthcare burden estimates are stratified by direct versus outsourced care and across 4 age groups of healthcare recipients.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Armed Forces Health Surveillance Division | Epidemiology and Analysis | Medical Surveillance Monthly Report | Public Health

Ambulatory Visits, Active Component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2018

Infographic
5/1/2019
Ambulatory Visits, Active Component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2018

Ambulatory Visits, Active Component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2018 This report documents the frequencies, rates, trends, and characteristics of ambulatory healthcare visits of active component members of the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps during 2018.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Epidemiology and Analysis | Medical Surveillance Monthly Report | Public Health

Absolute and Relative Morbidity Burdens

Infographic
5/1/2019
Absolute and Relative Morbidity Burdens

Absolute and Relative Morbidity Burdens Attributable To Various Illnesses and Injuries, Active Component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2018 This annual summary uses a standard disease classification system (modified for use among U.S. military members) and several healthcare burden measures to quantify the impacts of various illnesses and injuries among members of the active component of the U.S. Armed Forces in 2018.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Armed Forces Health Surveillance Division | Epidemiology and Analysis | Medical Surveillance Monthly Report | Public Health

Exertional Rhabdomyolysis

Infographic
4/1/2019
Exertional Rhabdomyolysis

Each year, the MSMR summarizes the numbers, rates, trends, risk factors, and locations of occurrences of exertional heat injuries, including exertional rhabdomyolysis. This report includes the data for 2014–2018.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Armed Forces Health Surveillance Division | Epidemiology and Analysis | Medical Surveillance Monthly Report | Public Health

Heat Illness

Infographic
4/1/2019
Heat Illness

This report summarizes reportable medical events of heat illness as well as heat illness-related hospitalizations and ambulatory visits among active component service members during 2018 and compares them to the previous 4 years. Episodes of heat stroke and heat exhaustion are summarized separately.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Armed Forces Health Surveillance Division | Epidemiology and Analysis | Medical Surveillance Monthly Report | Public Health

Lyme Disease

Infographic
4/1/2019
Lyme Disease

Each year, the MSMR summarizes the numbers, rates, trends, risk factors, and locations of occurrences of exertional heat injuries, including exertional rhabdomyolysis. This report includes the data for 2014–2018.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Armed Forces Health Surveillance Division | Epidemiology and Analysis | Medical Surveillance Monthly Report | Public Health

Exertional Hyponatremia

Infographic
4/1/2019
Exertional Hyponatremia

Each year, the MSMR summarizes the numbers, rates, trends, risk factors, and locations of occurrences of exertional heat injuries, including exertional rhabdomyolysis. This report includes the data for 2014–2018.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Armed Forces Health Surveillance Division | Epidemiology and Analysis | Medical Surveillance Monthly Report | Public Health
<< < 1 2 3 4 5 > >> 
Showing results 1 - 15 Page 1 of 5
Refine your search
Last Updated: June 10, 2021

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.