ASU gets $2.4 million grant to improve military patient care

A business school may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of medical innovations needed in the military. However, the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University is teaming up with a few strategic partners to help improve the nation’s military patient care for service members.

The partnership will bring ASU together with Active Innovations, Global Healthcare Exchange (GHX), and Expression Networks to develop recommendations for a fully integrated supply chain organization model. The work will go into developing dashboards and simulations to help service members get better and more streamlined care. The military is providing the parties involved with $2.4 million to fund the project, which is under the guidance of Eugene Schneller, a professor of supply chain management at W.P. Carey. The grant is the largest sum of money provided for research to date.

“Our mission is to provide guidance for advancing toward a cloud-based enterprise system in the near future and to assure that progress toward world-class supply chain excellence is sustained,” Dr. Schneller said. “High function supply chains represent an appropriate balance to responsiveness to the needs of customers and to efficiency.”

The military currently utilizes its Defense Medical Logistics Enterprise Solution (DML-ES) and LogiCole to create a cloud-based system to organize and coordinate patient care. The goal of the research and development at ASU will be to improve overall performance to these systems. The major hiccups that the military faces right now are coordinating the delivery of supplies to remote locations. Having an issue with getting the necessary devices or pharmaceuticals to remote outposts has been a problem for a while.

“Perhaps more promising in the near future is the use of machine learning, artificial intelligence and track and trace technologies – all of which are being deployed by best of practice systems in the health sector and beyond,” Schneller said.

ASU researchers are working at developing a fully integrated supply chain organization (FISCO). The use of drones to deliver supplies has been an idea that’s been tossed around as well as the use of 3D printing for items on-site that are not immediately available. The use of 3D is popular in military research today as CBN recently reported that researchers at the University of Arizona are working with the military to develop 3D-printed bone implants for service members who sustain injuries.

Members involved in the project will also be considering the role that blockchain technology plays in the supply chain enhancement. With healthcare technology moving at a rapid clip, Schneller and his team will look at how to manage new technologies and procure products that a hospital will need in the near future.

Currently, there are 9.4 million beneficiaries served by about 900 treatment centers around the world. That makes for a lot of supply requests and a work order total of $8.1 billion-worth of biomedical equipment.

The research will be done in two phases. First, the current systems in place will be reviewed at Fort Detrick in Maryland, the hub of the medical logistics agencies for the U.S. Army, Navy and Air Force. The data gathered there will help to determine the role that emerging technologies might be able to play in the coming years. Things like 3D-printed bones, predictive modeling for logistics, and blockchain for cyber security will be considered. The second phase will focus on developing prototypes of dashboards and simulations.

“Hospital supply chain management is in a unique position to support clinical goals – by analyzing product utilization patterns or identifying equivalent products that produce high level outcomes at lower costs or by detecting utilization patterns by high performing clinicians who may not even use a product in a procedure,” Schneller said.

Nick Esquer

Add comment

Subscribe to the Dry Heat

Get updates on the most important news delivered right to your email. Fully personalized options. No SPAM. Unsubscribe anytime.

Sign Me Up!

Let’s Get Social

Chamber Business News wants to connect with you. Follow us, tweet, share, post, comment... however you get social is the perfect way to connect.