Philips Leads DARPA Development Project for an Ultrasound Device to Stem Bleeding and Save Lives on the Battlefield
"Ninety percent of all combat deaths occur before a casualty reaches a facility with definitive medical care," said Dr. Helen Routh, Principal Investigator and General Manager of Philips Research. "We propose a cuff that will detect life-threatening internal bleeding and stop blood flow (hemostasis) with minimal damage to the surrounding tissue."
“Ninety percent of all combat deaths occur before a casualty reaches a facility with definitive medical care”
Research into the proposed technology, "Autonomous Acoustic Hemostasis," will concentrate on the development of a high intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) detection technique for stemming internal bleeding by encouraging coagulation. The technology will be so simple to use that personnel with no medical training could successfully apply it.
Comprising robust and lightweight cuffs applied to the arms and legs of the wounded individual, the device will automatically detect internal bleeding and use an ultrasound pulse to coagulate the blood at the site of the trauma. This stems further blood-loss and allows the casualty to be moved to definitive medical care at a field hospital or emergency room.
In addition to helping the critically injured, the technology can reduce the number of limbs lost and help identify those at risk of progressive shock that can quickly become life threatening.
The technology also promises benefits to the public by complementing Philips Medical Systems' emergency medicine activities, allowing untrained personnel to save lives, as is the case for the Philips portable HeartStart defibrillator.
Philips Research is collaborating with researchers at the Applied Physics Laboratory, University of Washington, Seattle; Philips Applied Technologies, Houston, Pennsylvania and San Jose, California; and Philips Medical Systems, Bothell, Washington and Andover, Massachusetts.
Philips works with partner organizations to share insights. The company's strategy of open innovation, where exchange of knowledge and expertise plays a vital role, is key to a successful innovation process.
"We've assembled an outstanding multidisciplinary team of researchers from the University of Washington in acoustic hemostasis and Philips in North America in ultrasound arrays and systems," said Dr. Lawrence Crum, Principal Investigator for UW and Director of the Center for Industrial and Medical Ultrasound at the UW's Applied Physics Laboratory. Dr. Crum is also Research Professor of Bioengineering and Electrical Engineering at UW.
"In the long term, these technologies will not only prevent combatant loss of life but will also be used in civilian trauma situations," said Dr. Routh, "giving substantial benefit to the public at large."
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About Royal Philips Electronics
Royal Philips Electronics of the Netherlands (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHI) is one of the world's biggest electronics companies and Europe's largest, with sales of $37.7 billion (EUR 30.4 billion) in 2005. With activities in the three interlocking domains of healthcare, lifestyle and technology and 158,000 employees in more than 60 countries, it has market leadership positions in medical diagnostic imaging and patient monitoring, color television sets, electric shavers, lighting and silicon system solutions. News from Philips is located at www.philips.com/newscenter.
About University of Washington
For more than 25 years, the University of Washington has been among the country's top five institutions in the dollar value of federal research grants and contracts awarded to its faculty. Total grant and contract activity for 2005 was nearly $1 billion. Serving 39,000 students, the UW's faculty includes five Nobel Laureates and the winner of the 1990 National Book Award for Fiction.