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Philips acquires Air Force technology for mobile patient monitoring

par Thomas Dworetzky , Contributing Reporter
Philips Healthcare inked a nonexclusive patent license deal on July 10th with the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory for mobile software app Battlefield Assisted Trauma Distributed Observation Kit (Batdok), which permits remote real-time patient monitoring.

"By combining exceptional mobility, user experience, and reliability, Philips will use Batdok to improve patient monitoring," Kirk Hendler, Philips' vice president of business development for government solutions said in a statement. "This all-in-one mobile solution will enhance care delivery by bringing critical data to decision-makers."

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The software, developed by the 711th Human Performance Wing at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, lets medics monitor multiple casualties in the field via a smartphone or tablet interface. It gets its vital signs and other data from wireless sensors worn by patients, and records that information along with information logged by attending staff, enabling “seamless data transfer” when a patient is handed off.

Hendler saw a demo of the tech last year and the company then worked withTechLink, the Department of Defense's national partnership intermediary for technology transfer, to develop the license application and commercialization plan.

"Many of the DoD's medical inventions have potential dual-use civilian applications," said Joan Wu-Singel, senior technology manager at TechLink. "In this case, Batdok could be used in a hospital setting, ambulances, and we're even imagining it [able to] help address opioid abuse through dosage monitoring."

The Air Force expressed confidence that Philips would roll out the tech for both civilian and military uses. Said Dr. Jim Kearns, technology transfer and domestic alliances manager for the 711th Human Performance Wing, "we're confident Philips will deliver products with multiple levels of benefit," adding that, "the Wing has brilliant people doing cutting-edge research. Collaboration with businesses, case in point, enhances their work and gets it to the war fighter."

Philips was also in the news this week when it announced it is moving another 280 of its remaining Andover, Massachusetts, positions to new locations.

Plans currently slate the departure for 2020, according to Silvie Casanova, Philips director of communications.

About 120 of the positions are heading for the firm's Reedsville, Pennsylvania location, where workers “will have the opportunity to transition with their role,” she noted. About 160 of the slots are heading to Philips' new Cambridge headquarters.
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