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Activity title

Closed Loop (Automated) Control of Medical Devices

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Human Factors and Medicine

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Automated Control, Autonomous Control, Closed Loop, Closed Loop Control, Medical Devices


Exploratory Topic is proposed to explore the research and development of Closed Loop Control or Automated Control of Medical Devices, with specific emphasis in the use of these devices during Aeromedical Evacuation (AE) transport of patients. The key features of modern medical centers are replicated in the transport environment (inpatient medical-surgical care, critical care, outpatient and mental health care, and in the future potentially trauma care – damage control resuscitation and surgery). Enroute care relies heavily on utility of medical devices, which requires understanding technical/operational characteristics. Adaptation of Commercial Off-The-Shelf (COTS) items for military environment poses challenges, therefore generating novel/military considerate technologies mission is essential. These technologies, specifically Closed Loop Control or Automated Control of medical devices support the future operating environments and the movement toward these autonomous/closed loop systems also leverages airman/machine teaming techniques and technologies. The ET would explore topics to see if there are areas of mutual interest for research.


The activities of the exploratory team are intended to: i) describe the state of the science regarding closed loop or automated control of medical devices, such as ventilators, hydration systems, sedation systems, anesthesia systems. ii) explore the areas of mutual interest among the nations for research and explore strategies for development of these technologies, promoting interoperability to the greatest extent possible while also considering the medical regulatory oversight of these devices in our respective nations. iii) begin development of research strategy to answer questions of mutual interest and to propose more in-depth activities, mainly in the HFM panel and in conjunction with other NATO bodies related to this research area. (iv) set the stage for a future RTG in this topic area


This ET would explore the research and development topics related to Closed Loop Control or Automated Control of Medical Devices, with specific emphasis in the use of these devices during Aeromedical Evacuation (AE) transport of patients. These potential research areas could expand the body of knowledge and state of the science for Closed loop control, also known as automated control, or autonomous systems, specifically related to medical devices. Examples of scientific topics include a range of bench or basic science, to applied research to pre-clinical trials, to clinical trials of the proposed medical devices. Areas for exploration include but are not limited to Closed Loop Control (CLC) of oxygen delivery, CLC of oxygen delivery/generation, CLC of hydration, CLC of sedation, CLC of anesthesia. The future development of Autonomous patient movement for purposes of clearing the battlespace require engineering solutions to support this level of autonomous transport of patients and therefore needs to be researched/explored and considered for implementation. By exploring this research topic, we could advance the science, develop technologies and practices the improve care for patients and also advance the generation of interoperable systems and enhance interoperability among the many nations that work together to care for and evacuate patients. Additional topics to discuss could include the respective medical regulatory requirements by the respective medical regulatory agnecies of each nation (for example, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) which has a Autonomous Working Group that is developing guidance for Interoperable Systems).

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