SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Capt. Joel Roos, Naval Medical Center San Diego (NMCSD) commanding officer, met with leaders and scientists at the Naval Health Research Center (NHRC), Feb. 6.
During the visit, Capt. Marshall Monteville, NHRC commanding officer, provided an overview of the center's research expertise and discussed current and potential collaborations between the two commands.
"NHRC's research portfolio is diverse," said Monteville. "From infectious diseases surveillance and long-term population health studies to human performance optimization and rehabilitation, our research addresses the spectrum of health and readiness challenges faced by our military."
Designated Department of Defense (DoD) deployment health research center since 1999, NHRC is the only military medical research laboratory on the West Coast.
One topic of conversation was the robust databases created by scientists at NHRC, including the Expeditionary Medical Encounter Database (EMED), which contains accurate and complete data for service members who become ill or injured in-theater, from point of injury or illness through definitive care and rehabilitation.
"The EMED has been used to conduct injury analysis for military personnel wounded in action," said Monteville. "One of the research projects supported by our scientists contributed directly to substantial improvements to armored vehicles, resulting in avoidance of injury and death. Data-driven science can save lives."
This type of analysis, said Roos, could be very beneficial in a shipboard setting.
During a tour of NHRC's Warfighter Performance Laboratory, Roos met with researchers who are studying sleep and fatigue mitigation, and injury prevention and rehabilitation to improve operational readiness and the overall health and well-being of warfighters.
NHRC's sleep physiologists highlighted current operational and clinical research studies, including collaborative efforts with NMCSD's residential mental health program, sleep medicine clinic, and outpatient mental health clinic that are implementing and evaluating behavioral treatments for insomnia.
Biomedical engineers demonstrated the Computer Assisted Rehabilitation Environment (CAREN), an immersive virtual reality system. The CAREN consists of a 6-degree of freedom motion platform with integrated instrumented treadmill, multiple motion capture cameras, and a large curved screen with 180-degree projection creating a virtual environment mirroring real-world situations.
Using the CAREN, NHRC researchers conduct studies that address injury prevention, rehabilitation, evaluation of personal protective equipment, physiological and cognitive performance.
"You definitely fill an important niche," said Roos. "The research you do not only supports operational medicine, it helps the patient-it has clinical application as well. I really appreciate the good work your team is doing."
As the DoD's premier deployment health research center, NHRC's cutting-edge research and development is used to optimize the operational health and readiness of the nation's armed forces. In proximity to more than 95,000 active duty service members, world-class universities, and industry partners, NHRC sets the standard in joint ventures, innovation, and translational research.
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