NHRC Hosts Medical Staff from PLA(N) Peace Ark

Story Number: NNS151110-05Release Date: 11/10/2015 9:24:00 AM
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By Regena Kowitz, Naval Health Research Center Public Affairs

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Capt. Rita Simmons, commanding officer of the Naval Health Research Center (NHRC), hosted personnel from the Republic of China, People's Liberation Army Navy (PLA[N]) hospital ship Peace Ark (T-AH 866) and provided a tour of one of the command's research laboratories Nov. 6.

"We were appreciative of the opportunity to host medical staff from Peace Ark and participate in this cooperative exchange of medical and health information while building mutual understanding," said Simmons.

Staff from NHCR showcased advanced diagnosis and rehabilitation research for wounded service members with musculoskeletal injuries. Personnel from the Peace Ark were able to see the Computer Assisted Rehabilitation Environment (CAREN), which is used to support patients with traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) undergoing vestibular therapy and help lower extremity amputees adapt to prosthetics, reduce falls, and gain full mobility.

CAREN technology incorporates motion capture cameras, a large curved screen with video projectors, surround sound, an integrated scent system, and a motion platform that combine to create an immersive virtual environment. Several Peace Ark personnel experienced the CAREN for themselves as tried the CAREN's virtual boating scenario that simulates a moving boat.

NHRC's sleep lab was also a focus of the visit with staff discussing their work to use, expand, and improve commercially available technology for sleep diagnostics. Peace Ark staff learned about research to extend the capabilities of a smart textile shirt to detect the different sleep stages as well as sleep disorders. NHRC partners with staff at the Naval Medical Center San Diego to conduct sleep studies aimed at early identification of sleep disorders and improving the quality of service members' sleep.

"The doctors and nurses from the Peace Ark were very engaged with our staff," said Simmons. "This was an excellent learning opportunity and our researchers are always happy to share their expertise in clinical and health research and development."

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.

For more news from Naval Health Research Center, visit https://www.navy.mil/local/nhrc/.

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