Military science involves more than developing bullets and bombs. In fact, some of the biggest adversaries that our soldiers face are everyday challenges, like exhaustion, heat, and noise, to which solutions must be as meticulously developed as with weaponry. Mary Roach, author of Grunt: The Curious Science of Humans at War, explains more about her look into the unexpected side of military research.
Roach explored the multitude of products developed for military personnel, which seek to solve problems ranging from excessive sweat to hearing loss and everything in between. She found that military science is constantly developing, because as we make one improvement, the enemy adjusts, leading to yet another improvement, and so the cycle continues. Every uniform is tailored to the soldier’s needs, and everything they wear, carry, and even eat has been designed to be practical, as well as lightweight and comfortable. Many different technologies must work harmoniously and be weighed with the needs of the soldiers.
While her book covers several fascinating military developments, one of the most important is the technology military scientists have developed to prevent hearing loss — the number one expenditure for the Veteran Affairs Department when the soldiers return. While earplugs are effective in dampening noise, they also hinder communication. So, scientists have developed the Tactical Communication and Protection System, which quiets loud noise and amplifies quiet noise.
To learn more about military science or to purchase a copy of Roach’s book, visit the links below.
Mary Roach, author of Grunt: The Curious Science of Humans at War
Most people have seen sci-fi shows and films like Star Wars and Star Trek, and been amused by the imagined technology used by these beings. Dr. Basil Harris, emergency physician at Lankenau Medical Center and founder of Final Frontier Medical Devices, took this inspiration one step further by actually creating one of these devices. His machine called DxtER is similar to the Tricorder from Star Trek; it is a non-invasive remote medical diagnostic technology.
With this device, patients are given a whole new way to measure their health. Part of the appeal of DxtER is the non-invasiveness of the technology. Dr. Basil explains that the iPad based technology is packed with sensors that can measure vitals in the body, like blood pressure, without having to use a cuff or other external objects to test the patient. Not only is the device capable of picking up on vitals, it can also provide the user with a diagnosis based off of their symptoms. It uses artificial intelligence in order to incorporate the doctor into the system.
However, Dr. Harris does not believe that the device calls for the elimination of doctors entirely. He explains that DxtER was created as a tool that can help people work with their providers more efficiently. But before this device can be made common in household first aid kits, it must be FDA approved which Dr. Harris expects to be a slow process that could take from five to ten years. With many emerging technologies in healthcare, devices like DxtER must work to gain the trust of the public.
Dr. Basil Harris, emergency physician at Lankenau Medical Center and founder of Final Frontier Medical Devices
Smartphones have become ubiquitous among those in their teens and older, but there is no consensus on when children should first get a phone. Experts discuss dangers and cautions, and how parents can decide when the time is right for their kids to “get connected.”
Dr. Yalda Uhls, Assistant Professor of Psychology, UCLA and author, Media Moms and Digital Dads
Dr. Richard Freed, child and adolescent psychologist and author, Wired Child: Reclaiming Childhood in a Digital Age
Brooke Shannon, founder, Wait Until 8th
Dr. Scott Campbell, Professor of Telecommunications, University of Michigan
Addiction has become undoubtedly entangled in modern American society. Whether it’s gambling, food, sex, technology, alcohol or drugs, the deadly disease hijacks the human brain with severe ramifications. Recent eruptions in the number of opiate addicts and overdoses has shined an even brighter spotlight on this critical public health issue.
There is an inclination to equate addiction to a moral failing, lack of willpower, or simply bad judgment. Dr. Rita Goldstein, Professor of Psychiatry and Neuroscience at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, explains that due to our ‘evolutionary legacy,’ the reward center in the brain is designed to make us feel good when we do things like eat food or have sex. Yet, with prolonged addiction, a chemical imbalance occurs, and as a result, the reward center takes priority over rational thinking or the threat of negative consequence. When addictive behavior is continually reinforced, further imbalance occurs, weakening the part of the brain meant to counterbalance impulsive behavior.
The good news; Dr. Anna Rose Childress, Research Professor of Psychology in Psychiatry at the Pennsylvania School of Medicine, observes that with abstinence, with or without the use of medications for recovering addicts, the brain can begin rewiring pathways created in the midst of addiction. The road to recovery is not yet paved in the golden promise of a cure, but understanding the biology of addiction is a critical component of treating the disease.
Dr. Rita Goldstein, Professor of Psychiatry and Neuroscience, Icahn School of Medicine at Mt. Sinai, New York
Dr. Anna Rose Childress, Research Professor of Psychology in Psychiatry, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
Most people think of military science in terms of defeating the forces of the other side. But it also involves keeping our troops sheltered, clothed and fed, as well as protected from adversaries like exhaustion, infection, heat and noise. A noted investigative journalist explains the less well known side of military research.
When doctors can take advantage of massive amounts of data on patient outcomes, lives will be saved. We look at one of the first efforts, an attempt to associate dangerous drug interactions, and the difficulty in convincing other doctors that “crunching numbers” can provide adequate proof. A researcher and reporter involved in the case explain.
Synopsis: Digital technology has revolutionized many industries, but medicine has lagged behind. One of the nation’s most influential doctors discusses why the shift hasn’t occurred yet, what the consequences are, and what it will take to bring health care technology to its full potential.
Host: Reed Pence. Guest: Dr. Robert Wachter, Professor. and Associate Chairman, Department of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco and author, The Digital Doctor: Hope, Hype and Harm at the Dawn of Medicine’s Computer Age