IDF, US Army seek to coordinate medical-military R&D

Possible joint projects include freeze-dry blood technology for battlefield transfusions and diagnostic tool for post-traumatic stress disorder.

Lab 311 (photo credit: Bloomberg)
Lab 311
(photo credit: Bloomberg)
The IDF Medical Corps and the US Army Medical Research and Materiel Command held a joint seminar in Israel last week aimed at coordinating research and development efforts in new military-medical fields.
The workshops have been ongoing for 30 years and are held one year in Israel and the next year in the US. The US delegation comprised of 70 officers, including Maj.-Gen. James Gilman, head of the US Army Medical Research and Materiel Command.
IDF sources said it was possible the seminar would lead to the receipt of US funding for ongoing Israeli research projects such as a freeze-dry blood technology that will enable soldiers to carry a unit of their blood into a battlefield and hook up to it intravenously if wounded.
Development of the technology is currently being spearheaded by an Israeli biotech company, which has succeeded in drying the blood and vacuum-packing it. It is still conducting tests to locate the exact fluid needed for mixing with dry blood to turn it into liquid form.
Discussions were also held on the challenge of diagnosing soldiers with post-trauma stress disorder (PTSD). The IDF Medical Corps presented the US delegation with the results of a study conducted recently together with Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv which showed that a Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) – a type of specialized MRI scan which measures neural activity – could be an effective tool in diagnosing and treating PTSD.
During the study, the Medical Corps showed soldiers, selected as potential candidates to suffer from PTSD, different pictures – some combat-related – while they were connected to an fMRI to stimulate them and see how their brains responded.