2024 MHSRS Abstract-driven Breakout Sessions

MHSRS 2024 Focus Area
Warfighter Medical Readiness
Breakout Session Topic Area Session Description
Women’s Health and Readiness: Health Focused Updates Women's Health Abstracts should address: 1) Convenient and timely reproductive health care for Active-Duty Service Women (ADSW), particularly in deployed and training environments, 2) Understanding ADSW's mental health issues that may impact return to duty, and 3) Equipping ADSW with knowledge and resources to understand common women’s health issues
Military Female Health Research Aimed at Overcoming the Challenges and Barriers Impacting Optimal Warfighter Performance & Operational Readiness Women's Health While female warfighters now serve directly in all military roles, they are not being equipped to deal with real sex-related health challenges they face. Additionally, these sex-specific health challenges are a significant and often invisible barrier to promoting and maximizing comprehensive integration and long-term participation in military service. This session will include research informing evidence-based integration of women into military combat roles for the purpose of optimizing performance, increasing lethality, and extending operational lifespan while maintaining quality of life.
Strategies for Mitigating the Development of Post-traumatic Wound Infections with Multi-drug Resistant Organisms across the Continuum of Care Infectious Disease Prevention and Treatment Abstracts should address 1. Work examining the primary pathogen etiology of post-traumatic, and blast related wound infection in the pre-hospital space with a focus on variations across GCC. 2. Real-time assessment of infection reduction strategies and clinical practice guideline compliance. 3. Work examining the post-traumatic and blast related progression from colonization to infection to sepsis, to include wound surveillance, analytic epidemiology from the theater of operations. 4. Work examining novel strategies for wound management, wound infection prevention and prophylactic antibiotic administration in theater and throughout the evacuation process. 5. Work examining novel strategies for decontamination of MEDEVAC platforms and medical treatment capabilities IOT mitigate infection.
Update in Emerging Infectious Diseases of Military Importance: Predicting and Preventing Future Outbreaks in Military Settings Infectious Disease Prevention and Treatment Abstracts should address: 1. Capabilities or studies which advance rapid detection or prediction of emerging infectious disease (EID) outbreaks of military importance AND/OR 2. Evaluations of pharmaceutical or non-pharmaceutical countermeasures to prevent or mitigate EID outbreaks in military settings, AND/OR 3. Other related studies on the epidemiology, surveillance, immunology, treatment, prevention or technologic advances that address EID of military importance, including those of pandemic potential.
New Approach Methodologies and Novel In Vivo Models for the Development of Infectious Disease Countermeasures Infectious Disease Prevention and Treatment Abstracts submitted to this session should address one or more of the following topics: 1) use of new approach methodologies (NAM), such as Organ Tissue Equivalents (OTE)s, to establish exposure models for infectious diseases; 2) development of novel in vivo models for infectious diseases; 3) validation and characterization of NAMs using appropriate, established in vivo models; and 4) use of NAMs and novel in vivo models to evaluate therapeutics, countermeasures, or other intervention strategies to mitigate adverse health effects from infectious diseases.
An Ounce of Prevention: Next Generation Vaccines and Passive Immunoprophylaxis to Enhance Warfighter Readiness Infectious Disease Prevention and Treatment Abstracts should address: (1) New passive immunoprophylaxis approaches to the prevention of infectious diseases, including monoclonal antibody candidates 2) Design and evaluation of new vaccine antigens 3) Novel vaccine platforms for vaccine delivery, including mRNA and adjuvants.
Operational Whole Genome Sequencing Infectious Disease Prevention and Treatment Abstracts should address: Studies employing sequencing equipment in an operational context, Ease of conducting operational WGS, Limitations of operational WGS, Use of data.
Non-traditional Treatments and Delivery strategies for Wound infections and Sepsis Infectious Disease Prevention and Treatment Abstracts should address: 1. Countermeasure approaches for bacterial and fungal infections that exclude traditional small molecules and include monoclonal antibodies, bacteriophage, antimicrobial peptides or peptoids, antibiotic adjuvants, and other novel approaches. 2. Countermeasure approaches for sepsis that either target the pathogen or modulate the host immune system. 3. Novel therapeutic delivery strategies (hydrogels, gels, creams, etc.)
Moving the Needle on Preventing Harmful Behaviors in the Military Community – Implementing Cross Agency Research Priorities – Current and Future State Psychological Health and Resilience Integrated primary prevention of harmful behaviors and delivery of cross cutting psychological health interventions that are equitable and culturally sensitive to the communities of interest have been highlighted as research priorities by the Military Services and other Federal Agencies. This session will feature research studies that advance knowledge in promoting psychological health, and readiness of Military community by positively impacting multiple behavioral and psychological health threats. Abstracts that include integrative preventive approaches and interventions focused on mitigation of violent, abusive, and other harmful behaviors are solicited. Outcomes of interest include but are not limited to (1) Alcohol and substance use, misuse, and disorders, (2) Domestic abuse/Intimate partner violence, (3) Harassment (e.g., gender or racial discrimination, ostracism, retaliation), (4) Sexual violence, and (5) Self-directed injury.
Warfighter Operational Resilience: Next Generation Programs to Sustain Performance under Fire Psychological Health and Resilience Operational resilience is critical to sustaining combat power and prevailing in large-scale conflicts against a near-peer adversary. Given the various definitions of resilience that apply to different contexts, a distinction must be made for resilience to psychological stressors that impact combat effectiveness at the point of need from resilience to prolonged exposures that impact well-being over time. Next generation resilience training programs must develop warfighters who can overcome the psychological threats of combat in real time and to sustain performance. Competitive abstracts for this breakout session will (1) summarize current approaches to developing operational resilience; (2) address challenges with implementing and sustaining the effectiveness of resilience programs; (3) showcase unique methodologies to measure, assess, and evaluate operational resilience and performance.
Advances in Diagnosis of TBI: Biomarkers and Beyond Psychological Health and Resilience The purpose of this session is to describe emerging research on promising diagnostic tools for TBI with near to mid-term potential for application in relevant environments across the continuum of care. The abstracts submitted should: (1) describe biomarkers that can be utilized for either diagnosis, prognosis, return to duty decision, or assessment of efficacy of rehabilitation strategies following TBI; (2) describe any technologies, novel approaches (e.g., data-science driven approaches and multiomics research), as well as their intended use setting; (3) highlight the use of artificial intelligence/machine learning in precision-medicine approaches to TBI diagnostics. Biomarker and other diagnostic candidates at a nascent stage of development (e.g., currently being studied in preclinical models of TBI) with less direct potential for application to the warfighter will not be discussed.
Military Family Health and Readiness: Understanding the Interdependence of the Military Family System Psychological Health and Resilience This breakout session will focus on research from a family systems perspective and emphasize the interdependence of the warfighter and the family. Sessions should explore the extent to which military life stress and the impact of military operational tempo and exposures on the service member affect military affiliated spouses and children, as well as exploring the influence of military family life stressors and military family well-being on service member readiness, resilience, and retention.
The Mental and Behavioral Health Manifestations of Anger Psychological Health and Resilience Large survey studies have found that problematic anger is prevalent among military service members and veterans. Anger is frequently comorbid with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and a history of anger attacks is predictive of persistent PTSD and of new onset depression, anxiety, substance use, and suicidality. Nonetheless, there are no known military health guidelines for treating anger in service members and veterans. Abstracts submitted to this session should address any of the following topics: (1) the relationship between anger and suicidality and mental health disorders; (2) the relationship between anger and adverse behaviors, including excessive alcohol intake, interpersonal violence, and risk taking; (3) the development and assessment of screening tools and early intervention strategies that address anger symptoms; and (4) treatment approaches that directly address anger in primary or specialty care.
Solutions Addressing Behavioral Health Clinician Shortage - Leveraging Telebehavioral Health Psychological Health and Resilience Navigating the national shortage of behavioral health providers demands solutions that provide efficient alternative care delivery options reducing burden on specialty providers. Research abstracts that identify and determine effective digital solutions to protect and/or restore psychological health of Service members and health care personnel are solicited for this session. Topics of interest include 1) technological solutions for early and reliable risk screening and monitoring, 2) rapid assessment tools and tailored recommendations for leaders to address emerging risks to behavioral health, 3) digital treatment solutions including treatment approaches, apps and/or devices towards health promotion 4) early secondary prevention solutions , improved triage and promote recovery and 5) research that evaluates and improves the safety, effectiveness, usability, accessibility, and scalability of existing digital mental health interventions.
Big Data and Machine Learning for Full Spectrum Military Health Readiness, Performance and Care Medical Artificial Intelligence, Automation, and Decision Support / Predictive Analytics Abstracts should address (1) The use of large datasets to examine military health related factors (e.g., psychological health, en route care, ROI, skills training, occupational exposure, musculoskeletal injury, women's health, etc.); (2) ML or analytical methods; (3) data sources, (4) infrastructure, (5) validation and supporting data
Applications of Artificial Intelligence in Psychological Disorders Medical Artificial Intelligence, Automation, and Decision Support / Predictive Analytics Abstract should address: 1. pioneering AI methodologies for advancing our understanding of psychological disorders. 2. improving patient outcomes or enhancing mental health care through AI applications. 3. emphasize the practical feasibility of AI approaches for psychological disorders research, with consideration of data privacy
Force Health Protection: Operational Exposure Research and Predictive Risk Methods Occupational & Operational Exposures Service members are frequently exposed to unique, complex, and potentially hazardous occupational and operational environments. The abstract should address research dealing with occupational/operational threats to service member health protection using toxicological principles, exposure science, and applied scientific approaches. This is NOT a CBRN or COVID-related session. Abstracts should focus on 1) determining adverse molecular and cellular responses associated with occupational/operational exposures; 2) assessing occupational/operational exposures using new approaches; 3) computational modeling of biologic systems to further risk prediction and chemical risk assessment tools.
Military Exposures and Subsequent Long-term Outcomes Occupational & Operational Exposures Abstracts submitted to this session should address one or more of the following topics: 1) logistical challenges to the consolidation of DoD and VA data sources for studying long-term outcomes after military exposures. 2) Studies examining the impact of military exposures on chronic medical conditions (including, but not limited to, heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, and cancer). 3) Studies of military exposures and mental health outcomes.
Military Injury Biomechanics for the Prevention of Behind Helmet and Behind Armor Blunt Trauma Injury Prevention Service Members (SMs) are equipped with helmets and body armor to prevent penetrating injuries. While protected from penetrating injuries, SMs remain at risk of head and torso injury caused by impacts between the head and body and the deforming back-face of the protective helmet and armor. Abstracts describing medical research into the prevention of SM injuries from Behind Helmet and Behind Armor Blunt Trauma (BHBT and BABT) are sought for this session. Abstracts should address any of the following topics: (1) Epidemiology of operational BHBT or BABT injury; (2) Injury biomechanics of the head and torso injury from BHBT and/or BABT; or (3) human tolerance to BHBT and/or BABT.
Directed Energy Health Effects Research for the Warfighter Directed Energy Health Effects Research for the Warfighter Directed Energy Weapons have become important tools in the force continuum, with capabilities including intermediate-force and counter systems applications. Health research characterizing DE injuries and informing medical countermeasures to the effects of DE exposures (non-ionizing, modulated acoustic) provides medics with reassurance for management of injuries from what has been historically low collateral damage capabilities. DE injury models are unique (wavelength-dependent, non-kinetic, non-pharmacologic) and require specialized technical capabilities to characterize injuries and develop effective medical countermeasures. Abstracts submitted to this session should expand upon existing research that informs DE health effects parameterization and the consequences of exposures to known DE weapons and/or systems (DoD and/or adversarial), with research findings supporting health readiness solutions. Topics should address efforts to improve understanding of DE injury modeling, task performance impact, detection & diagnosis of DE injuries, treatment & management of wounds (physical & behavioral) from DE exposure and Force Health Protection measures. Abstract submissions must be accompanied by a Distribution-A approval statement from submitting organization’s Public Affairs Office. Enter this approval statement in the Disclaimer portion of the Abstract Submission Form.
Novel Treatments, Strategies and Technologies in Hearing and Balance Health Sensory Systems This session will focus on the warfighter readiness impact and mitigation of prevent and treatment of auditory and vestibular dysfunction. Abstracts should address 1. Research that demonstrations the operational effects of auditory and vestibular dysfunction on warfighter readiness (can include epidemiological, functional, and psychological effects); 2. Innovations in measurement and mitigation of exposures that cause auditory/vestibular injuries; 3. Return to duty considerations in this population, which can include advances in evaluation and pharmaceutical or medical device innovations in neurosensory injury treatment focusing on auditory and vestibular injuries. Abstracts submitted should address: 1) Innovation strategy for the injury prevention; 2) Novel technology for restoration and treatment 3) Pharmaceutical Intervention or medical devices as the injury treatment solution
Exertional Heat Stroke: What's New in Prevention, Management and Return to Duty Physiological Status Abstracts should address research and strategies being utilized to mitigate exertional heat stroke (EHS) and improve readiness in the following domains: 1. identification of risk and implementation of prevention of EHS; 2. current novel evidence-based approaches for the management of EHS; and 3. current research efforts to optimize expeditious return to duty decisions
Genetic Readiness of the Force: Genetics and Integrative Omics for Optimizing Warfighter Health and Performance Physiological Status Abstract should address: 1. Integration of advanced technologies for predicting and optimizing warfighter's performance, including integrative omics, physiological status monitoring and performance enhancement in austere environments. 2. Utilization of data on known and projected rates of genetic conditions impacting military medical readiness, incorporating ACMG secondary findings to assess risks and optimize personnel readiness. 3. Ongoing programs in the Department of Defense identifying known genetic medical readiness risks and implementing strategies to address them.
Experimentation – Beyond the Bench For the DOD, “experimentation” doesn’t just mean bench research; experimentation includes integrating technologies into an event to assess unknown effects of manipulating proposed warfighting concepts, technologies, or conditions. For example, can we use telemedicine for prolonged care, AND what does it mean for the medic and the network? Experimentation is critical to delivering new products to the Warfighter, but when should you experiment with a prototype or product in an exercise? How do you get your product included in experimentation? This session will offer information and real-world examples, including the following topics: (1) How field experimentation generates requirements and drives changes in training, policy, etc.; (2) Early user feedback for product development; (3) Examples from recent experimentation/exercises (experience, value, lessons learned)
From Theory to Practice: Transitioning S&T Findings into Actionable Knowledge This session will explore the process of turning Science and Technology (S&T) research into new policies and guidelines for the Department of Defense. Abstracts should address: The importance of S&T research in driving innovation and growth in the DoD. The challenges of implementing S&T research in real-world scenarios. Strategies for overcoming these challenges and turning S&T research into new policies and guidelines. Case studies of successful implementation of S&T research in various areas of the DoD.
MHSRS 2024 Focus Area
Expeditionary Medicine
Breakout Session Topic Area Session Description
Lessons Learned from Current Conflicts in Ukraine and Israel to Improve Combat Casualty Care Strategies Forward Surgical Care/Prolonged Care Ongoing conflicts in Europe and the Middle East provide unique opportunities to learn from experiences in managing casualties from peer-to-peer combat and conflict in dense urban areas. A better understanding of the different types and rates of battlefield injuries in these scenarios, difficulties with TCCC, triage, diagnosis, patient movement, logistical resupply, and provision of prolonged care are among the critical lessons to be learned from combat casualty care providers working in these conflicts. Abstracts should describe current research efforts related to these ongoing conflicts.
Innovative Technologies and Devices for Treatment of Battlefield Wounds in Prolonged Care to Prevent Infection Forward Surgical Care/Prolonged Care Lack of medical solutions to treat and manage acute wounds in prolong care settings may lead to drug resistant infections, increased sepsis, amputation, or death. This session will discuss technologies addressing far forward wound care solutions and devices to deliver treatments in the setting of prolonged care. Abstracts should address: 1) An understanding of current wound infection prevention, treatment, and management strategies; 2) Description of innovative and novel technologies (gel, foam, bandage, pharmaceutical, etc.) to treat battlefield wounds in prolonged care settings; 3) Demonstration of mechanism of action in appropriate models; 4) Discussion will include intended Role of Care and feasibility of use by providers.
Advances in Life Saving Interventions at Point of Injury and in Prolonged Care Forward Surgical Care/Prolonged Care The purpose of this session is to present innovative research on materiel solutions to enable critical care and casualty management capabilities to be moved closer to the point of need to decrease mortality and morbidity during prolonged care scenarios. Prolonged care is inclusive of prehospital field care, austere/resource limited environments, and in theatre hospital environments due to delayed evacuation. Areas of interest include novel technologies for damage control and combat surgical care in a forward environment, solutions to prevent and treat secondary injury and acute treatment sequelae, and prolonged casualty management. Abstracts should articulate how solutions would improve casualty care outcomes, specifically when evacuation is delayed or unavailable, or in resource limited environments.
Trauma Resuscitation and Critical Care on the Future Battlefield Forward Surgical Care/Prolonged Care Effective lifesaving interventions and training are vital to warfighter morale as well as survival. This session will focus on advances in early trauma resuscitation, austere surgical care, and trauma team training, in particular training linked to real-world outcomes with cutting edge training advances with innovative outcome research. Abstracts should address studies on advances in early trauma resuscitation and austere surgical care, research on timing and capabilities in forward resuscitative and trauma care, and outcomes-based research on trauma team training from point of injury care to surgical team training. Analysis should focus on epidemiologic and real-world training and battlefield data. The first part of this session will focus on general trauma on the battlefield, with the second part of the session focusing on MASCAL capabilities, readiness, and advances that can aid in life support during MASCAL events.
Clinical Studies to Advance Combat Casualty Care Forward Surgical Care/Prolonged Care The purpose of this session is to provide latest information on current ongoing clinical studies and trials that will provide knowledge or a materiel product(s) that will advance the field of combat casualty care. Abstracts should address: 1. The area of combat casualty care that will be improved by the study. 2. The research strategy of the clinical study or clinical trial to include discussion of the intervention, if applicable. 3. How the study population relates to military cohorts. 4. Next steps to advance the results from the study. Abstracts only addressing preclinical studies will NOT be considered.
Organ Support in Trauma Forward Surgical Care/Prolonged Care Combat scenarios spanning multi domain operations will result in a multifaceted future battlefield resulting in complex injury patterns. Exacerbated by evacuation delays, multi-organ dysfunction (MOD) is likely to follow the combination of mechanical trauma, thermal injury, and/or CBRN. There is limited information on these injury patterns and the novel strategies to treat them. Abstracts submitted to this session should address: 1) Studies on the pathophysiology of MOD (e.g., acute kidney injury, acute respiratory distress syndrome) in polytrauma; 2) Animal and human research aimed at diagnosing, preventing, mitigating, or treating MOD; 3) Training and sustainment platforms for clinicians utilizing organ support in trauma.
Treating Refractory Hypoxemia on the Battlefield: What Does the Future Hold? Forward Surgical Care/Prolonged Care Acute lung injury (ALI)/acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS)-induced refractory hypoxemia poses a serious medical threat to our troops, particularly in a resource-limited combat setting where evacuation capability is delayed. Whether the cause is related to direct lung injury, pulmonary exposure to chemical and/or biological warfare agents, respiratory complications of traumatic injury, or severe respiratory pathogens, the notable lack of definitive treatment(s) for refractory hypoxemia should motivate clinicians and scientists to aggressively seek novel therapeutics to repair the lungs and/or improved adjunctive therapies to facilitate gas exchange as the lungs heal. This session includes an array of oral presentations followed by a panel discussion where presenters will discuss, compare, and contrast various treatment modalities under development for ALI/ARDS-induced refractory hypoxemia. Abstracts should describe: 1.) Research demonstrating the effectiveness of a select ALI/ARDS treatment modality (ex: novel therapeutics, ECMO, mechanical ventilation strategies, etc.); 2.) The feasibility of bringing the selected treatment modality into a military theater of operations (Roles 1, 2, or 3); 3.) How your treatment modality promises an improvement over existing ALI/ARDS treatment strategies; 4.) Whether your selected treatment modality is ready for human use, and if not, how close is it to testing in humans NOTE: Oral presenters must be willing to participate in a panel discussion
Far Forward Battlefield Diagnostic Imaging Forward Surgical/Prolonged Care While computed tomography imaging has long been the standard of care in civilian trauma management, the unavailability of easily employable, accurate diagnostic imaging remains a significant gap for combat casualties in austere, operational environments forward of Role 3. Accurate diagnosis of traumatic injuries is imperative for the effective management of casualties the enduring prolonged care (PC) and en route care (ERC) scenarios that are likely in multidomain operations. This session targets abstracts that focus on 1) emerging imaging technologies that can improve diagnostic accuracy or care in austere PC/ERC environments, 2) the potential for artificial intelligence to enhance diagnostic accuracy for field-deployable diagnostic imaging systems, or 3) studies demonstrating forward-deployed medical personnel performance when leveraging current or emerging diagnostic imaging technologies.
Central Role of Dental Care in Military Readiness, Operational Deployment, In-Theater Care, Post-Injury Reconstruction, and Warfighter Rehabilitation Forward Surgical Care/Prolonged Care Sustained dental health is central to operational readiness and the successful projection of combat power. Improved interventions are needed to keep Warfighters in the battle space and ensure timely return-to-duty. Abstracts should address one or more of the following: (1) Impact of dental care upon Warfighter readiness; (2) Techniques, technologies, and materials that enhance treatment outcomes and extend treatment capabilities to forward-deployed locations; (3) Smart, ruggedized technologies to improve dental imaging and diagnostic accuracy leveraging artificial intelligence; (4) Pre-deployment imaging/mapping (3-D imaging, photogrammetry, ultrasound) to support maxillofacial care, reconstruction, and rehabilitation; (5) Advances in dental and maxillofacial care with significant post-deployment/post-injury ramifications.
Protecting the Warfighter from Nuclear Threats: Acute Radiation Syndrome and Radiation Polytrauma Forward Surgical Care/Prolonged Care U.S. forces and our allies face the threat of radiation exposure resulting from nuclear weapons use. Exposure to acute levels of radiation leads to multi-organ dysfunction known as acute radiation syndrome (ARS). While current FDA-approved treatments address some effects of ARS, there are no FDA-approved pre-exposure prophylaxes to protect against radiation exposure. In addition to ARS, radiation injuries are likely to occur in the presence of other traumatic injuries. Abstracts for this session should address: 1. approaches to develop medical countermeasures that will provide the Joint Force with safe and effective prophylaxis or therapeutics to ensure survival, decrease morbidity, and enable continued operations during Joint All Domain Operations; 2. Biodosimetry approaches and methods; 3. Animal models to study the types of trauma associated with radiation exposure; 4. Pathological and physiological differences between trauma due to a single; source, polytrauma, and radiation polytrauma; 5. Approaches to prevent, mitigate, triage, or treat radiation polytrauma; 6. Combined and complementary modalities to prevent, mitigate, or treat radiation polytrauma.
Casualty Care During Multi-Domain Operations, Large Scale Combat Operations, and Prolonged Care Advanced Decision Support and Automation Technologies Abstracts should address topics related to advanced medical technologies (decision support for automation, robotics, artificial intelligence in autonomous systems, machine learning, etc.) for assisting medical personnel operating in current and future multi-domain battlefields, during large scale combat operations, in prolonged care settings, or in military environments that would benefit from autonomous AI-enabled healthcare. Topics should focus on the use of these technologies to address capability gaps for automated management and care of trauma/critical care casualties in these environments including mass casualty situations, dense urban environments, austere and resource constrained environments, advanced/intelligent casualty triage, and advanced patient evacuation and movement. Topics include the use of decision support and artificial intelligence technologies to assist providers in better diagnosis and management of critical care patients, advanced automated systems (open and closed loop) to deliver medical care, medical robotic technologies to support damage control surgical interventions, unmanned systems for casualty care management and evacuation, and technologies to optimize medical logistics associated with combat casualty care in the battlefield. Topics can also include technologies that provide for better interactions between users and computers/robots (man-machine teaming), advanced machine-vision technologies for the critical care environment, AI guided image acquisition, approaches and next steps for product development in this field, and approaches for integration and compatibility with JOMIS.
Severe Burn Injury: Strategies to Accelerate Casualty Functional Recovery Burn Management Presented abstracts will highlight clinical and/or preclinical studies in burn injury models supporting development of easy-to-use, acute interventions to actively accelerate healing after burn trauma, and/or prevent burn injury worsening, including when evacuation to definitive care is delayed. Session focus is agnostic of burn injury mechanism [thermal (heat, cold); non-thermal (e.g., non-ionizing radiation, chemical, electrical)] and the organ/system studied (e.g., skin, lung, immune or inflammatory response, vasculature, gut), except that reports showing only antimicrobial activity will not be considered. Of particular interest are safety and effectiveness/efficacy data for novel or repurposed FDA-cleared products, or methods demonstrated to preserve, repair, and/or recover essential functions of burn damaged tissues and/or restore normal regulation of systems dysregulated by burn injury. Treatments that are amenable to acute administration in austere, dynamic, prehospital environments and mass casualty scenarios by providers of all skill levels are especially sought.
Challenges and Opportunities of High Volume, Prolonged Medical Mobility and CASEVAC During Large Scale Combat Operations En Route Care Abstracts should address provider skills and performance limitations during prolonged en route care under conditions of vibration, acceleration, altitude, and extreme environments and how to optimize CASEVAC mobility of high-volume casualties to enhance agility and prolonged survivability. Abstracts should focus on (1) Indications for CASEVAC critical intervention (e.g. critical use cases), (2) Emerging solutions that enhance CASEVAC capabilities and/or optimize en route provider task performance, (3) Platform/medical team limitations and environment characteristics (i.e. temperature, pressure, vibration, etc.) which would hinder agility and survivability, (4) Technology and/or knowledge solutions that can facilitate overcoming platform and provider performance limitations, and (5) Support and associated requirements (e.g. materiel or supplies) for critical use cases.
Implementation of Evidence-based Pain Management Practices in the MHS Pain Management Minimizing the impact of pain on Warfighter performance relies on effective treatment and management of pain with evidenced based interventions tailored to the appropriate operational environment and stage of pain and promote return to duty and/or prevent performance degradation. Implementation of evidence-based practices in research settings into wider clinical practice in the MHS remains a challenge for all timescales of pain (acute through chronic). Abstracts should address research focused on translation of evidence-based pain management interventions into clinical practice in the MHS such as complementary integrative health strategies, multi-modal approaches, and novel pain management therapies that do not degrade Warfighter performance. Implementation science and comparative effectiveness research and pragmatic trials in military populations to address pain in varying environments and levels of care are encouraged.
Advances in Blast Polytrauma: Implications to Warfighter Function and Combat Casualty Care Blast The purpose of this session is to present innovative preclinical and clinical research to better understand the underlying biomechanical mechanisms and pathophysiology associated with assorted complex blast polytraumas. Investigative conditions may include (but are not limited to) a combination of blast-related traumatic brain injury(ies), peripheral neurotrauma, pulmonary barotrauma, tissue avulsions, burns, traumatic amputations, hemorrhage, and sensory organ damage/dysfunction). Abstracts should address: 1. Blast polytrauma effects on normal physiology, behavior, and/or mortality; 2. Implications to warfighter function, combat casualty care, and lethality; 3. Potential pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic intervention strategies
TBI Management: Epidemiology and Down Range Management Traumatic Brain Injury Diagnosis and Treatment The purpose of this session is to present the epidemiology and management of Traumatic Brain Injuries in forward environments from mild to severe in nature. Abstracts should address the epidemiology and management of TBI’s ranging from mild to severe down range, early treatment, prolonged care in combat (or delayed evacuation situations), return to duty, and readiness.
Novel Strategies for Treatment of Shock or Blood Failure: Blood and Blood Products Hemorrhage Control/Blood Products Abstracts should address: (1) Shock mitigation strategies, (2) Hemostasis and Coagulopathy, (3) Current and new directions of blood and blood products for treatment of shock-related trauma.
Remote Damage Control Resuscitation (RDCR): Innovations to prolong the "Golden Hour" Hemorrhage Control/Blood Products This breakout session focuses on new developments in far-forward, initial resuscitation and prolonged care for casualties at risk for hemorrhagic shock and noncompressible hemorrhage, to include new technologies and TTP‘s for contingency blood transfusion, identification of casualties at risk for development of coagulopathy, emerging monitoring and documentation devices to support prehospital casualty care, and educational interventions to support the remote damage control resuscitation paradigm.
Technologies for the Treatment of Battlefield Hemorrhage and Management of Vascular Dysfunction Hemorrhage Control/Blood Products The purpose of this session is to present innovative preclinical and clinical research to enable critical care and casualty management capabilities for the treatment of battlefield hemorrhage and associated vascular dysfunction. Abstracts should focus on hemorrhage control using hemostatic materiel solutions, to include drugs that protect from the onset of vascular dysfunction. Specifically, they should (1) Define the need for hemostatic products in a military-relevant setting (i.e., epidemiological data, justification for use in prolonged field care settings), (2) show the safety & effectiveness for hemostatic products in controlling blood loss (i.e., preclinical, clinical data, real world evidence to inform clinical practice guidelines), (3) Define current and novel hemostatic products that take advantage of physiological factors to direct and optimize their use in combat casualty care, (4) Define mechanism and novel drugs that target components of the vascular and lymphatics to mitigate the onset of vascular dysfunction and tissue edema.
Cellular Therapeutics for Treatment of Shock and Trauma Hemorrhage Control/Blood Products Abstracts should address: (1) Cellular therapeutics for use in trauma indications, (2) Biology and mechanism of cellular therapeutics, (3) Current and new directions in cellular therapeutics, and (4) Cellular therapeutic processing, manufacturing, storage, and delivery.
4 Legged Warriors: Military Working Dogs at the Tip of the Spear Infectious Disease Prevention and Treatment & Occupational and Environmental Exposures Abstracts should address: 1. Infectious disease threats to military working dogs in CONUS/OCONUS deployed environments, 2. occupational exposures and illness by MWDs to include areas where they may serve as sentinels of human exposure events, 3. Hemorrhage and/or shock control treatments/products, 4. MWD decontamination techniques, tips, and/or products along with lessons learned
Global Health Engagement Research in Combatant Commands Global Health Engagement Global health engagement research consists of programs and questions that involve interactions with our international partners. Abstracts should address defining these types of engagements, how they assist CCMDS in theater security cooperation, how they build capacity (whether US or partner nation), how they are measured for effectiveness and what the gaps in research are across CCMDs. This includes expeditionary laboratories, medical diplomacy, international partnerships, and disease surveillance and outbreak response.
MHSRS 2024 Focus Area
Warfighter Performance
Breakout Session Topic Area Session Description
Warfighter Brain Health: Advances in Optimizing and Sustaining Cognitive Performance Brain Health Abstracts should address: 1) Research aimed at informing cognitive baseline of military specific metrics (e.g., perception, attention, memory, executive control, decision-making, problem solving) 2)Research that informs best practices for maintaining and maximizing cognitive performance as it relates to operational performance 3) Neuromodulation technology (e.g., magnetic, electrical stimulation, infrared) for optimizing warfighter brain health to improve operational performance or aid in recovery from prolonged operations/injury.
Brain Impact of Sub concussive Blast Exposure in Military Service Members: Implications for Prevention and Health Blast Abstracts should address: 1. Delineation of thresholds at which sub concussive blast exposure (SCBE) has a measurable impact on the brain, particularly with repeat exposures; 2. Evidence that helps to better define which components of SCBE, such as peak impulse, peak blast overpressure, and cumulative blast overpressure, are most significant in determining brain impact; 3. Identification of outcome measures that most effectively document the impact of SCBE on brain function; and/or 4. Description of preventive efforts to mitigate the adverse impact of SCBE, particularly with repeat exposures.
Ocular Optimization:Before and After Injury Sensory System Vision is a critical component of warfighter function. Improving visual acuity, reducing the risk of vision loss from traumatic injury or illness, and enhancing visual recovery after injury will directly improve military force readiness. Abstracts for this session should address: 1. Epidemiology of combat eye injuries and illness; 2. Novel products or methods to prevent, mitigate, or stabilize combat eye injuries in the prehospital setting; 3. Innovative physiologic or functional diagnostic strategies for use in deployed or clinical setting; 4. Novel surgical, clinical, and rehabilitative approaches to enhance visual recovery, quality of life, and return to duty after ocular trauma.
Managing Fatigue in the DoD: Methodologies for Sleep and Circadian Measurement Physiological Status Fatigue and sleep deprivation is common in the military, and this impacts military performance and readiness. Abstracts submitted to this session should address: 1) physiological changes during fatigue and its impact on performance and readiness 2) Specific fatigue/sleep/circadian physiology measurement/biomarker approaches, to include validation (e.g., wearables) 3) Fatigue/sleep/circadian model approaches for identification of population stratification for intervention testing to improve management of sleep in the DoD.
Optimizing the Human Weapon System: Utilizing Wearable Sensors to Inform Readiness across the Joint Force Physiological Status Utilizing wearable technologies with implementation of data science will allow the DoD to think, learn, and analyze essential human performance (HP) and wellness data in an ecologically valid way. Abstracts submitted to this session will inform best practices for utilizing commercial wearable technologies to inform embedded research in a connected garrison environment or a disconnected operational environment.
Innovative Tools and Technologies for Pre-Predicting and Assessing Musculoskeletal Injuries of the Warfighter Musculoskeletal Injury Abstracts should address one or more of the following: 1. Devices and technologies being utilized for predicting and monitoring musculoskeletal injuries (MSKIs) and risk of injury in military personnel; 2. Strategies being employed for screening military personnel for MSKI risk based on demographic and military occupation data; 3. Analytical tools for predicting and preventing sustained MSKIs, understanding MSKI risk, or optimizing warfighter performance; and 4. Emerging opportunities for analysis of large datasets of relevant health and performance data related to MSKI risk using Artificial Intelligence (AI) and/or Machine Learning (ML) frameworks.
Human Performance Optimization in Polar Environments Human Performance Optimization Military operations performed in cold and high-altitude environments create operational challenges for warfighters. Exposure to extreme cold or high-altitude undermines performance and increases risk for cold-weather injuries or high-altitude illnesses, both of which compromise the health, readiness, and effectiveness of warfighters. Abstracts submitted to this session should address any of the following topics with a specific focus on extreme cold and/or high-altitude environments: (1) Sustaining physical and cognitive performance; (2) Injury and illness prevention, including physiological countermeasures; (3) Gear, clothing, and human factor limitations; (4) Medical treatment of cold-weather injuries and high-altitude illnesses; (5) Cold-water immersion and survivability; (6) Nutrition and Gut health; (7) Instrumentation.
Current Challenges in DoD Aerospace Medicine Human Performance Optimization The military aviation environment poses many challenges to the health and performance of aircraft crews and passengers; aircraft occupants must also be protected from the many physical and environmental hazards inherent in operational flying. Aerospace medicine practitioners are faced with a rapidly changing landscape consisting of fitness-for-duty regulations, options for maintaining or enhancing aircrew performance under extremely stressful conditions, and a variety of human-system interface problems related to new equipment–including helmets, displays, life support equipment, survival gear, and the aircraft itself. This panel will bring together aviation medicine professionals from around the DoD and internationally, to discuss the latest challenges and developments in this small field while illustrating its importance to the audience, as well as the broad range of clinical and operational challenges.
Undersea Operational Research Panel Human Performance Optimization The cognitive and physiological mission readiness, safety, and health of DoD Divers, SEALs, and submariners are critical to National Defense Strategy. We will discuss recent findings from several laboratories conducting assessment/mitigation RDT&E on important undersea medical and operational risks/challenges associated with diving, submarine operations, or distressed submarine escape/rescue, such as: 1) Undersea-specific effects/considerations of Arctic/Cold-water exposure; 2) Toxicity effects (e.g., excess O2/CO2, atmospheric/water contaminants); 3) Pressure effects (e.g., compression/decompression; diving at altitude); 4) Exertion effects (e.g., cognitive effects during strenuous diving); 5) Other effects revealed by studies of diver health risks/outcomes. Empirical and epidemiological findings will be presented concerning effects, readiness measures, predictive models, countermeasures, and technologies.
MHSRS 2024 Focus Area
Breakout Session Topic Area Session Description
Novel Interventions to Address Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in Service Members and Veterans Psychological Health and Resilience Since service members (SMs) and veterans with PTSD tend to have lower response rates than civilians, and currently available treatments are often unappealing and have high dropout rates, abstracts should address: 1. Results of research that assess novel therapies for PTSD, either alone or as adjuncts to current treatments; 2. Results of interventional trials in SMs or veterans with PTSD and common comorbid conditions such as TBI, depression, or alcohol use disorder; and/or 3. Documentation of the benefit of efforts to improve compliance and reduce dropout rates in the treatment of PTSD in SMs and veterans.
Assuaging Agony: Novel Pain Therapeutics Pain Management Currently available analgesics can often effectively treat battlefield pain, but they also carry significant risk of side effects. Specifically, these drugs can cause cognitive, motor, and cardiorespiratory dysfunction, as well as long term addiction and dependence. Drugs that do not induce these side effects are typically less effective, and incomplete analgesia can foster the chronification of pain. Therefore, novel analgesics, combined therapies, or complementary modalities are needed to adequately treat battlefield pain and minimize the short- and long-term risks associated with treatment. Abstracts should address: 1. Novel analgesics/anesthetics for acute pain management; 2. Novel approaches to prevent chronification of pain; 3. Approaches to reduce analgesia-induced; cognitive/motor deficits; 4. Combined and complementary modalities of analgesia.
Advances in Regenerative Medicine from Point of Injury to Definitive Care and Beyond Regenerative Medicine Abstracts should address regenerative medicine centric approaches and products that provide innovative and effective solutions to enhance functional outcomes following injury closer to the point of need. Solutions that can provide the framework for restoring form and function to combat casualties, including but not limited to: (1) Development and/or evaluation of regenerative medicine therapies which aim to facilitate improved functional outcomes following craniomaxillofacial, extremity, genitourinary, lower abdomen, and skin injuries; 2) Evaluation of adjunct therapies that might enhance the efficacy of a primary regenerative medicine intervention for the aforementioned conditions, or (3) Advances in clinical translation of regenerative medicine-based knowledge or materiel products.
Advancements in Prosthetic and Exoskeletal Technologies that Facilitate Return to Duty Following Neuromusculoskeletal Injuries Neuromusculoskeletal Injury Treatment Abstracts should address innovative solutions and treatments involving prosthetic and exoskeletal technologies aimed at facilitating return-to-duty activities, to include: 1) Emerging exoskeletal solutions; 2) maximization of tissue health between the use and the device; 3) advanced rehabilitation therapies to accelerate use of and function with a device; and 4) optimization of device prescription.
Design, Prevent, and Implement: Advancements in Osseointegration Technology and Outcomes Neuromusculoskeletal Injury Abstracts should address any of the following osseointegration topic areas: (1) current and emerging technologies; (2) prevention of complications; (3) clinical trials, practices, and outcomes.
Solutions to Accelerate Recovery from Neuromusculoskeletal Injury Neuromusculoskeletal Injury Abstracts should address non-surgical interventions for the treatment and rehabilitation of neuromusculoskeletal injury with a focus on optimization of outcomes and return to duty: Abstracts may address:(1) rehabilitation interventions, (2) biologic or drug-based therapies, (3) confounders to successful recovery. This session does not address neurological conditions.
Musculoskeletal Injury Prevention: Highlighting Vulnerable Warfighters Neuromusculoskeletal Injury Abstracts should focus on individual and unit-level solutions for mitigating MSKI risk to include: (1) Tailored considerations for injury prevention in female warfighters, (2) Strategies for mitigating injuries during training, (3) Approaches to secondary injury prevention for warfighters returning from injury or limited-duty status. (4) Considerations related to NSAID utilization on the Warfighter.
Improving Traumatic Wound Healing and Recovery Neuromusculoskeletal Injury Excessive scar formation from trauma is a central barrier to the regeneration of musculoskeletal and neural tissues. Abstract should address any of the following topic areas (1) modern techniques to treat wound healing and minimize scar formation; (2) methods to promote proper wound closure; (3) regeneration of damaged tissue.