AUSN

WINTER 2018

Navy magazine is distributed on Capitol Hill,the Pentagon and naval bases around the world. It provides information that impacts Sailors, their families and the Navy. Navy is published quarterly by the Association of the United States Navy (AUSN).

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43 Association of the United States Navy OPINION T he most recent wars in Iraq and Afghan- istan have produced unique injuries among U.S. forces. Aer more than a decade of war, our military research and medical branches have been working hard to improve readiness and post-ser- vice healthcare for active-duty troops and veterans. Chiefly, new technologies and integration of clinical advances have been the focus of federal grants and industry partners have stepped in to make service better for Sailors and the force at large. San Francisco-based LIM Innovations has been a leading voice for and architect of improving pros- thetic care for our troops and veterans, and with which I have had the privilege to work. LIM has achieved several objectives in this space, but, chiefly on the Department of Defense side of prosthetic care, the Office of Naval Research (ONR) has been a strong partner in establishing technology platforms within healthcare technology, thus creating a holistic health- care experience and allowing for a better under- standing of the human function of recovery. Traditionally, prosthetic care aer an amputa- tion or injury has been a particularly difficult road for the injured warfighter, as the evaluation, fitting and post-injury treatment oen can be marked with delays or duplicative medical appointments due to the lack of knowledge of the unique changes occurring in the patient's body over time. is is why industry experts and government policy makers have come to understand that an approach to establish a technology platform to advance the field of prosthetics through web-based interfaces is the way to engage the warfighter early in the development stages. In short, this technology — such as a series of sensors embedded in the prosthetic socket that provides the patient and clinician with data aimed at prosthetic optimization — will allow us to understand what changes are occurring with the residual limb in midstream. I have been proud to engage Congress, the White House and the Department of Defense to thank and urge these industry partners to continue to integrate wearable technologies and leverage relationships with current product users and healthcare partners to in-source these technologies to our federal partners that serve our troops and veterans. In recent years, mainstream media has widely reported problems with healthcare waiting lists for our veterans as well as stovepipe-style healthcare within the Department of Veterans Affairs. However, the good news is not only do these technologies improve readiness and healthcare outcomes for our troops and veterans, they also allow for new health- care-delivery models to incorporate the various specialty care a veteran needs in one place. I am proud to see American industry partner with the U.S. military and perform well for our troops and veterans with a spirit of vigor worthy of the sacri- fice of limbs. We must press forward to keep health- care systems modern and warrior care elite. Many of us who served in Iraq and Afghanistan suffered only minor injuries or disabilities; others suffered catastrophic limb loss or made the ultimate sacrifice. It is important to acknowledge those sacri- fices while making a hasty pivot to identifying the next mission, which is to assign prestigious healthcare solutions to improve their lives for the dual purpose of readiness (for those staying in the military) and functionality and independence for those who leave service. e ONR is doing a great job in promoting proj- ects and research to improve the healthcare outcomes of our fighting force. ese efforts should continue far and wide for our forces that fight on land, air and sea. Christopher Neiweem is an Iraq War veteran, president of Neiweem Group LLC and a leading military policy analyst. He has served as an expert witness before both the House and Senate and appeared on dozens of media platforms, television and print news. Views expressed by contributors are their own and do not necessarily reflect those of AUSN or Navy magazine. Industry Innovation partnerships improve amputee technology, lives, readiness

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