Advanced Military Health

The focus of this research Health is a key force multiplier for the military; only a healthy force can function at maximum effort, and sustain it. Health is not merely the absence of injury or disease; in its widest sense it includes physical, social, mental and spiritual well-being. In an operational context, health is the ability to carry out military duties unimpeded by physical or psychological problems. Though accepting that the military can be a hazardous occupation, public opinion does not necessarily accept potentially avoidable risks. Consequently, the health of the forces must be assigned a very high priority before, during and after any deployment.

Effective medical support is fundamental to mission success. The role of military medical support remains unchanged: restoring both health and combat strength. The changing global environment, however, demands increasingly agile, resilient and flexible medical support.

With the prevention of traumas and diseases (through timely hazard identification, risk assessment and management), the rapid and effective treatment of injured or diseased personnel (including acute emergency treatment of life-threatening conditions), their medical evacuation and eventual subsequent recovery and return to duty, the medical services make a major contribution to force protection and sustainability.

Research on “Advanced Military Health” will focus on all aspects of health, health care and related human performance for the military. This includes human physical and psychological resilience and endurance, health optimisation, enhanced cognitive capabilities and human-machine interaction as described below. Additionally, the provision of animal health care may have unique requirements.

Research should be directed towards:

  • Human Resiliency. Enabling humans to plan, prepare, train, conduct and recover from operations with consistent performance, safeguarding health, maximising fitness, promoting safety and minimising debilitating effects in all working conditions (including operations) through detection, prevention, protection, and treatment techniques. Particular attention is given to integrating and personalising physical and cognitive performance well as rehabilitation care innovations required to reset our wounded and sick warriors, both in terms of duty performance and quality of life, through health, medicine and machine support. In the field of physical security, research should focus on the protection of personnel against environmental constraints: preventing health complaints and well-being issues in a potentially harmful or risky environment.
  • Medical Solutions for Health Optimisation. Developing and deploying advanced medical solutions to optimise the physical performance and endurance of military personnel, and to facilitate an early return to combat or successful transition to a civilian environment. Particular emphasis on methods and techniques to improve health, prevent disease and fatigue, and provide effective diagnostics and treatment, to include specialised therapies (e.g., vaccines, broad spectrum therapies), diagnostic detection devices and personalised medicine, combat casualty care, and regenerative medicine (with special attention to genomics, proteomics, and metabolomics).
  • Health and healthcare delivery systems in home base and in operations, to include medical disaster management, medical logistics and pharmaceuticals, cold chain management and telehealth applications.
  • Enhanced Cognitive Performance, which employs health improvements, to include nutrition, pharmacological drugs and other measures for improved alertness and cognitive processing capabilities.
  • Research on advanced military health, which notably includes approaches to monitor, assess, and modify human (psycho)physiological performance through cognitive, physical and simulation techniques, as well as exoskeleton and autonomous systems employment, cognitive and physical interfaces, physiology and neuro-ergonomics. The use of neuro-science for human systems integration in a context of cognitive performance and efficacy is described in focus areas 11.
  • Health and well-being supporting institutional levers such as health and well-being promotion (e.g. comprehensive soldier fitness), collective support (e.g. psycho-social moral and religious support), regulations (e.g. force health protection, occupational health and safety) and politics (e.g. organisational resilience, epidemiological health surveillance).

Ongoing projects concerning this focus area

Database programme 2021 with search options