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OtterBox – Arming the Military with Rugged Technology

Fort Collins, COLO.–With technology advances, medical forces, soldiers and commanders now have the ability to treat casualties on the battlefield. With the touch of a stylus, individuals can record, store, retrieve, and transfer patient medical records from an iPAQ device to laptops allowing medical personnel to share important information quickly.

Accessing information on the battlefield is vital for the treatment and care of wounded individuals, but with wind storms, mud, sand, dust, rain, and high temperatures, technology protection is critical. OtterBox, a leader in rugged case technology, developed the OtterBox 1900 PDA case for such environments.

Working with the Medical Communications for Combat Casualty Care (MC4) and the Telemedicine & Advanced Technology Research Center (TATRC), a subordinate element of U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command, standard military technology becomes rugged technology, saving lives and eliminating patient research.

How does it work?
Service members receive a “Turn Key Unit,” which allows them to literally take the device out of the box and start working. MC4 loads all necessary medical information management software onto an HP iPAQ hx4700, stores it in the OtterBox 1900 and ships it to Army medical units throughout Iraq, Kuwait, Qatar and Afghanistan who use this solution. The iPAQ software developed by TATRC, known as the Battlefield Medical Information System Tactical – Joint (BMIST-J), allows Army tactical medical forces to quickly and securely document patient information at the point of injury, contributing to a soldier’s comprehensive, life-long electronic medical record.

Additionally, technology replaces the handwritten, paper-based medical record, DD Form 1380, Field Medical Card (FMC), which has been in use since World War II. This 3-inch by 8-inch piece of paper uses a method of recording medical information by hand that has essentially remained unchanged for more than 60 years. FMCs are sometimes lost in the rush of activity that accompanies the delivery of medical care in a fast-moving battlefield environment. Frequently, medical evacuation teams must deal with situations that make it difficult to use the slow, paper-based system and ensure the paperwork stays with the injured Soldier.

Field example:
Army MSG Scott Morgan knows first-hand how critical medical records are in the battlefield. Time is crucial whenever a Soldier suffers wounds in combat. First-responders must quickly determine the Soldier’s condition and provide the appropriate treatments and medications. Morgan, of the Army’s Third Infantry Division and currently stationed in Baghdad, Iraq, recalls, “One of the problems we have seen in past deployments is losing that information.” However, with [this] system, he adds, “We’re not going to have that problem anymore. We’re going to be able to successfully take care of our Soldiers, because that’s what it’s about.”

OtterBox provides MC4 with an economical solution. Rather than purchasing a rugged PDA device ranging $1500+, MC4 pays for a standard HP iPAQ hx4700 (approx $500-600) and the OtterBox 1900 ($100) saving around $1,000/unit.
The casing solution adds longevity and durability to iPAQs and BMIST-J software that is subjected to variable field conditions, and ensures information is safe at all times. It eliminates the need for loose patient medical files and time spent researching records. The solution increases efficiency by providing a rugged device with necessary information to treat soldiers on the spot.

To date, MC4 has deployed more than 12,000 OtterBox & BMIST-J systems – the majority of which are handhelds – to more than 250 medical units throughout Iraq, Kuwait, Qatar and Afghanistan. The iPAQ also synchronizes with MC4 laptops to record and share real-time medical information.

Electronic medical encounters are critical for soldiers, medical professionals and combatant commanders and the OtterBox 1900 offers quality protection no matter what the mission brings.

About Otter Products:
Founded in 1996, Otter Products, LLC. has become a leader in the design and production of rugged cases to safeguard technology and other valuables. With a complete line of waterproof, drop-resistant, interactive cases, Otter provides ideal solutions for any mission.

Rugged cases include protection for iPAQs, Apple iPods, Laptops, Tablet PCs, GPS, cigars, Zippo lighters and more. Built upon fundamentals of hard work, creativity, and perseverance, Otter Products is a powerhouse of innovation, manufacturing quality cases with a 100 percent lifetime guarantee.

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For more information on Otter Products visit or call (888) 695-8820. OtterBox, never out of its element!

About MC4:

Medical Communications for Combat Casualty Care (MC4) develops, fields and supports a medical information management system for Army tactical medical forces, enabling a comprehensive, life-long electronic medical record for all service members, and enhancing medical situational awareness for operational commanders. For more information visit: https://

About TATRC:
The Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center (TATRC), a subordinate element of the United States Army Research and Materiel Command (USAMRMC), is charged with managing core Research Development Test and Evaluation (RDT&E) and congressionally mandated projects in telemedicine and advanced medical technologies.

To Support its research and development efforts, TATRC maintains a productive mix of partnerships with federal, academic, and commercial organizations. TATRC also provides short duration, technical support (as directed) to federal and defense agencies; develops, evaluates, and demonstrates new technologies and concepts; and conducts market surveillance with a focus on leveraging emerging technologies in healthcare and healthcare support.

Ultimately, TATRC’s activities strive to make medical care and services more accessible to soldiers, sailors, marines, and airmen; reduce costs, and enhance the overall quality of military healthcare.

See more information at:

Kristin Golliher

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