Page Last Updated: Tuesday, 19 January 2016 11:02 EDT, 2001, 2002, 2008, 2016

Complex Operational and Organizational Problems

PROJECT: Medical Records for Soldiers

Dr. Dean S. Hartley III

Project Metadata Keywords
Label Name Other Year DurationYrs
Client US Army Medical Research and Material Command (MRMC) Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center (TATRC) US Army
Dates 2001 0.25
Employer DOE Oak Ridge Facilities
Partner N/A
Pubs "Simulating Without Data," Proceedings of the 2002 Winter Simulation Conference, E. Yucesan, C.-H. Chen, J. L. Snodon, and J. M. Charnes, eds. author 2002
Analysis of messy data
Computer hardware issues
Data collection
Environment, Safety & Health (ES&H)
Human factors
Information storage and retrieval
Knowledge Management (KM)
Modeling, Simulation & Gaming (MSG)
Science, Math and Medicine
Software issues
Statistical inference

Purpose: The army wanted to investigate replacing traditional dog-tags with a storage device, the Personal Information Carrier (PIC), that would hold all of the soldier's medical records.

Process: The question revolved around the size of a soldier's medical records.  I built a model of the events that would lead to creating a medical record. I found various sources that were useful in estimating the size of the medical record for each event.  There were two types of records, text and image.  I also found sources for estimating the length of a soldier's service, during which the records would accumulate.  Unfortunately, the sponsor could not direct me to any source for the frequency of the types of medical encounters.

However, because the PIC had to handle all situations, all that was required was an estimate of the maximum capacity required.  This allowed the use of pseudo-data - estimates - to be used as inputs to the simulations.

Conclusion: The maximum capacity of the time was represented by the CompactFlashTM 15 megabyte storage device.  The largest cumulative size produced by the simulation for text data was about 1 megabyte; however, the estimate for image size was over 2 gigabytes.  At the time, this was impossible.

Today, flash drives of 32 gigabytes are common.  On the other hand, today's medical encounters include CT scans, which can run to 0.4 gigabytes each.  The technology to achieve the original goals probably exists, now.  However, the security questions for the data remain open.

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