Program Spotlight: Joint Trauma Analysis and Prevention of Injury in Combat (JTAPIC)


July 24, 2020

We met with Gene Fober, Project Manager and Aaron Sawyer, Director, Healthcare Consulting to learn how JTAPIC supports Department of Defense (DoD) efforts to expose combat vulnerabilities and improve tactics—all through the power of data.

1. What is JTAPIC, and why is it important to the Military?

Sawyer:

JTAPIC leverages data to improve understanding of threat vulnerabilities, and enables the development of improved tactics, techniques and procedures, and materiel solutions to prevent or mitigate traumatic injuries. It consists of a partnership of DoD agencies across the domains of materiel, operations, intelligence, and medical. JTAPIC coordinates what was previously a stove-piped analysis into a holistic examination of combat incidents to determine the causes of casualties, identify potential solutions to prevent casualties, or lessen the severity of injuries. Our Cognosante team of analysts provides direct support to JTAPIC through operational and intelligence analysis of combat incidents as well as medical injury coding. The team is comprised of almost entirely Veterans, with over 200 years of combined military service.

2. How would you summarize the JTAPIC project?

Fober:

We monitor and collect data on all casualty-producing combat incidents including operations, intelligence, medical, personal protective equipment (PPE), and vehicle platforms. Drawing on themes produced through data visualization, we produce JTAPIC products detailing combat activities and consequences that inform warfighters, combat developers, training developers, and doctrine writers to help prevent future casualties. Our six lines of effort include data collection, categorization, storage, integration/fusion, analysis, and dissemination.

3. What are the top 3 things employees should know about the JTAPIC project?

Fober:

1) Our biggest challenge is the collection and integration of PPE data in analyzing equipment performance. When injuries happen, PPE may get discarded or survivors may keep it as a memento creating a return rate challenge and a critical gap in linking damaged PPE to underlying injuries (or lack thereof). PPE provides insight to how well equipment runs and can provide critical evidence in determining underlying causes of injury or death. Without PPE, finding the root cause to equipment malfunctions, or even determining PPE requirements becomes much harder.

2) Part of our job is to stay current on developing casualty-causing trends. Recently, we completed an analysis based off a trend relating to enemy fire. We noticed that 40 percent of casualties incurred in 2019 resulted from enemy-barricaded shooters. In response, we proposed cross-domain solutions including doctrinal modifications, organizational composition changes, and emerging technology uses that will significantly alter the way in which the enemy attempts to inflict casualties.

3) Although combat casualties are becoming less frequent, this need still exists for the DoD. There is a backlog of legacy combat incidents that still require analysis and databasing and the JTAPIC team is committed to capturing and integrating the data. The additional work on legacy incidents will provide JTAPIC a continuous database from the start of conflicts in 2001 to present day. This enables analysts to make injury-related trend comparisons based on changes in equipment, training, and doctrine.

4. How do we leverage technology to create innovative solutions?

Fober:

Technology enables us to perform our jobs. We use a variety of software for data capture, data analysis, and data storage and retrieval; a snapshot is provided below:

  • Data capture:
    1. Live video feeds from manned and unmanned aerial systems and other sensor systems
    2. Live chat logs
    3. GPS tracking of personnel and vehicles
    4. Interactive mapping and modeling
    5. Interactive intelligence platforms
  • Data analysis:
    1. ​​​​​​​Visualization program providing injury imaging
    2. Time and distance calculators for various aircrafts
    3. Blast overpressure calculator based on munition and distance from blast
    4. Applications for understanding terrain, environment, and activity plotted to maps
  • Data storage and retrieval:
    1. Database for record retention
    2. Metadata coding for easily identifiable information
    3. Customer requests and product tracking system

5. What are you looking forward to most in the next year?

Fober: ​​​​​​​

JTAPIC is in the process of developing a more robust database and customer request/product tracking system. The new database will be cloud-based and feature an improved interface, decreasing data-entry errors and providing a more robust retrieval process. The new tracking system will enable JTAPIC to better manage products and requests for products spanning PPE requirement analyses to actionable trend insight publications—both providing potential solutions for reducing casualties.