Across the U.S. Joint Services, there is a continued need for efficient diagnostic equipment that can quickly identify biological warfare agents (BWAs). Diagnostic medical devices are crucial for early diagnosis of exposure to chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) threats.
Furthermore, diagnostics play a critical role in a layered defense strategy to combat weapons of mass destruction by expediting clinical decision-making and facilitating the delivery of care.
At the Joint Program Manager for Medical Countermeasures Systems (JPM-MCS) at Fort Detrick, Maryland, the Diagnostics Product Lead (DX) office develops and fields devices that provide seamless diagnostic and identification capability for the warfighter.
The FilmArray® system is the latest iteration of diagnostics equipment fielded to the Joint Services. In partnership with BioFire Defense LLC, the FilmArray® rapidly identifies biological warfare agents such as the Ebola and Marburg viruses, Anthrax, Plague, Tularemia, and Q-fever, as well as over 100 commercial disease assays, in under an hour.
MCS has completed initial fielding of the FilmArray® to the U.S. Air Force, and successfully tested the system with the U.S. Army and U.S. Navy.
NEW COMMUNICATION TOOLS TO PREPARE FOR CBRN THREATS
Current and future FilmArray® users now have additional tools to aid in emerging threat responses.
In partnership with the Biosurveillance Portal—a DoD-developed web-based enterprise that facilitates collaboration, communication and information sharing in support of detection, management, and mitigation of biological events—MCS and DX have developed the Community of Interest (COI) portal.
This system provides links to BioFire Defense’s website for additional information regarding commercial assays and protocols; an email and chat function that facilitates communication amongst members; and discussions on planned system capability enhancements.
The Community of Interest portal can be accessed by current and future FilmArray® users as well as other Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, and Department of Health and Human Services employees. It is currently only accessible to U.S. government users.
BENEFITS OF THE PORTAL
The Community of Interest:
- Allows FilmArray® users the ability to connect with other biosurveillance related communities such as the Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical and Biological Defense and the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch.
- Incorporates public health data from various organizations across the globe
- Interacts with other FilmArray® users across Federal Agencies
- Gains visibility on the DoD’s Next Generation Diagnostic System program
- Educates about assays and future capabilities
- To become a member of the Biosurveillance Portal:
- Go to biosurveillanceportal.org
- Click the “Request New Account” button and complete information
- Click the “Send Request” button
- If you are already a user of the Biosurveillance Portal:
- Click MenuàHomeàJoin a Group
- Scroll down to the “FilmArray Community of Interest”
- Click “Request Access” on the right-hand side of the screen
- Answer the questions populated in the information box
- The administrator will review the information for need-to-know access, and either accept, request more information, or decline access.
For more information about the Community of Interest system, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
MCS-DX develops, acquires, integrates, and fields identification technologies and U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-cleared diagnostic devices for the U.S. military to aid in early diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of the effects of exposure to chemical, biological, and radiological (CBR) agents. It is a program within JPM-MCS, which facilitates the advanced development and acquisition of medical countermeasures and systems to enhance the nation’s biodefense response capability. JPM-MCS is a component of the U.S. Department of Defense’s (DoD) Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical and Biological Defense (JPEO-CBD), which aims to provide U.S. military forces and the nation with safe, effective, and innovative medical solutions to counter chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear threats.