MIT researchers develop device to bring high-tech medical care to the field.

The device, called the Artificial Intelligence-Guided Ultrasound Intervention Device (AI-GUIDE), is a portable handheld mechanism that detects a blood vessel and inserts a needle, followed by a guidewire. It is then up to the user to guide a dilator and then a catheter over the guidewire into the vessel to begin supplying fluids to a patient, or to perform other interventions. The U.S. Department of Defense has been partnering with the team on this project for use in military settings.

“We want to be ready for future conflicts where casualties may not be able to be evacuated quickly to a hospital, and so we will need to manage casualties in the field for a prolonged period of time,” explained Laura Brattain, the project’s co-lead from the Human Health and Performance Systems Group at MIT Lincoln Laboratory. “In order to support that mission we need to bring medical care that is usually available in large hospitals to the field, and vascular access is one of the procedures that would enable a number of downstream life-saving interventions.”