Raytheon BBN Wins DARPA Contract to Conceive and Realize AI-Powered Medical Device; Brian VanVoorst Quoted

Jefferey Metcalfe

Raytheon Technologies subsidiary has been awarded a DARPA contract to design and construct an artificial intelligence-powered medical device for field use.

Scheduled to be ready for demonstration in 18 months, the Medical Assistance, Guidance, Instruction and Correction (MAGIC) tool is intended to aid combat field medics with 50 consequential skills and the key knowledge frequently needed for procedures, Raytheon BBN said Thursday.

Brian VanVoorst, a scientist at Raytheon BBN, said the tool could bolster order and efficiency for “challenging and chaotic” medical combat duties.

“Our goal for the Raytheon BBN MAGIC AI tool is to help support personnel to provide guidance as needed without disrupting their concentration,” VanVoorst continued.

Raytheon BBN will conceptualize and produce the tool in partnership with Valkyries Austere Medical Solutions. It will take the form of augmented reality goggles — via a consumer off-the-shelf product from DARPA — that utilize AI in order to analyze the medical situation at hand with visual and auditory sensors.

The headset will track alongside a medic’s physical progress and provide suggestions, notifications and helpful interventions that may prove life-saving. In order to properly equip MAGIC and mitigate any errors, the AI aspect will be trained via the introduction of data sets of over 2,500 videos with 3D data and almost 50 million images that will help sync the technology to understand the proper sequencing of procedures.

This training data will subsequently be made available to the research community.

In effect, MAGIC is aimed to empower field medics with more resources, focus and readily available information.

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