Members of the Army’s 232nd Medical Battalion, which helped victims of Hurricane Maria earlier this year in Puerto Rico, they were able to use an emerging resource to ensure that their patients received the best care possible – virtual medicine. Using a network, the 232nd was able to connect with colleagues Brooke Army Medical Center, Texas – their home duty station.

Buoyed by this and other stateside successes, Brooke formally launched the first Army Virtual Medical Center there during a Jan. 4 ceremony.

“This is an amazing opportunity for [Brooke] to leverage state-of-the-art technology to support military medical facilities and patients around the world and for our medical professionals to benefit from a readiness standpoint,” said Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Johnson, the commanding general at Brooke.

While the concept of virtual medicine is not new, Army caregivers believe the Brooke example shows that its time has come. Through virtual care, they believe, service members who are wounded or injured in remote areas would have greater access to quick and effective treatment. The Brooke facility will serve as a testing grounds for new technologies, as well as a central location for worldwide efforts to provide virtual health care.