By David Crane
defrev (at) gmail (dot) com
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April 25, 2012
Last updated on 4/26/12.
Tactical Night Vision Company (TNVC) had a very interesting and illuminating (excuse the pun) tactical medicine/combat medicine device at their booth at SHOT Show 2012 that may also prove to be very important for future tactical medicine/combat medicine applications. It’s called the BattleView Near-IR (Infared) Vascular Trans-Iluminator (NIVTI), and the device does just what it sounds like it does. It illuminates, or lights up, a person’s vascular system in the near-infrared/night-vision (NV) light spectrum when you stick your hand (or other body parts?) over it, allowing a military combat medic or tactical medicine specialist to locate a person’s veins for IV insertion in low-light/no-light/nighttime conditions in almost complete darkness, without the use of white light. Think of it as a living x-ray (without the dangerous radiation) that allows you to see into a person’s body in video mode rather than with still shots. Remember when you used to stick your hand over your flashlight, and the light (visible/white light spectrum) illuminated the inside of your hand, making your hand glow red? Well, Battle View operates via the same principle, just in a different light spectrum and much higher resolution/definition–and much greater overall sophistication.
Editor’s Note: Just to clarify, the “NIVTI” acronym is DefenseReview’s (DR) acronym for it, not TNVC’s, but we like it because it sounds like “nifty”, and device is certainly very cool. We also created the term “vascular viewer” in the title of this article.
TNVC is billing the BattleView NIVTI as “one of the most innovative products developed for the tactical medicine community”. DR agrees, and believes it will come in real handy for tactical medicine in low-light/no-light conditions. The TNVC BattleView NIVTI is relatively small, very lightweight (4 oz, i.e., 4 ounces) and utilizes foam and neoprene in its construction, so it’s easily packable in a tactical armor plate carrier/vest or or medical pack (backpack). Power is provided by a a single 3-volt CR123A lithium battery.
Here’s how BattleView works, according to TNVC’s literature on it: BattleView’s four (4) incapsulated LED’s (Light Emitting Diodes) “bond with the iron in the venous blood travelling back to the heart, effectively fluorescing the veins”. TNVC’s Kyle Harth told DR that the four LEDs were “specifically designed to provide the correct brightness and correct spectral response to flouresce blood. There fore, it will do two different things: You can either backside illuminate to get the vessels…to be able to see them, to use an IV in them. Or, you can put this [BattleView] distal to your infiltration site, and what it’ll do is flouresce the blood in vein and still give you the ability to still stick an IV in it above the site.”
While BattleView’s LEDs generate most of their light in the near-IR spectrum for use with NVMs/NVGs/NODs (Night Vision Monoculars/Night Vision Goggles/Night Observation Devices), they also emit a faint red glow that’s visible to the naked eye from only a few feet away, so the user can check BattleView’s power status without using his/her NVGs.
In case you’re wondering how the TNVC BattleView NIVTI compares to a reflected IR kit, Battle View creates a much higher-resolution picture/image of the vascular structure. If Defense Review understands the difference correctly, it’s essentially like going from a mediocre vacuum-tube television set to a plasma or LCD flatscreen HDTV (High-Definition Television).
In any case, BattleView was definitely one of the most interesting and high-tech gizmos DR saw at SHOT, and we’ll try to get some field reports on it from tactical medicine professionals (tactical medicine instructors and combat medics, specifically) in the future.
Finally, we may contact the folks at Entrotech, who manufactures BattleView for TNVC, and possibly aided in the device’s development.
TNVC BattleView Near-IR Vascular Trans-Illuminator (NIVTI) Specs:
Dimensions: 3.0″(L) x 5.0″(W) x 1.25″(T)
Weight: 4 oz.
Power Source: One (1) 3-Volt CR123A Battery
Materials: Neoprene, Foam, Shock Cord
Current Listed Price: $474.05 USD
Company Contact Info:
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