AI and the future defence medicine


  • Yohan Robinson
  • Marianela Garcia Lozano
  • Jessica Appelgren
  • Jan Benshof
  • Henrik Börjesson
  • Jonas Clausen Mork
  • Marcus Dansarie
  • Jenny Gustafsson
  • Sofia Hedenstierna
  • Claes Ivgren, Klas Karlgren
  • Linus Luotsinen
  • Jouni Rantakokko
  • Niclas Wadströmer

Publish date: 2020-12-15

Report number: FOI-R--5045--SE

Pages: 157

Written in: Swedish


  • AI
  • health care
  • combat casualty care
  • defence medicine
  • autonomous systems
  • deep learning
  • decision support
  • triage


Medical staff is, and will most likely remain, a scarce resource in the Swedish Armed Forces' (SAF) medical support organization. This report reviews ongoing and emerging developments using artificial intelligence (AI) for medical care, focusing on prehospital trauma care, enhancing the SAF's combat casualty care capability. This report results from the collaboration between SAF, FOI, FMV, FHS, and KI, and is primarily aimed at the SAF's strategic management. The use of AI-technology in future decision support can create new opportunities for staff relief and resource efficiency. The technology provides opportunities to collect, process, and analyze large amounts of mixed information about the unit's health status and physical combat value in real-time. Assessment of injured people can, e.g., be done by triage drones, and intelligent autonomous platforms can facilitate the subsequent evacuation. However, the introduction of AI-systems presents difficult ethical and medical law considerations. Defense medicine has a central role in the Armed Forces' warfare capability and society's endurance. Using AI-technology to benefit the SAF, its meaning and consequence for defense medicine must be understood. Therefore, this study recommends that the Armed Forces' future investments in AI and autonomy include the defense medical technology development described in this report.