Ronald K Poropatich, MD, MS

  • Professor of Medicine
  • Director, Center for Military Medicine Research
  • Senior Advisor for Telemedicine, UPMC

Dr. Ronald Poropatich is the Director, Center for Military Medicine Research and Professor of Medicine in the Division of Pulmonary, Allergy, and Critical Care Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Poropatich is also Professor of Sports Medicine & Nutrition in the Department of Sports Medicine and Nutrition Science and an affiliated faculty member of the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine at Pitt.

Dr. Poropatich is a Pulmonary/Critical Care Medicine physician who served 30 years on active duty in the US Army retiring in 2012 at the rank of Colonel with extended assignments at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Bethesda, MD from 1985 to 2012. His last assignment was at the US Army Medical Research and Materiel Command at Fort Detrick, MD, serving as the Deputy Director of the Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center from 2006-2012 where he managed large medical research programs and developed novel research programs and technologies in medical informatics and telemedicine.

Dr. Poropatich received his medical degree from Drexel University in 1985. He completed his Internal Medicine internship, residency and his fellowships in Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine in 1992 at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

Representative Publications

  1. Berkow J, Poropatich R. TRAuma Care in a Rucksack (TRACIR), a Disruptive Technology Concept. Small Wars Journal:  [ trauma-care-in-a-rucksack%E2%80%9D-tracir-a-disruptive-technology-concept]; 19 February 2016.
  2. Poropatich R, Presson N, Gilbert G. Telemedicine and mHealth odyssey: a journey from the battlefield to academia. Proc. SPIE. 9836, Micro- and Nanotechnology Sensors, Systems, and Applications VIII, 98360V. (May 17, 2016) doi: 10.1117/12.2223333
  3. Doarn CR, Latifi R, Poropatich RK, Sokolovich N, Kosiak D, Hostiuc F, Zoicas C, Arafat R. Development and Validation of Telemedicine for Disaster Response: The NATO Multinational System. Telemed J E Health.  2018 Sept;24(9):657-668.  PMID: 29297764
  4. Pamplin JC, Davis KL, Mbuthia J, Cain S, Yourk DJ, Colombo CJ, Poropatich R.    Military Telehealth: a model for delivering expertise to the point of need in austere and operational environments. Health Affairs. 2019 August; 38(8): 1386-1392
  5. Poropatich RK, Pinsky MR. Robotics Enabled Autonomous and Closed Loop Trauma Care in a Rucksack – TRACIR. Healthcare Transformation, Artificial Intelligence, Automation, and Robotics. Accepted for publication August 2019.

Research Interests

  1. Role of AI in health care
  2. Telemedicine
  3. Medical informatics
  4. Pulmonary Disease
  5. Pre-hospital care in remote environments

Research Grants

Funding track-records (partial list of current funding):
Title: TRAuma Care in a Rucksack
Effort: 8%
PI: Ronald Poropatich
Supporting Agency: DoD USAMRDC
Grants Officer: John Barton
Performance Period: May 2019 to April 2023
Current Funding Amount: $3.71 million
Project Goals: We hypothesize that data-driven FHM and ML approaches on trauma patients in prolonged field care settings will enable domain experts to accurately characterize polytrauma events and appropriate therapies leading to accurate autonomous prolonged treatment interventions
Title: Autonomous Delivery of Trauma Care in the Field
Effort: 10%
PI: Artur Dubrawski, PhD
Supporting Agency: DoD USAMRDC
Grants Officer: Justin Pickett
Performance Period:  April 2019-March 2023        
Current Funding Amount: $3.8 million
Project Goals: We will conduct research to enable creation of an easily applied soft robotic platform that will effectively and automatically drive patient monitoring, diagnosis, and treatment algorithms while giving priority to the potential, need to put tubes and lines in critically ill patients for life-saving procedures.
DoD Medical Technology Enterprise Consortium MTEC 19-03-VML
Title: Enhanced Biologic Scaffold for Volumetric Muscle Loss
Effort: 5%
PI: Dr. Stephen Badylak, DVM, PhD, MD
Supporting Agency: DoD MTEC 19-03-VML
Grants Officer: USAMRAA
Performance Period:            3/19-2/21        
Current Funding Amount: $2.4 million
Project Goals: Conduct a clinical trial (n=10) on subjects with volumetric or functional muscle loss (25%) with extra-cellular matrix materials embedded with antibiotic
DoD Medical Technology Enterprise Consortium (MTEC)
Title: interactive Resilience Enhancing Sleep Tactics (iREST)
Effort: 2%
PI: Anne Germain, PhD
Supporting Agency:  DoD MTEC
Grants Officer: USAMRAA
Performance Period: 2/19-1/21       
Current Funding Amount:  $1.5 million
Project Goals: Develop a software application for mobile devices that improves insomnia in military populations and conduct a clinical trial
Overlap: none
Title: Combination of Extracorporeal Life Support and Mesenchymal Stem Cell Therapy for Treatment of ARDS in Combat Casualties and Evacuation of Service Members with ARDS
Effort: 5%
PI: Mauricio Rojas, MD
Supporting Agency: CDMRP USAMRDC
Grants Officer: Prem Yadav, PhD; CDMRP
Performance Period:            6/1/18- 5/30/20          
Current Funding Amount: 3.47 million
Project Goals: Conduct a multi-site trial (Pitt & USAISR) on the role of mesenchymal stem cells with or without ECMO in a sheep/pig animal model with respiratory failure caused by LPS/Smoke inhalation, respectively.
Title: Technology to Allow Warfighters with Musculoskeletal Injuries to Continue to Operate During Recovery 
Effort: 6.5%
PI: Josh Caputo, PhD; Humotech
Supporting Agency: DoD SBIR program
Grants Officer: USAMRAA
Performance Period: 3/20-3/21       
Current Funding Amount: 250
Project Goals: Phase I SBIR to assess the use of an ankle exoskeleton in a military population for use on the battlefield