The Committee of the Chiefs of Military Medical Services (COMEDS) has assigned the NATO Centre of Excellence for Military Medicine as the main point of contact and coordinating body for Medical Lessons Learned within NATO Medicine.

Our vision is: The Lessons Learned and Innovation Branch is the hub of the Medical Lessons Learned Community within NATO and Partner Nations. The Lessons Learned and Innovation Branch is committed to the exchange of information and expertise within the various fields of Military Medicine. We will achieve this by working in close cooperation with civilian leaders in Academia, Industry, Governmental and non-Governmental Organizations to identify innovative solutions to our current and future challenges.


Our primary tasks are the collection, processing and analysis of observations from NATO and national missions and exercises. We also assist with the development of lessons identified and learned as well as the sharing of those lessons. Additionally, the Lessons Learned and Innovation Branch is tasked with developing and maintaining the Medical Knowledge Management Portal in which the users will be able to find and exchange information related to their tasks and responsibilities when serving in a Multinational Military Medical Environment.

Medical Lessons Learned Process:

Medical Observations and Lessons are the major contributing factors for the transformation of Military Medicine. Evidence based medicine in Military Health Services needs to be facilitated by systematically captured, catalogued and analysed experiences and good practices. The Medical Lessons Learned Process has been developed in line with the principles of the NATO Lessons Learned Process. 


Observation collection can be accomplished in several different ways. Beside the traditional methods of submission of handwritten or digital forms, the ODCR Smartphone Application is the newest tool and the easiest way to submit observations. The ODCR application is available on Google Play and App Store. The users can submit observations from their smartphone and attach photos or short videos supporting the content. For observation submission, internet access is required. If internet access is not immediately available, observations can be saved and sent at a later time. Submit on observation via Online Observation Collection Form

Medical Knowledge Management Portal:

Knowledge management is a process of creating, sharing, using and managing the knowledge and information of an organization. It is also a useful tool for promoting innovation, collaboration, and creativity. The main objective of the NATO Medical Knowledge Management Portal is to enhance sharing and continuous performance improvement and innovation within NATO Medical Services. NATO Medical Knowledge Management Portal is intended to be a one-stop shop for Medical information. Sign up for NATO Medical Knowledge Management Portal

Conferences and workshops:

Conferences and workshops provide an excellent opportunity for gaining and disseminating knowledge and share experiences. The Lessons Learned and Innovation Branch organizes such scientific events on an annual basis. The Medical Lessons Learned Workshop and Medical Lessons Learned Conference are dedicated to topics of current interest within the military medical community. The NATO Medical Sharing Group is an annual forum of national medical lessons learned leadership and decision makers. The 8 founding member nations (CAN, CZE, DEU, FRA, HUN, NLD, GBR and USA) in 2016 agreed to share national lessons and experiences with NATO Medicine via Medical Knowledge Management Portal. The annual meeting is chaired by the Lessons Learned and Innovation Branch Chief. All NATO Nations are encouraged to join this initiative. 

Civilian Military Co-operation:

Cooperation between civilian and military healthcare systems will become increasingly important as we compete for limited resources, such as personnel, needed to meet our respective missions The Lessons Learned and Innovation Branch will provide a platform for enhancing cooperation between civilian and military health care systems based on the outcomes of the Lessons Learned process. 


The multinational NATO exercises, Clean Care, Steadfast and especially Vigorous Warrior are great fields for collecting observations. As a result of the analysis of the 466 observations collected during Vigorous Warrior 2019 field medical exercise, we developed several Lessons Identified which were approved by the Medical Lessons Learned Core Team and provided Recommendations on exercise planning to the Vigorous Warrior and other exercise Core Planning Teams for consideration.


The Lessons Learned Branch developed and published the Field Manual for Medical Lessons Learned in 2016, a comprehensive guideline for those who are interested in or assigned to work with lesson learned in NATO Medicine. The manual is available at NATO Medical Knowledge Management Portal.

The branch regularly reports on its activities and on the outcomes of the scientific events in Medical Lessons Learned Newsletters, issued in quarterly basis. For further information please visit the NATO Medical Knowledge Management Portal.


New and innovative technology promises to revolutionize how medical care is delivered both in civilian and military sectors. Tele-health, data analytics, and machine learning, among many other advances, will allow us to deliver an unparalleled level of healthcare to our war fighters. Our branch has taken the lead on the evaluation and recommendation for use of these innovative technologies in the NATO medical environment. Sign up for MILMED COE Medical Innovations newsletter

The latest issues of the Medical Innovation Newsletter are available here:

March 2022
June 2021

P.O. Box 66
Budapest H-1555 Hungary
T +36 1 883 0112
Email: pocmedli-ll@coemed.org

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