There was a time when America could wage wars and sustain 50,000 or more casualties without severe domestic opposition. Not any more, as even 2000 hostile deaths in Iraq has caused many Americans to be demoralized from the seemingly immense body count. Our technological and economic progress has caused our society to rightly place a premium on human life, but in order to preserve our society, we still need to wage brutal wars. Thus, market forces demand innovations that reduce US troop deaths even further.
On July 28, I had an article about a new ultrasound tourniquet that could quickly inhibit bleeding even in the midst of a battle. Another innovation takes an entirely different approach to address the same problem. Scientists at MIT have developed a liquid that quickly self-assembles into a viscous gel that seals up severed blood vessels, when it comes in contact with a wound. Even better, the gel is biodegradeable and does not have to be removed from the wound - it simply dissolves into amino acids. (Article : MIT Technology Review).
Active use by the military could be 8-10 years away. After that, it could be used by ambulances at traffic scenes or even during surgery.
But what is important is not whether this innovation, or the previously described ultrasound tourniquet, or some third technology wins out. What is important is that multiple unrelated technologies are rapidly closing in on a market need, forcing each of them to continually improve their efficacy and reduce their costs. This virtually ensures that the market need will be met in the near future.