US Army pushing to develop wearable sensors to detect coronavirus symptoms

US Army pushing to develop wearable sensors to detect coronavirus symptoms

“There is an urgent and urgent need to develop rapid and accurate wearable diagnostics to identify and isolate pre-symptomatic COVID-19 cases and track / prevent the spread of the virus,” said the army in an initial solicitation that was issued through a medical consortium.

Wherever the sensor is worn on the body, possibly on the wrist as a watch or on a shirt or belt, the goal is to provide indicators of fever, breathing difficulties, “molecular biomarkers” of virus exposure and even the presence of antibodies against its.

If symptoms are found, the caregiver can be fully tested, isolated and receive medical attention if necessary.

It’s all part of a larger military effort to contribute to efforts to fight the virus on everything from vaccine research to sewing face coatings. Many of the initiatives are similar to what is happening in civil society, but there are efforts to adapt emerging battlefield technology to address the pandemic.

An army team based in Fort Benning, Georgia, charged with securing advanced combat capabilities for soldiers in close combat, adapted the goggles used in battle to reach 300 troops in 25 minutes. The concept is important for high-traffic areas such as public transport, airports and buildings, as well as for the safe movement of large numbers of military personnel, especially new recruits who may need to be screened and tested. many times.

The group was tested as the Army Infantry School was preparing for additional training but needed temperature control as an initial screening measure. Spectators were provided with a prototype of the Integrated Visual Augmentation System (IVAS), glasses designed for soldiers to keep their eyes on a target and receive information on what they are focusing on.

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IVAS has a suite of heat and low light sensors along with a Microsoft battlefield software application. One of the project managers Tom Bowman says he understood that digital thermal sensors could be quickly modified to detect body temperature. Four days later, Microsoft and the army “loaded a new software application,” which adapted the goggles to read body temperature at a safe distance with little or no contact.

In addition, a system with an infrared sensor mounted on a tripod to measure body temperature is installed at the Pentagon, where in the end more than 20,000 people will return to work. The system scans for only a second or two before entering the building.

Eventually more than 20 systems will be activated, including at the Pentagon entrance and at the exit next to the subway, one of the busiest areas. Army officials tell CNN that the units are climate-calibrated, so even if it is a hot summer day, they will be able to detect someone who has a fever and have them tested by doctors to see if they have the virus.

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