Future Trends

Pentagon to Expand Use of COVID-19 Detection Device to Other Infectious Diseases

Medical device use

Pentagon to Expand Use of COVID-19 Detection Device to Other Infectious Diseases

The Department of Defense plans to expand the use of COVID-19-detecting wearable devices to detect other infectious diseases across the military.

The device was developed in 2020 under the Rapid Assessment of Threat Exposure project to help users identify COVID-19 trends. According to RATE program manager Jeff Schneider, the device uses an artificial intelligence program trained to monitor COVID-19 cases using data acquired from hospitals.

The RATE program started in 2020 with the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, the Department of Defense said.

According to Schneider, the RATE program allows the Pentagon to use commercial devices to monitor personnel’s health conditions in a non-invasive manner and identify infectious diseases in their early phases before they spread. He also shared that in the 2020-2021 period, the RATE program was able to predict COVID-19 and other infectious diseases around two to three days prior to diagnostic testing.

The DIU received $10 million in additional funding, which will be used to expand the program to 4,500 additional users across the DOD. Some of the users will be the Air Combat Command’s first sergeants, who will use the devices to monitor their overall health.

According to a 2020 post by the DOD, the devices work by gathering hundreds of biomarkers, which are processed in the cloud to allow users to produce an hourly score. Changes in users’ health conditions are determined through subtle differences in users’ physiology before they experience symptoms.

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Category: Future Trends