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The Pentagon is investing in wearable sensors capable of showing who's infected with the COVID-19 illness — in addition to identifying at-risk people — in military hospitals in the U.S. and throughout Southeast Asia, according to a Businesswire press release.
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Pentagon investing in wearable COVID-19 sensors
The new sensors are chest- or wrist-mounted, where they will use algorithms to analyze data from human vital signs, and identify key changes showing early signs of infection.
Led by physIQ, a healthtech firm that previously used analytics to track Ebola patients, initiating parties include the U.S. Department of Defense, The Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine, Inc., the Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Defense.
"The second wave [of the pandemic] is going to come this fall. I'm already hearing people talk about, 'How do I bring my employees back?'" said physIQ founder Gary Conkright to ABC News. "We think we're working on a solution to that."
The hunt for COVID-19 treatments
The purpose of the project is to monitor the progression of COVID-19 in those who know they're infected — but it might also point to people who've yet to show usual coronavirus symptoms.
PhysIQ wants to find new COVID-19 treatments, which may be given to participants enrolled in the wearable test program. Thousands of people exposed to the coronavirus are slated for tracking in this program — one with a projected cost of millions of dollars, according to TheNextWeb.
Now on its way to fruition, physIQ's project joins a widening spectrum of initiatives pitting new wearable solutions against the COVID-19 illness, to recognize and analyze symptoms. While none have yet confirmed a case of the virus, they may prove useful in closing the massive gap in COVID-19 testing.