An innovative device developed by UK-based Bodytrak (Stand N8-373) offers real-time monitoring of vital body functions, with the potential to reduce heat-related injury, detect illness and improve recovery time, both during training and on the battlefield, writes Sam J Basch.
As its name suggests, the Bodytrak is a multi-parameter in-ear body monitoring platform that accurately, and in real time, tracks core body temperature (CBT) and heart rate (HR). It also continually monitors heart rate variability, oxygen uptake, speed and distance. Bodytrak fits securely and comfortably on the ear − the only unobtrusive part of the body from which a combination of CBT and HR can be measured accurately, together, and more reliably than wrist-based devices. Data and alerts can be uploaded wirelessly to a cloud-based platform, or viewed in real time on a smartphone, tablet, smart watch or digital radio.
The device was developed in response to the deaths of three British SAS recruits during a training exercise in 2013. Since its launch in 2017, it has received a positive response from academia and industry, resulting in significant funding from the public and private sectors, including corporate investors.
Bodytrak chief executive Leon Marsh said: ‘‘Our focus is to ensure Bodytrak integrates with the existing military technology ecosystem, because integration with operational headgear and ear-based digital radio systems is key to ensuring adoption and ease of use. We’re working hard with partners and the defence community to ensure Bodytrak works effectively as part of the existing framework.’’ He said Bodytrak is now being field trialled by a number of defence organisations, both in the UK and internationally, as well as the UK emergency services.