An undisclosed US Special Forces unit is looking to purchase prototypes of the Bodytrak soldier monitoring system, with a range of other military users expressing interest in trialling the device in recent months, Jane’s has learned.
Bodytrak is a small, in-ear system designed to measure multiple physiological aspects, including core body temperature, motion, and heart rate. It is non-intrusive, replacing the user’s existing earpiece communications device with a system that includes biometric monitoring technology.
The device is planned for manufacture in the second quarter of 2018, said Leon Marsh, founder and CEO of Inova Design Solutions, the UK-based developer of Bodytrak.
The system has undergone trials in a range of industries, such as fire services and industrial health and safety, but has yet to be trialled in defence applications.
In addition to the US special forces unit, the UK’s Defence Medical Services has made a request to trial the technology.
Bodytrak is currently at a Technology Readiness Level (TRL) of 6-7, and the developers are working on further improvements to the accuracy of the sensors, Marsh said. They are also focused on boosting the platform development side: improving the software at the back end, where the data is eventually sent and monitored. This could be a portable or fixed screen with dashboard interface and a simple red/amber/green alert system that would flag when a user has ill health, for example.
The system was originally developed to prevent heat injury in soldiers, but has developed over time to cover other issues, such as fatigue monitoring. It can also monitor stress markers, Marsh said, through a combination of sensor signals and proprietary analytics.
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