UK-based Inova Design Solutions' Bodytrak that uses an in-ear device to monitor vital signs from the human body, is readying to undergo trials with the British Army.
Further, it would be used in support of a military charity expedition to Antarctica, IHS Jane's 360 reported.
Bodytrak uses an in-ear device - akin to an audio earphone - to monitor vital signs from the human body, ultimately to include core body temperature, heart rate, VO 2(oxygen consumption), and motion (speed, distance, cadence), and wirelessly transmits these data to an internet hub or a variety of devices, such as tablets.
“A key aspect of the system is ability to measure core body temperature in a non-invasive manner,” Inova CEO Leon Marsh said. He also noted that to get accurate temperature readings a telemetric pill is typically ingested at present.
The first field tests of the system are slated to take place in early 2017 - test bench work has already been conducted using UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) architecture. Initially Bodytrak will feature temperature and heart rate monitoring, with the blood oxygen and respiration capabilities expected in the second or third quarter of 2017.
Bodytrak uses a cloud-based data analytics package, from which real-time monitoring and assessment can be conducted as well as analysis.
The Bodytrak earpiece does not interfere with existing in-service communications equipment electronically or ergonomically, Marsh added. However, integration and qualification with original equipment manufacturers of soldier systems could present a challenge, he added. While Bodytrak could be used to conduct routine monitoring of personnel, Marsh has identified a potential application with combat medics, enabling them to gather key information on a casualty during treatment and evacuation.
Marsh also said that he is aware of the potential cognitive burden that monitoring data from the devices might place on wearers and commanders. He noted that studies will be conducted into the best practice for operating the systems and who should have access to the data.