WPI Developing Smartphone App to Detect Medical Conditions in Soldiers
Researchers at NEC member Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) are working to develop a smartphone app to detect medical conditions affecting a soldier’s readiness. With a $2.8-million grant from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), researchers are designing an app that will passively assess a soldier’s health to uncover potentially severe illnesses as early as possible.
While soldiers already undergo thorough medical assessments, the hope is that this app will monitor soldiers outside of scheduled clinical appointments and flag small problems. Development of this app comes in the wake of research proving that signs of brain injury or other illnesses in soldiers can be sensed well before symptoms fully impair their functionality in a combat setting. Smartphones hold a series of high-tech sensors that have the ability to continually capture these subtle changes in health.
Emmanuel Agu, faculty director for WPI’s Healthcare Delivery Institute, said, “This will enable continuous, real-time assessment of TBI and infectious diseases afflicting soldiers, who can then be contacted by a clinician to confirm their status.”
The NEC appreciates Worcester Polytechnic’s dedication to supporting and protecting our armed forces, and commends them on their app’s exciting progress.