VivoMetrics, Inc. has signed a co-operative research and development agreement (CRADA) with the United States Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT).
Under the terms of the agreement, the Air Force will integrate a global positioning system (GPS) and long-range wireless capabilities into VivoMetrics’ LifeShirt System in order to create an advanced method for real-time location and physiological monitoring of military personnel in the field.
The LifeShirt System is said to be the first non-invasive, continuous ambulatory monitoring system that can collect data on respiratory and cardiac function and other physiological parameters, and correlate them over time.
According to VivoMetrics, the LifeShirt features an enhanced, ambulatory version of the technology that is currently the gold standard for in-hospital, non-invasive respiratory monitoring and apnea detection. It also includes sensors that monitor heart function, posture and physical activity, as well as a diary function to capture subjective patient experiences.
Other projects outlined in the CRADA include developing an ‘intelligent’ flight suit that can detect a fighter pilot’s loss of consciousness during complicated aerial dogfight manoeuvres and activate the plane’s automatic navigation system.
The research will also investigate new ways to improve on the accuracy of GPS localisation so that it could be used to track personnel inside buildings. Products developed under the research agreement could be ready for field use as soon as 2003.