Air Force Startup AFWERX Looking to Buy Thousands of COVID-19 Detecting Wearables

The U.S. military’s coronavirus response includes protection help for service members and fam...

Photo credit: Alexander Ruiz, Unsplash

The U.S. military’s coronavirus response includes protection help for service members and families, along with resources and many announced cancellations. Now AFWERX, the innovation-pushing startup of the US Air Force, is planning to buy around 10,000 wearable devices that can pinpoint and tip-off personnel of potential COVID-19 infections early on.

Read more: U.S. Military’s AI-Powered Wearable Can Detect COVID-19 Two Days Before You Get Sick

While the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19 continues to ravage the globe – and some regions are seeing spikes in cases – AFWERX, in collaboration with the Office of the Joint Surgeon General, wants to put the coronavirus-tracking apparatuses to use, reports Brandi Vincent in Nextgov.

This is not the first time the Air Force considered utilizing wearables to monitor its employees’ health, in July, the organization revealed intentions to purchase a wrist-worn gadget that captures data about wearers’ health.

“The government is seeking commercially available wearable technologies that can provide insight into biometric data (ex: heart rate fluctuation, O2 levels, etc.) that can identify a potential COVID-19 infection early and alert the user through its user dashboard with warnings,” said a request for information published late Tuesday.

According to the RFI, “the work will be done in support of the Pandemic Case Management Suite, which it deems an operational requirement meant to boost the Air Force’s moves to combat the pandemic and inform and enhance key leaders’ choices around unit readiness.”

Devices to be potentially purchased through this latest solicitation should not trace wearers’ locations, or collect or store personally identifiable information, the RFI notes, as published in Nextgov.

Read more: US Army Is Testing AR Goggles for Dogs To Give Remote Commands

AFWERX is the Air Force's team of innovators who encourage and facilitate connections across industry, academia, and the military to create transformative opportunities and foster a culture of innovation. Our mission is to solve problems and enhance the effectiveness of the service by enabling thoughtful, deliberate, ground-up innovation.

Sam Draper
November 13, 2020

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