Technologies that can be used to collect physiological data (both physical and molecular parameters) from individuals in real-time, continue to develop rapidly. Such developments might be in terms of metrics measured, device functionality and/or form factor (site and style of measurement device). Conceptually, there are obvious drivers for the utility of data from such devices in defence capabilities. However, there remain gaps in the evidence base to support what metrics might be reliably measured by wearable technologies and how data from these platforms might be used to improve decision making in a defence context to protect human health and wellbeing.
Dstl has an aspiration to understand what metrics can be collected from wearable technology platforms that are of credible value to the defence user community (i.e. the metrics are sufficiently robust that they can reliably and confidently inform effective and timely decision making). This IFA is therefore seeking propositions that demonstrate novel technology development and/ or data analytics tools that provide information to inform decision making pathways e.g. changes to health and wellbeing that could inform decision making pathways (i.e. as part of a system not a sole diagnostic device) or assist with assessing human performance.
Proposals should aim to demonstrate that data from wearable technologies have the potential to provide robust, reliable and actionable insight in either acute (minutes/hours – e.g. to intervene in acute injury) or chronic (days/months) timeframes. Of particular interest to this IFA are technologies targeted towards the development of platforms and/or data analytical tools that provide predictive insight, into the effect of physical, psychological and environmental stressors on individuals.
Environmental stressors of interest will include, but are not limited to, thermal (hot or cold), altitude, infection and acute and chronic stress, relative to participant specific baselines. This could include the development of novel sensor platforms that are capable of accessing novel metrics, development of innovative form factors that improve ergonomics; such as reduced size, weight, comfort and/or development of predictive data tools to better understand how to detect, prevent and treat illnesses caused by a range of occupational and environmental stressors.
This IFA focuses on two key challenges/themes:
1) Demonstration of new sensor technologies and of the data generated from these sensors against existing validated measures (where applicable). This should include proof of concept that measures are relevant to a particular state or condition of interest.
2) Innovative exploitation of signatures generated from current or novel wearable systems to provide prognostic insights into human health and wellbeing. Importantly, this would utilise human participant data (this does not necessarily need to be from a military population) and must provide key insights for preventative interventions.
Within this IFA, DASA expects to fund proposals within Technical Readiness Level 3 – 6 Technical Readiness Level (TRL) (Rapid Impact Category) up to £200k for a maximum of a 12 month contract (Projects will be funded across multiple Financial Years).
We are seeking proposals that encompass:
1) Developments in wearable technology platforms. This may include innovative form factors or methods for measurement, which permit the measurement of novel biosignatures from individuals (physical and/or biochemical parameters). This may include, but is not limited to:
2) Exploitation of signatures generated from current or novel wearable systems to provide prognostic insights into human health and wellbeing.
We are not seeking proposals that:
Proposals should aim to generate evidence that data from wearable technologies is meaningful in decision-making frameworks for monitoring and maintaining human health and wellbeing and offers demonstrable benefit over current solutions. There is potential for wide exploitation of options developed within this IFA to be exploited across defence, with successful projects being scoped for further use. The exploitation of technology will be leveraged through the Dstl Protecting Our People programme.