Supersoldiers: U.S. Military Has Cutting Edge Tech to Detect Covid-19 Early

October 1, 2020

The U.S. Military is ahead of the curve when it comes to technology, and this time is no different.  Or is it?


Ok, here’s what we know.


This time it’s not about the Captain America level gear.  There is definitely cool gear involved though.  A double whammy of a smartwatch and smart ring. 


Not your Daddy’s bling
Some of our troops are wearing a combo Garmin smartwatch and Oura ring that can detect if they are going to get sick in the next 1-2 days and automatically alert them.


The technology behind the watch and ring kit was built by a collaboration among the Defense Innovation Unit (DIU), the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA), and health tech conglomerate Philips.


So, you can buy the watch and the ring off Amazon or wherever you buy stuff online.  They are available commercially.


But the key to this working is algorithmic wizardry.


The Rapid Analysis of Threat Exposure (RATE) is trained on a dataset of more than a quarter-million patient records and detects illnesses on a scale of 1-100.   Although not originally designed to detect Covid-19, it’s being pivoted to do so.


They ain’t sharing
There are no plans to get FDA approval or use the algorithms more generally in the population at large.


The nugget of the story.  It’s the software, the algorithm, that is the key.  Algorithms like this could help detect illness quickly and easily beyond just Covid-19.  And they could be the key to fighting the spread of any future viruses that may raise their heads in the future. 

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