The Problem This Solution Solves
Non-battle related infectious diseases still account for the majority of illnesses encountered by warfighters in modern campaigns. Moreover, COVID-19 highlights the DoD’s difficulty in operating in pandemics. Detecting potential illness before symptoms arise is critical to maintaining readiness in headquarters and operational environments.
RATE applies algorithms trained on longitudinal datasets of hospital infections to biometric data from commercial off-the-shelf wearables for early warning of infection up to 48 hours before symptoms appear. Early warning allows commanders to shift to a predictive medicine model when sick individuals are still in a pre-symptomatic window and capable of transmitting a virus. This model facilitates earlier diagnostic testing and treatment, earlier isolation of sick individuals to reduce community spread of communicable illnesses, and increases force readiness.
In April 2020, DIU leveraged our flexible Commercial Solutions Opening process to pivot ongoing RATE development to include early warning of COVID-19 infection. Within days of the physical rollout of wearables for the DIU-led effort, the team had their first successful detection of COVID-19; within six months, DIU scaled from 400 rollout participants to more than 7,000. Philips and Texas A&M University continuously refined the RATE algorithm based on the data received from the growing population group and collected more than 250 COVID-19 cases to achieve a precision rate of over 65% for COVID-19 detection as of the writing of this report.