The Israel Defence Forces (IDF) is developing a wearable, using most of the same metrics you'll find in any old fitness tracker, and it's designed to save soldiers' lives.
The band, which is sometimes referred to as a smartwatch, is part of a system called Refuah Slema - which means 'complete healing' in Hebrew. The idea is that it is placed on a wounded soldier's wrist by an army medic in the field and then activated by their smartphone.
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The wearable then tracks the vital signs, such as temperature, pulse and blood pressure, of the wearer and sends this info (along with details of injuries) to the hospital where he/she will be treated. The aim is to collect data in real time - it measures health continuously from when it is put on the soldier - and make the treatment process faster and better.
Refuah Slema is the work of graduates of the Teleprocessing Corps officers training course and they estimate the sensor-based system will take up to three years to develop.
"This development is meant to assist the medical team in making the right treatment decision in real time," said Major Dr. Ariel Hirschorn, head of medical identification at the IDF. "Documenting and transferring information will be done almost completely automatically, so the attention of the medic can be solely focused on the wounded."
Most news on military wearables concerns smart textiles to, for instance, lighten the load for soldiers. Last summer, Apple and Lockheed Martin were named as part of a partnership with the US Department of Defense which is looking into the value of stretchable electronics.
Wearable tech will be a fresh battleground in military tech but prototype systems like the IDF's will be just as important as expensive intelligent fabrics.
Source: Jerusalem Online