Biometric wearables deployed for worker safety, illness detection, therapy trial

Biometric wearables deployed for worker safety, illness detection, therapy trial

Wearables with embedded biometric capabilities from Canaria are being used for safety monitoring, while devices from Garmin and Oura are being deployed by the U.S. military, Whoop technology is playing a part in psychedelic therapy testing, LifeQ has been selected by Xiaomi and Panasonic has a new connector for wearable sensor modules.

An ear-worn wearable developed by Australia’s Canaria Technologies is being used to provide predictive biometric screening to keep miners safe, Mining Magazine writes.

The fifth-generation device, known as Canaria-V, detects symptoms of approaching heat exhaustion and cognitive fatigue, according to the report, and is being trialled by Macarthur Minerals at a mine in Western Australia.

The Canaria-V collects biometric and environmental data, such as temperature, barometric pressure, and humidity, and applies an artificial intelligence algorithm to predict the onset of “microsleep,” heat exhaustion, or other emergencies. The device was developed through tests of wearables Canaria CEO Alex Moss says have medical-grade accuracy.

Moss says two-thirds of heavy industrial accidents are cause by cognitive fatigue, and understanding how they come about can enable mine operators to take different measures, such as new training protocols.

The wearable does not gather sensitive data about people’s leisure-time activities, health status or productivity, Moss says, claiming the company follows “EU Best Practice Data Privacy Laws.”

Air Force rolls out wearables for COVID-19 detection

The 649th Munitions Squadron at Hill Air Force Base now includes a smartwatch with its uniform, and will soon add a smart ring to provide early detection of COVID-19 and other illnesses, through biometrics, according to an Air Force Materiel Command article.

The deployment of Garmin watches and Oura rings is part of a Defense Innovation Unit research program, and the unit is among the first from U.S. Air Force and Air Force Materiel Command to participate. The wearables will collect sleep data, respiratory and heart rate biometrics, blood oxygen and body temperature.

An algorithm co-developed by the DIU, the Defense Threat Reduction Agency and Philips Healthcare called Rapid Analysis of Threat Exposure, analyzes 165 biomarkers, with the goal of recognizing an infection or virus 48 hours prior to symptoms first appearing.

The squadron will assign two investigators to monitor anonymized signals, and if an individual’s score becomes worrying, check their ID number and notify the individual about what is referred to by the unit commander as equivalent to a “check-engine light.”

Whoop to collect biometrics to measure physical impact of psychedelic therapies

Whoop has partnered with Field Trip Health Ltd. to measure the biometric effects of psychedelic therapies via the Whoop Strap 3.0, according to an announcement.

Field Trip is conducting an observational study to see if its ketamine-assisted therapies, which it says have demonstrated effectiveness in treating mental and emotional health conditions, also result in improvements in physical health.

The wearable will be used to measure heart rate variability, resting heart rate, and sleep quality.

Field Trip gained access to Whoop’s technology and additional technology for data insights through a research partnership and enterprise program. The initial focus of the study will be on benefit to military veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress and other mental health challenges.

“Through our initial work with SEAL Future Foundation, we were able to show that psilocybin and ayahuasca therapies had profoundly positive effects on the physiology of veteran SEALs,” said Whoop Vice President of Performance Science Kristen Holmes. “With this program at Field Trip, which is offering legal treatment with psychedelic therapies across North America and Europe, we hope to be part of the healing of a much larger group of people, and further show that 24/7 health monitoring by WHOOP technology can help people take control of their overall well-being when used in association with new mental and emotional health therapies.”

Field Trip Health has also announced the rollout of its digital mental health platform Portal, which will be used during the trial to collect biometric data from the Whoop devices.

LifeQ blood oxygen biometrics integrated into Xiaomi smart watch

Blood oxygen measuring capabilities from LifeQ have been built into the new Xiaomi Mi smart watch, Healthcare Global reports.

A sensor LifeQ developed in partnership with Texas Instruments captures four separate optical paths through the wearer’s skin, which allows the algorithm on the device to isolate biometric signals from noise for accurate results, without requiring additional power consumption.

The sensor uses multiple diodes and wavelengths.

The ability to continuously measure blood oxygen could benefit people who require monitoring through the night, such as people with sleep apnea, according to the report.

Panasonic launches connectors for smaller wearables

A line of connectors for sensor modules and other wearables components has been brought to commercial launch by Panasonic to support smaller devices.

The R35K Series of Board to FPC Narrow Pitch Connectors reduce the amount of space needed, as well as providing vibration and impact resistance, to enable the design of wearables with smaller form-factors and improved reliability. The connectors have a single-row terminal structure, rather than the double-row terminals commonly found on wearable connectors, which require a larger board mounting area and more complex wiring, the company says.

The connectors are appropriate for integration in wearables like wristbands, earphones, and AR/VR glasses, Panasonic suggests.

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