UB to help create battlefield, civilian wearable tech

Courtesy University at Buffalo

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — A collaboration at the University at Buffalo between a software development company and an engineering professor is working towards creating a system which could help soldiers in the field and civilians at home.

Their work — which is funded by a $150,000 grant from the Office of Naval Research — is aiming at creating a system which when worn would send personalized alerts indicating when the individual’s level of stress puts them in danger.

“Whether carrying 100 pounds of gear up a mountain or avoiding makeshift bombs, today’s soldiers face incredible physical and mental stress,” Albert Titus, PhD professor and chair of UB’s Department of Biomedical Engineering, said. “Our wearable system aims to measure how the body reacts to those challenges and combine that information with algorithms designed to help keep soldiers as safe as possible.”

The system is incomplete, but when it’s done, it will feature a host of electrodes which measure heart rate, brain activity and other vital signs wirelessly.

Titus compared the electrodes to those used at a hospital, but his electrodes won’t be typical. They need to be shaved in weight and durable in order to handle the stresses on the battlefield.

But it won’t just be used on the battlefield. One aspect of the grant funding is the research must dual as both battlefield and commercial use.

The technology could be used as a device which monitors health in those who wear it.