US government to fund research into smart clothing for emergency staff

US government to fund research into smart clothing for emergency staff

US government to fund research into smart clothing for emergency service personnel
US government to fund research into smart clothing for emergency service personnel

The US government department of Homeland Security is investing in wearables that monitor the health of emergency crew in real-time.

The US government has launched a project to develop smart clothing that monitors the vital signs of emergency personnel in dangerous situations.

According to US-based publication, Fed Tech, the Department of Homeland Security is funding research that could see service personnel wear shirts with sensors to track health.

The clothing is being developed in partnership with Hexoskin and SensorUp. Canadian firm Hexoskin has developed a shirt that monitors the wearer’s health as well as movement type, number of steps taken, and sleep positions and cycles.

Hexoskin CEO Pierre-Alexandre Fournier told Fed Tech Magazine that the shirt can “measure breathing without having to put something on the head or face.”

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US government works with start-ups to monitor health

He added that he saw his company playing a significant role in managing the health of personnel in the military. Fourier said that IoT-connected objects will be in “contact with health professionals on a daily basis”.

Hexoskin worked with Homeland Security and SensorUp, the latter providing a monitoring platform. SensorUp’s cloud-based platform will take data from a variety of devices and sort the data from them in order to spot trends and issues with a wearer’s health. SensorUp has also partnered with 40 other IoT device manufacturers to create the platform that monitors personnel in near real-time.

The platform will also take in data from other devices, such as cameras, drones and air quality and smoke sensors to track overall conditions within a situation.

Grainne Murphy, senior engineer at ADI, told Internet of Business that the primary benefit of smart clothing for first responders is increased information on the health and location of a first responder, which directly leads to a safer working environment.

“If the critical vital signs and location of every emergency worker involved in an incident can be tracked in real time, this leads to many more insights for a central command team, who can alert the emergency workers to potential danger to themselves or their colleagues before it becomes critical,” she said.

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