Sharon Weinberger over at WIRED’s Danger Room, has learned that DARPA is now accepting applications for a new “smart tape” sensor patch to monitor the health of soldiers on and off of the battlefield. Have smart shirts lost their luster already?
The objective of this program is to develop low-cost medical sensor systems to support DoD missions, in particular to measure the cumulative effects of blast exposure, and to assist in combat medical care, patient triage, and physiologic monitoring in support of physiologic performance. It is anticipated that meeting the goals of this program will require furthering print-on electronics and ink formulation technologies. DARPA is interested in receiving proposals that exploit the novel properties of print-on electronics to develop these medical monitoring systems.
There are two principle systems of interest: helmet (or body-mounted) blast dosimeters; and basic patient physiological monitoring devices that measure, for example, heart rate, body temperature, pulse, respiration and blood oxygen saturation. Each system should consist of a patch-like sensor device, and a monitoring unit for communicating with the sensor tape patch. Other innovative medical devices that incorporate print-on electronics and related enabling technologies may also be proposed.