DoD SBIR 23.3 BAA

Active
No
Status
Closed
Release Date
August 23rd, 2023
Open Date
September 20th, 2023
Due Date(s)
October 18th, 2023
Close Date
October 18th, 2023
Topic No.
DHA233-004

Topic

Technology to Drive 60-day Runtimes in Wearable Devices

Agency

Department of DefenseN/A

Program

Type: SBIRPhase: BOTHYear: 2023

Summary

The Department of Defense (DoD) is seeking proposals for the development of technology to drive 60-day runtimes in wearable devices. The Defense Health Agency is specifically interested in hardware and embedded software technologies integrated onto a self-powered on-body sensor. The wearable device should include physiological and environmental sensing, recording, and processing capabilities, and operate off a non-AC/DC power supply. The device should be capable of a minimum of 60-day runtime and be able to operate in disconnected military relevant environments. The developed wearable devices will also require additional DoD relevant security measures. This funding opportunity aims to address the power supply limitations of commercially available wearable devices and enable continuous remote physiological monitoring to inform readiness metrics under austere military conditions. Phase I proposals should present a plan for the design, development, and fabrication of an on-body wearable, physiological sensor that operates on a non-AC/DC power source and demonstrates a 60-day or greater runtime. Phase II will focus on prototype development and refinement of the proof-of-concept device, with a demonstration of a 60-day runtime and interoperability with existing DoD wireless infrastructure. Phase III will involve longitudinal evaluation of the prototype in an operational environment and lay out plans for mass production, support, and service of the developed wearable devices. The deadline for proposal submission is October 18, 2023. For more information, visit the solicitation link.

Description

OUSD (R&E) CRITICAL TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Military Operational Medicine

OBJECTIVE: Invent and/or develop hardware and embedded software technologies integrated onto a self-powered on-body sensor. The wearable device should include physiological and environmental sensing, recording, and processing that should operate off a non-AC/DC power supply. The device shall be capable of a minimum of 60-day runtime and be able to operate in disconnected, i.e., no cloud or SaaS support, military relevant environments. The developed wearable devices will require additional DoD relevant security measures.

DESCRIPTION: Wearable devices offer the DoD novel information to support readiness of Service Members, informing health and safety risks (1,2). The DoD lacks the ability for continuous remote physiological monitoring to inform readiness metrics under austere military conditions due to power supply limitations of commercially available wearable devices. Addressing this gap will support feedback to the individual Service Member for improved individual performance and resilience, personnel wellness across the unit, and ultimately, to inform and support decisions affecting training, readiness, and mission planning (3).

This funding opportunity announcement solicits applications that address the development of a hardware and software technology to extend the runtime of wearable devices through the development of a self-powered on-body sensor that collects physiological data and operates in a disconnected military relevant environment. The development of this innovative technology will greatly improve the ability to field wearable devices for long periods of time where recharging may not be operationally feasible. While the innovation is within the development of a self-powering approach to extend wearable devices to a 60-day runtime, this must be done in conjunction with a robustly tested sensor suite so to ensure the data collected are high quality. Additionally, operational environments that involve movements, such as maritime, where induced environmental motion make detection of activity levels or sleep periods especially challenging should be addressed in sensor selection. If fielded, the technology may require secured communication methods.

PHASE I: Phase I proposals should present a plan for the design, development, and fabrication of a an on-body wearable, physiological sensor that operates on a non-AC/DC power source with up-to-date sensors for data capture and analysis. The proof-of-concept should demonstrate a 60-day or greater runtime without the need to connect and recharge from a power source. The proof-of-concept device should include emerging sensing innovations, numerous sensor transducers, and sufficient processing to extract multivariate/multimodal sensing biomarkers and health status summary information. Applicants should also present a clearly defined plan to improve any existing capabilities to support disconnected military relevant environments. Phase I will result in a proof of concept for testing and refinement in Phase II. Preference for made in U.S.A. compliance. A detailed definition of the device requirements will be provided to the successful Phase I demonstrations to proceed to Phase II.

PHASE II: Phase II will focus on prototype development and refinement of the proof-of-concept on-body sensor developed in phase I. The accomplishment of a 60-day runtime will be demonstrated in Phase II. Additionally, the developed wearable will need to be interoperable with existing DoD wireless infrastructure. The wearable devices will need to manage wireless transmission of health and readiness status information over a wireless link while maintaining an extended runtimes of 60-days or greater. Interface specifications will need to be provided to the DoD to define and develop appropriate wireless interfaces in existing data infrastructure. The prototype devices should have sufficient on-device memory storage to retain weeks’ worth of summary information and synchronize the saved information to the DoD support infrastructure. Applicants should also provide a detailed plan that will outline the verification and validation of the wearable device and sensing capabilities. The wearable device should provide at a minimum but not limited to, heart-rate, hear-rate variability, activity/motion, and asleep/awake health status information. Applicants should also provide a detailed plan that will occur for testing and evaluation (to include data type, frequency, and structure).

PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: Phase III will focus on the best performing prototype with intent to inform commercialization and future DoD procurement. Proposals should lay out a plan for longitudinal evaluation of their Phase II product in an operational environment. For Phase III, 50 prototypes will be delivered for testing in ongoing demonstrations with Navy Surface Force ships. This evaluation will consist of a cross comparison of the prototype function across two (or more) ships of different class and where appropriate include Marines and other service members embarked on warships (e.g., Destroyer vs. Amphibious Assault Ship) across the Operational Deployment Cycle/Optimized Fleet Response Plan Cycle. In Phase III performers shall outline the ability to mass produce, support, and service the developed wearable devices.

REFERENCES:

  1. “Military applications of soldier physiological monitoring”, Karl E. Friedl, Jour of Sci and Med in Sport, 2018 Nov; 21(11):1147.
  2. “Applying Heart Rate Variability to Monitor Health and Performance in Tactical Personnel: A Narrative Review”, Mark Stephenson, et. Al. Int J Envioron Res Public Health. 2021 Jul 31;18(15):8143.doi: 10.3390/ijerph18158143
  3. A Novel Digital Research Methodology for Continuous Health Assessment of the Special Operations Warfighter: The Digital cORA Study. Leslie Saxon, et. Al. J. Spec Oper Med. 2022 Dec 16;22(4):78-82. doi: 10.55460/4SSJ-AHIB.

KEYWORDS: Wearable monitoring, biometrics, remote data capture, self-powered sensor, energy storage, physiological sensors, military readiness, non- AC/DC power source