“RATE would allow us to non-invasively monitor a service member’s health and provide early alerts to potential infection that will help us to ensure troop readiness, better support their health and protect against the threat of further spread of the disease,” said Edward Argenta, Science and Technology Manager at DTRA. “Unlike other more narrow approaches, this solution is designed to recognize a wide variety of infections and can help identify future novel threats.”
The COVID-19 pandemic is having a profound impact on society, the economy and the country. It has become a catalyst for healthcare transformation, requiring organizations to be more adaptive to drive rapid innovation. RATE is an example of public-private partnership, pivoting to quickly address the challenge. RATE integrates with consumer commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) wearables to measure biomarkers. The biomarker data is processed in the cloud as part of a Software as a Service (SaaS) model and allows users to see their hourly RATE score through a secure web site. The RATE-COVID system began deployment with U.S. military units on June 16, 2020, and the study is expected to grow to several thousand participants in the next few weeks.
“By combining commercial technology, a rich data source and simple to use wearables, we are effectively providing a check-engine light on the military service member and getting that alert before they’re broken down with a disease. In military speak, we’re targeting left-of-cough awareness,” said Christian Whitchurch, PhD, DIU Human Systems Portfolio Director.
The RATE-COVID is designed to eventually work with any/all wearables, and will be able to deploy in a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) approach in the future,
Because of its broad foundation on empirical science, the RATE approach uses large-scale data machine learning and trade-space analyses across 165 different biomarkers from a rich Philips data set of over 41,000 cases of hospital acquired infection. The risk score works for multiple general types of infection, including COVID-19. Philips scientists are looking at ways the solution can be used to detect the next new unknown infectious agent.
The technology could further be applied in a civilian capacity by helping to monitor hospital patients for infection prior to clinical symptoms. Moreover, the early warning solution could help organizations to manage COVID-19 return-to-work activities by helping with the early identification of individuals who may be infected and who should self-isolate and work from home.
“The RATE science shows that physiological response to infection has similarities across different types of infectious agents, and we anticipate that this will also apply to RATE-COVID, giving us a useful early warning solution,” said Dr. Joe Frassica, Chief Medical Officer and Head of Philips Research North America. “As we continue to get new data from monitored cases of COVID-19, we will be able to refine the RATE-COVID algorithm in the near future. We hope that this will not only allow us to protect people from contracting the disease, but to also intervene early and treat those who are infected.”
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency also provided funding for the RATE-COVID effort and provided expertise in networking issues for DoD use. This project was also in collaboration with Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station.