Wearable Device to Assist First Responders

By Yasmin Tadjdeh

A new device called the “Wearable Smart Gateway” can connect sensors — such as body cameras, heart rate monitors and locator beacons — worn by first responders or members of the military and feed that data back to a command center.

The device, which was developed by Mutualink, a Wallingford, Connecticut-based communication and multimedia company, can be used to give agencies and commanders better situational awareness, said one executive.

“A remote agency can see the data, how a soldier or a first responder is feeling by their biologic measurements [and] what they’re seeing from real-time body cameras,” said Michael Wengrovitz, vice president of innovation for Mutualink.

Data is sent securely and instantly to a cloud-based network, which can be accessed by a command center, he said. It can be viewed through a browser on a computer, a tablet or a smartphone.

The device is powered by Intel’s Edison chip, he said. “It’s basically a computer, which is the size of a postage stamp, that runs off a small battery. … It hardly takes any energy at all.”

It can be used for a variety of situations, including monitoring a person’s vital signs, Wengrovitz said.

For example, if a first responder is out in the field and doing a strenuous mission, sensors on his or her body could alert a commander to an elevated heart rate, he said.

“The heart rate changes colors on the display when it gets above a certain threshold,” he said. It can also set off an audible alarm that will notify the responder and the commander.

That commander could then send in a replacement or call an ambulance. Data from the wearable sensor can then be transferred directly to the hospital, Wengrovitz said.

The Wearable Smart Gateway comes in two different versions. One is tiny enough to fit into a vest or coat pocket and the other is a ruggedized device that can snap onto the back of a cell phone.

Photo: Mutualink

Topics: Homeland Security, Infotech, Infotech

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