To detect subtle signs of COVID-19 earlier, the Defense Threat Reduction Agency and Defense Innovation Unit are using a system comprised of commercial technology including wearable devices.

The technology, called Rapid Analysis of Threat Exposure (RATE), includes wearables that reportedly detect warning signs of the infection before the infected person shows physical symptoms of the virus.

The wearables collect data from roughly 165 biomarkers and that data is then processed in the cloud. The system then uses a mix of machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) to detect subtle changes taking place in the wearer’s physiology before symptoms of the infection are evident.

Such subtle changes caught early could potentially urge the wearer to seek out medical professionals for access to testing or to change their behaviors by potentially limiting contact with others, thereby slowing the spread of the virus.

The Defense Department is preparing to roll out RATE devices to nearly 5,000 military personnel in the near future.

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