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Army looking for wearable early COVID-19 detector

The U.S. Army is looking for partners to develop a wearable unit to detect early signs of coronavirus infections.

The Army on Monday asked for proposals to develop “a wearable diagnostic capability for the pre‐/very early‐symptomatic detection of COVID‐19 infection.”

“Physiologic surveillance for COVID‐19 positive individuals that do not yet show clear medical symptoms is an ultimate goal,” its solicitation says. “Physiological signatures therefore must produce predictive algorithms that can be tied into validated and relevant antibody/molecular measurements.”

The Army added that the devices should be easy to read by non-medical personnel, and be “minimally-invasive” for wearers.

“Device(s) should be designed to be worn for continuous physiological monitoring in a non-obtrusive manner and should not affect the daily activity of the wearer,” the solicitation reads.

It also requests technology that has been tested in a lab.

Winning bidders must be prepared to go through Food and Drug Administration approvals, the Army said. 

The Defense Department has allocated $25 million for this project using a fast-paced funding mechanism outside normal acquisition channels, according to Nextgov, which first reported the solicitation. The news outlet added that the Pentagon is offering up to 10 awards for the development of a device that meets the Army’s requirements.

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