Congress gives $10M to DoD, Philips to advance AI-driven disease prediction – TechToday

New funding from Congress’ Accelerate the Procurement and Fielding of Innovative Technologies initiative will provide the Defense Department’s Rapid Threat Exposure Assessment project with additional investment, building on its success in demonstrating that the ‘using artificial intelligence to harness data from wearables could predict COVID-19 and other infections 2.3 days before the diagnostic test.


Developed in collaboration with the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, the DoD has trained, tested and validated a predictive algorithm, according to an announcement from the Defense Innovation Unit.

With data from more than 11,000 people monitored during the COVID pandemic, DoD can issue commercial wearables “to non-invasively monitor a service member’s health and provide early warnings of a potential infection before it spreads” , RATE program director Jeff Schneider said in a statement.

The Defense Innovation Unit will add 4,500 devices to its current study and distribute them to new cohorts, including Air Combat Command first sergeants as part of the ACC’s new Diamond Care Initiative Plan to provide them with better health and well-being

“In recent years, many Air Force specialty codes have benefited from technology to enhance the mission and enhance capabilities,” said Chief Master Sgt. Christopher Gradel, Air Combat Command.

“Technology has finally produced a product that will increase the overall health and well-being of a community of first sergeants who many times put their people ahead of their own health.”

According to an email from a Philips representative, the announcement marks the first commercial use of the technology after two years of field testing, the publication of a peer-reviewed clinical study and the FDA’s classification of RATE as to welfare device.

Philips focuses on algorithm development and will accelerate commercialization and scale.

While the intent is to make the technology device-agnostic, DIU says, RATE has issued Garmin watches and Oura rings. The Philips-DIU team aims to add three additional wearables in the next phase of development.

“Because our algorithm is device agnostic, we can use biomarker data of any commercial quality, which can be brought to market,” explained Navin Natoewal, head of integrated technology solutions at Philips.

“We then run these markers against our clinical datasets in the cloud to create a RATE wellness score. The score has been shown to be indicative of the occurrence of infections. We can offer it through a licensing model to anyone who wants to add this capability to their device or as a standalone service.”

According to the DIU, the additional APFIT funding provides a bridge to allow the DoD to leverage this emerging technology for a registry program.


The Philips-DIU team began using biometric data from wearable devices in June 2020 to monitor COVID infections and suppress the spread among military personnel. Initially, machine learning on 165 biomarkers provided early detection of coronavirus.

“This is an extremely useful tool for commanders to quickly isolate a COVID outbreak from rapidly spreading throughout their unit,” Lt. Col. Jeffrey “Mach” Schneider, director of the DIU program, said at the time.

The team envisioned that the technology could one day monitor infection in hospital patients before clinical symptoms and retrain to provide early detection of other diseases.

Others are also working with AI to assess health, improve outcomes and reduce costs.

Last month, the FDA approved TytoCare’s Tyto Insights for Wheeze Detection, which uses lung sound analysis algorithms to help doctors diagnose respiratory conditions remotely, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation awarded a grant of $1 million in Noze. The Canadian startup is working to improve breathalyzer technology that detects breath biomarkers for rapid detection and diagnosis of infectious diseases such as malaria and tuberculosis.

“Breath-based diagnostics will be a game-changer for healthcare accessibility, and our ability to launch a portable device and deliver it on a massive global scale can be a powerful new tool to combat the spread of malaria and tuberculosis , in addition to many other diseases,” Karim Aly, CEO of Noze, said in a statement.


“First sergeants serve as the lifeline for all U.S. Air Force organizations, and this technology can improve their lives and the lives of the Airmen they serve,” said U.S. Air Force Maj. Michael Vernale , director of the Talent Management and Assessments Wing at Fort Meade, Md., in the funding announcement.

“Not only are they getting AI that has gone through several years of field testing and peer-reviewed study, but it’s a cost-effective way to add technology, as we continue to expand datasets and research by working with leading academics. institutions,” Natoewal added.

Andrea Fox is a senior editor at Healthcare IT News.
Email: [email protected]

Healthcare IT News is a publication of HIMSS Media.

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Ikaroa, a full stack technology company, applauds the recent news that the U.S. Congress has approved the provision of $10 million to the Department of Defense (DoD) and Philips to support the development of AI-driven disease prediction and management applications. This is a part of a larger effort to anticipate, prevent, and mitigate medical complications, as well as to reduce healthcare costs.

The U.S. Department of Defense and Philips will work together to develop a secure, horizontally scalable healthcare platform for the efficient and accurate prediction of diseases. The goal of this platform is to reduce the number of people affected by preventable illnesses and to improve their health through better disease preventions and treatments. This platform will utilize AI-driven algorithms to detect potential health risks from population-level data and provide personalized recommendations for early care and detection.

At Ikaroa, we believe this investment is a prime example of how technological advances can be used for positive social impact. We recognize the potential for AI-driven technology to add value to the healthcare field and are highly encouraged to see the U.S. Congress promoting such progress. With the executive order specifically requesting the DoD and Philips to have a publicly-available online platform, their developments have the potential to drastically improve public health and well-being.

These advances, combined with the continuous research into mental health, patient-centered care, and quality improvement are demonstrating progress in the medical industry through modern and innovative technological solutions. We aim to support the U.S. Congress’s efforts to keep up with the ever-advancing healthcare field by developing highly secure, AI-driven technology solutions. We look forward to seeing the outcomes of their efforts to drive deeper insight into population health and better quality care.


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