Monitors Give Remote Health Status of Warfighters

Wednesday - 12/1/2010, 12:05pm EST

New sensors that can be worn or ingested by warfighters will be used by pararescuemen and other medical technicians to remotely determine a soldier's health status.

The Battlefield Automatic Life Status Monitor, or BALSM, is being developed in coordination with the Air Force Research Lab. The devices provide remote physiologic monitoring for triage, rescue or recovery, as well as a health status history over time for each person.

A primary sensor measures the amount of oxygen in the blood and estimates heart rate and respiration. The other sensor is a wireless capsule that when ingested, measures core body temperature. The information is sent to medics through a radio receiver and monitoring software to a computer.

Medics can even be notified if a soldier is suffering from a condition such as dehydration or hypothermia before they do.