A new USC study in collaboration with the US Department of Defense plans on using the Apple Watch to monitor signs of any degradation among US Special operation forces (SOF).
The new study will continuously and comprehensively measure US Military Special Operation Forces (SOF) ‘s mental and physical status through a confidential and cybersecurity research mobile application (app) over a six-month period.
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How the US Special forces plan to use Apple Watch for understanding ‘Red-line’ events
In conjunction with data collected via the mobile app, wearable sensors, such as the Apple Watch, will be used to collect physiologic continuously (e.g., heart rate) and other data (e.g., activity, sleep).
The proposal’s overall objective is to investigate whether the app can contribute to reducing overall warfighter degradation and if degradation can be predicted from daily continuous measures of physical and mental behavior.
It is widely believed that Special Operations Forces (SOF) warfighters experience tremendous physical and mental strain and degradation after returning from deployment and during training before deployment.
This degradation has been loosely linked to behavior termed “red-line” events, such as alcohol abuse, suicide, and divorce.
However, there is a lack of comprehensive evaluation directly linking “red-line” behavior to physical and mental degradation.
The new USC study will recruit the following: 1) 250 warfighters from the 3rd Special Forces Group (SFG(A)) (Fort Bragg, NC) and 2) 250 warfighters from 1st Recon Battalion (Camp Pendleton, CA).
These are both elite military warfighting groups. 3rd SFG(A) will be enrolled within 3 months of returning from deployment (e.g., the Red Cycle), while Reconnaissance Marines will be enrolled up to 6 months before deployment during combat training (e.g., individual and unit training phases (ITP/UTP)).
The clinical study and the associated trials will be launched by the University of Southern California in collaboration with the US department of defense.
The new study details were released in the latest clinical trial listings.
The use of the Apple Watch as the wearable by elite spec op participants shows many new use cases where the watch can be used for remote monitoring wearable.