Phones have the capability to track a lot of our movements and activities and the Pentagon wants to use these features to benefit their employees. The headquarters of the US Department of Defense wants to keep track of the data picked up by the various sensors of mobile devices to diagnosis their employees’ illnesses before they occur.
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) recently announced they had employed cybersecurity company Kryptowire to develop WASH, a health program that stands for “Warfighter Analytics using Smartphones for Health”. DARPA awarded $5.1-million to Kryptowire to research ways in which phone data can be used to pinpoint diseases during early stages or even prevent them by assessing the risks of them occurring in the first place.
Information collected continuously and in real-time from cameras, light sensors, pedometers, fingerprint sensors, microphones and more will be the basis of the research. All users who will be a part of WASH will know the scope of the program and will have to give their consent before monitoring begins. Hospitals and medical research institutions will also be consulted during the duration of the program.
If WASH is successful, people will have access to better treatment while saving money on countless of doctors and extra assessments. At the moment, the researchers are targeting early detection of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and PTSD, but with a bit of luck, we’ll see private investors pushing the tech developed here into the civilian world. Certainly, this could help people stay more in control of their health and extend lifespans.