Wireless Vital Signs Monitor (Athena GSX/US Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Devan K. Gowans)

2018 Government Innovation Awards

Better medicine for the battlefield and the disaster zone

The battlefield is a chaotic place, and casualties can overwhelm the ability of a medic to monitor them. So the Office of Naval Research developed a device to serve as a medical force multiplier.

Wireless Vital Signs Monitor

Office of Naval Research, U.S. Navy

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The sensor-laden Wireless Vital Signs Monitor (WVSM) tracks heart rate, pulse, blood pressure and other key data. When strapped to a patient’s arm, it transmits that information to the attending medic’s tablet or smartphone, where a dedicated app can track up to 15 patients at once.

WVSM is more than a vital-signs monitor, however — algorithms can tell if a patient is stable or likely to worsen and predict the need for lifesaving interventions.

Developed in collaboration with the U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research and industry partner Athena GTX, WVSM also has value for civilian first responders. It recently received approval from the Food and Drug Administration, and agencies in a half-dozen states have bought more than 200 units.

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