Military Algorithm Can Predict Illness 48 Hours Before Symptoms Show

Read more on this subject: Science, Medicine and Technology
News Story Source:, By Aaron Boyd
U.S. service members are strong but they're still people, and people get sick sometimes. But when one gets sick at the last minute, that can have serious repercussions on their unit's ability to execute critical missions.

The Defense Threat Reduction Agency, or DTRA, is trying to get ahead of this problem by developing a predictive algorithm that knows whether a service member is falling ill—due to anything from a cold to exposure to biological weapons—up to 48 hours before they start to show any symptoms.

"Think of it as a check-engine for the human body," Edward Argenta, science and technology manager for DTRA's Joint Science and Technology Office, told Nextgov.

DTRA partnered with the Defense Innovation Unit to leverage the latter's other transaction authority—a special procurement method outside of the Federal Acquisition Regulations—to develop the algorithm hand-in-hand with health IT company Royal Philips.

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