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For Immediate Release -- October 28, 2019
Wide Release of New 'Fatigue Management' Tool Targets Drowsy Soldiers and Civilians
2B-Alert tool could help reduce fatigue, accidents for Soldiers and the American public
(Fort Detrick, Md.) – The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) has successfully licensed the groundbreaking 2B-Alert fatigue-management artificial intelligence (AI) tool, a software system that aims to counteract the negative effects of sleep deprivation and fatigue. The effort could both dramatically improve alertness levels and decrease accident and injury levels for Service members worldwide.
The licensing for the 2B-Alert technology, which was originally developed at the U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command's (USAMRDC) Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center (TATRC) and licensed via the USAMRDC Medical Technology Transfer Office and TechLink, was ultimately awarded to Integrated Safety Support, a company focused on fatigue training, analysis, and management, as well as solutions that enhance future workforces.
"It is gratifying to see the research efforts of numerous individuals across many years culminate in a product that will be useful for both the military and the general public, and which promises to increase Warfighter Readiness on a wide scale," said Dr. Jaques Reifman, Director of the TATRC Biotechnology High Performance Computing Software Applications Institute (BHSAI).
A product of more than ten years of research and development, the 2B-Alert smartphone tool was originally conceived by Reifman's team and additional researchers at the USAMRDC's Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR). The tool is essentially a bio-mathematical model that uses AI to automatically learn how an individual responds to sleep deprivation – that is, less than seven to eight hours of sleep per night – and then provides countermeasure recommendations customized for that specific individual to reduce or eliminate cognitive deficits caused by that very sleep deprivation. The user can also query the tool for recommendations that lead to heightened alertness during a specific time of the day, such as during a test or military activities requiring increased vigilance. The 2B-Alert tool is available for iPhone and Android smartphones.
Sleep deprivation is a universal challenge faced by nearly all Service members, especially during military operations. It can lead to accidents and catastrophic mission failures. The ability to predict future alertness levels and then recommend effective measures to counteract cognitive deficits can help reduce or prevent accidents and injury. Given the potential of commercial partners to add improvements and features to new technologies to create value-added products, the possibilities for a new generation of scientifically validated fatigue-management devices seem limitless.