The Pentagon Shows Up Late to the Party with Early COVID Detection Tool

Ruben PH/

COVID is basically over. It seems that Omicron was the last variant that we had to deal with. More and more cities are seeing a decline of both infections and hospitalizations. As we start to see hope on the horizon, even Democratic leaders are lifting the pandemic restrictions.

But wait…

The Pentagon has announced that they are working on an algorithm that will detect COVID early – and it involves using a fitness tracker.

Wow, imagine how being able to detect COVID early can change the game. Oh, but…the pandemic is almost over. It would have been great to have the technology a year ago. Now, it just shows that the Pentagon is late to the party.

The technology is pretty impressive – and it should be since they spent about two years working on the “predictive bio-wearable.” It may be able to detect whether a person has COVID hours or even days before they start to exhibit symptoms.

The Pentagon’s Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) awarded a contract to Philips Healthcare. It would allow DIU to continue working with their algorithm while being able to track 200 users.

With the award in place, it allows the project to move toward prototyping – and more government agencies will be able to acquire the technology.

Let’s be clear. This is an amazing piece of tech. Being able to detect COVID early will make it possible for people to get tested so that they aren’t exposing other people to the virus with the excuse of “I didn’t know.” Had this been introduced a year ago, it could have saved tens of thousands of people from ever getting sick with COVID.

The Pentagon is definitely on the right track. But there’s also the question of whether it would have changed anything. We have drugs that help people to recover from COVID, too – but they weren’t widely used. It’s as if the Biden administration wanted people to get sick so that they could exert as much control as possible.

This wearable tech would have allowed people to live their lives and only quarantine if COVID was detected. Gasp…this could have kept the economy up and running. Oh, yeah, this tech definitely wouldn’t have been welcomed last year…

It’s why it is only being talked about now. The reality is that DIU has actually been tracking users for a while. 11,500 users were tracked from June 2020 to September 2021 – but the results haven’t even been released because they have to be peer-reviewed first.

Jeff Schneider, the DIU rapid analysis threat exposure program manager, explains that the tech is capable of looking at various aspects of health, including respiration rate, heart rate, and oxygen saturation. A score is given – and depending on the score, it tells people that they should get a COVID test.

The score helps to alert those who are presymptomatic as well as asymptomatic. “We were able to prevent the spread,” Schneider boasts.

Predictive technology is great, and DIU isn’t the only one working on such programs.

While the tech may not be the game-changer it could have been for the COVID pandemic, perhaps they can implement that same technology into the next pandemic. Let’s hope there’s no need for such a thing, but we can never discount China for what they may have up their sleeve for mankind next…