Technology, Data & Innovation

Supporting Enterprise-Level Insights Through Wearable Technology

army/soldiers with laptop

Leveraging data to protect and optimize U.S. military force readiness

Devices like smartwatches are now ubiquitous in the commercial market due to their convenience and diverse functionality. The U.S. military is in the process of realizing the potential that wearables offer for evaluating individual warfighter health and performance and contributing to overall assessment of force readiness.

The Challenge

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. Army called on Exponent to explore utilizing wearables to help safeguard readiness by answering a variety of questions, such as: What role might wearables play in the future of the military? What are the performance characteristics of digital proximity logging solutions?  What user acceptance issues might be anticipated?  And what challenges do device type, data capture and security, and implementation pose? 

Exponent's MULTIDISCIPLINARY Solution  

Exponent conducted a study of a wearable-proximity logging capability at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and on two Navy ships — bridging technology, health sciences, usability, and data science to evaluate the potential for a digital proximity logging capability to support contact tracing.

These studies have led to follow-on projects where Exponent is currently helping the U.S. military to define a common structured environment for wearable design, development, and deployment efforts, as well as establish the standards, best practices, and guidelines for evaluating wearable devices.

Exponent's Impact

Today, wearables connect performance insights back to the individual. Exponent's collective efforts will help the U.S. military take these individualized insights and leverage them at the enterprise level to support protecting and optimizing U.S. military force readiness.