USAF Seeks to Mitigate Neck and Back Pain in Aircrew

The U.S. Air Force issued a request for information (RFI) to gain feedback from entities that could provide capabilities for creating a wrist-worn physiological tactical wearable device.

The device will provide an individual and team analysis data plan and will be used to mitigate neck and back pain in fighter aircrew members. The program will provide training, recovery assistance, and support to preserve human combat capability.

“This presents an approach to the prevention of neck and back injuries that result in increased training cost, result in lost productivity, increase disability cost, result in a decrease in quality of life, and result in the premature departure from the Air Force for some fighter aircrew,” the RFI states. “This equipment will identify requirements to optimize and sustain pilot neck and back health needed.”

Aside from being wrist-worn, other specifications and installation requirements include:

  • The device must have no screen distractions and should be rugged, water resistant, an adjustable strap, and a minimum of three days for battery life;
  • It must be Security and Operational Security compliant with no WiFi or GPS able to go into Defense Department secure vault facilities;
  • It needs 24/7 data collection to measure heart rate, nervous system, and sleep tracking at the highest frequency available; and
  • Needs data tracking and applications to measure performance, strain, recovery, and sleep for individuals as well as for teams so that Command/Physicians can analyze and monitor that information.
Jordan Smith
About Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith is a MeriTalk Staff Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.

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