Tracking people’s phones could soon work in their advantage. The Pentagon wants to keep track of the data picked up by the various sensors in a mobile device to diagnosis their employees’ illnesses in due time.
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency recently announced they had employed cybersecurity company Kryptowire to develop WASH, a health program that stands for “Warfighter Analytics using Smartphones for Health”. DARPA gave $5.1-million to research ways in which phone data can be used to pinpoint diseases from early stages or even prevent them by assessing the risks of them occurring in the first place.
At the moment, the researchers are targeting early detection of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s but also PTSD.
Information collected continuously and in real-time from cameras, light sensors, pedometers, fingerprint sensors, microphones and more will be the basis of the research. All users who will be a part of WASH will know the scope of the program and will have to give their consent before monitoring begins.
Hospitals and medical research institutions will be consulted during the whole duration of the program, which means until 2021 .
If WASH is successful, people will have access to better treatment while saving money on countless of doctors and extra assessments. With a bit of luck, we’ll see private investors pushing the tech developed here into the civilian world and helping more people stay in control of their health and extending their lifespan.