Booz Allen IoT Prototypes Signal Move Toward Health-Care, Emergency-Response Products

The consultancy is developing a platform to improve data security at hospitals, as well as a safety system for first-responders.
By Mary Catherine O'Connor

Furthermore, a tablet could be set with behavior rules, such as powering on or off, or enabling or disabling Wi-Fi or specific applications, based on location.

Smith says that Booz Allen is working with Intel and other undisclosed companies to commercialize District Defense for health-care applications.

The other demoed prototype would be useful to all first-responders—firefighters, soldiers, paramedics, and search-and-rescue personnel—who work in dangerous but also remote environments. The device, which is in an exoskeleton form factor, uses sensors to monitor the environment for hazards, such as low oxygen levels or harmful gasses, and also employs wireless biometric sensors to monitor the wearer's health. It would be linked wirelessly to a command center, via a cellular network of whatever network is most appropriate, based on location.

Smith cites the death of Lt. Kevin McRae, a 44-year-old firefighter in Washington, D.C., earlier this month. McRae had just emerged from a two-alarm apartment fire when he collapsed, Smith says. The cause of death remains unknown.

"This kind of wearable would give real-time updates on the user's health status and the conditions around them," Smith says. The device would issue alerts wirelessly to a command center whenever an individual's vital signs or environmental conditions, detected by the sensors, point to a serious problem. The commander-in-chief could then use an integrated communication system to call individuals to seek safety, or deploy others to the administer care to an individual who has been injured or has fallen ill.

According to Smith, the prototype is built to accommodate a range of different environmental sensors or biometric devices, and the final mix would likely be specific to each use case or individual. Booz Allen, he says, is working with manufacturing partners to bring this exoskeleton device to market as well.

Because its strength is in prototyping and not manufacturing, Smith notes, Booz Allen must rely on a network of partners to bring its ideas to scale. He says his company is already incorporating both prototypes into pilot projects in order to evaluate them, but that it is still too early to reveal any details about these projects and participating collaborators.

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