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The 24th Special Operations Wing (SOW) and Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) have partnered to develop a Covid-19 risk mitigation smartphone app.

Using an existing human performance software known as Smartabase, the airforce special tactics community included a ‘Covid-19 Check-In’ feature to the app.

This solution on the special tactics operators’ smartphones helps monitor their pre-and post-deployment health status.

The 24th SOW surgeon general colonel John Dorsch said: “We recognised the need for real-time monitoring of the force and readiness impact from Covid-19.

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“Covid-19 screening was a natural extension of our efforts since it is another risk to force like others for which we are monitoring, such as musculoskeletal injuries and PTSD.”

Designed for daily survey, the app requires users to input daily temperature, possible symptoms, risk factors, exposure and mental health state.

Medical teams will be alerted in case the data collected from the ST operators shows abnormalities.

This is expected to maintain operator readiness and ensure the efficiency of personnel on the battlefield.

The back-end development of the initiative was led by human performance research scientist Dr Adam Strang. He is also AFRL’s director of the Signature Tracking for Optimized Nutrition and Training (STRONG) team.

The technology has successfully monitored outgoing and returning deployers.

Further, the technology has been integrated at the 1st Special Operations Medical Group at Hurlburt Field and 27th Special Operations Medical Group at Cannon Air Force Base in New Mexico.

The application has monitored the pre-deployment health of almost 250 air commandos.

USAF 24th SOW POTFF director Craig Engelson said: “This ensures commanders have important information related to their operators and allows them to make the best decisions about who goes where and does what.

“In the past, they have had to coordinate with multiple departments and multiple systems to get the same information.”