Digital health and wellness company IncludeHealth has secured an AFWERX Phase I grant from the US Department of Defense (DoD) and the US Air Force for the delivery and standardisation of next-generation warfighter fitness protocols.

In a two-month study involving 40 warfighters, the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) will employ IncludeHealth’s equipment and cloud-based platform at its Signature Tracking for Optimized Nutrition and Training (STRONG) lab at the Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio.

AFRL STRONG lab director Dr Adam Strang said: “We are interested in applying IncludeHealth’s technology to develop and validate next-generation, mission-specific fitness protocols resulting in objective, data-driven, and evidenced-based duty qualifying scores.

“We also see powerful applications to remotely issue individualised training and rehab protocols across the Air Force network without the need for human proxy.”

Phase I of the Small Business Innovation Research grant will adopt IncludeHealth’s medical-grade platform to produce tailored warfighter fitness protocols, using cloud-based data.

Initially, a fitness coach will be on hand to oversee the delivery of the protocols, but the developers said they hope to devise fully autonomous training using IncludeHealth’s cloud platform, which complies with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996.

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IncludeHealth founder and CEO Ryan Eder said: “By providing integrated digital and physical tools with deep objective data sets, our technology has the potential for meaningful impact and powerful applications in the DoD and Air Force.

“We hope to leverage our commercialised platform to help further quantify and qualify the health of our warfighters while also ensuring best-in-class care post deployment, whether that is returning to duty or civilian life. It’s an honour to apply our technology towards this purpose.”

Phase II and III of the grant are expected to expand the project further by using IncludeHealth’s technology across the US Air Force network to incorporate more data and deliver the next-generation protocols to the DoD.

IncludeHealth’s commercial partners will also have access to any updates achieved during the grant programme.