Announced in collaboration with the company’s partners RTI International and Duke University, the RTI DARPA SIGMA+ funded effort is based on evaluating monitoring platforms including Profusa’s first-of-its-kind, minimally-invasive injectable biosensor technology – the Lumee Oxygen Platform – to measure tissue oxygen levels as a potential indicator of human response to infection or exposure.

Unlike current methods that track and predict outbreaks via public health network data of patients that seek medical care after already experiencing symptoms, the program will assess the ability to collect real-time physiological data including oxygen status through Profusa’s injectable biosensor, and other measures to detect impending distress before symptoms are present.

“We believe that data collected by monitoring real-time changes in body chemistry will allow us to make an important shift towards preventative care and away from costly sick-care needed after a pandemic, like the flu, has taken hold,” says Ben Hwang, Chairman and CEO of Profusa. “This could lead to advances like more effective vaccines and disease prevention plans that improve health outcomes and potentially reduce healthcare costs. We are honored to receive this DARPA grant and excited to work alongside our partners towards a healthcare ecosystem that is focused on true personalized care.”

The data collected by the program, says the company, will be used to develop new algorithms for the detection of respiratory infections using machine learning techniques with the goal of optimizing predictive capabilities. The collaborative effort will monitor patients simultaneously, so the technology can provide real-time, geospatial information on the spread of an infectious disease in an urban environment, to derive more effective countermeasures and mitigation strategies.

The project is part of DARPA’s SIGMA+ program in the Defense Sciences Office (DSO). The DARPA SIGMA+ program aims to expand SIGMA’s advance capability to detect illicit radioactive and nuclear materials by developing new sensors and networks that would alert authorities to chemical, biological, and explosives threats as well.


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