By Noah Shachtman April 15, 2009 | 8:41:00 AM
Katie Drummond is a freelance writer and an intern at WIRED magazine. This is her first post for Danger Room.
The military is throwing money into just about anything as it tries to treat the tens of thousands of soldiers coming home with post-traumatic stress and brain injuries. Everything from yoga to “samurai meditation” to pet therapy is receiving Pentagon cash. Next, recovering vets may soon have their own computerized pal to monitor their health and track their day-to-day lives – right down to reminding them of that 3 o’clock acupuncture session.
The Defense Department recently handed out contracts to three companies to design independent living systems for injured vets. They’re supposed to help the wounded make the transition from hospitalization to home, and then provide long-term care. Two of the systems being developed, from Ingenium Care, LLC and Camris International, use a wireless network packed with touch screens, motion detectors and wearable, pre-programmed schedulers. The system will track patient movement, take basic health measurements and provide assistance in day-to-day activities “through intelligent prompting.” The data is processed through an in-house server and sent digitally to a medical center for review.