United States Armed Forces

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COVID-19: The Invisible Enemy

Military Leadership Faces the Same Challenges as Civilian Authorities

As the U.S. military struggles to contain rising infections in its active duty ranks, COVID has also limited the pool of viable new recruits. And, because of the nature of military life — large groups in confined quarters — social distancing is rarely practical.

So, to stem the rate of new infections, many exercises and training events, including basic training, have been delayed or cancelled, especially overseas.  This impact on military education could have enduring negative consequences for U.S. preparedness and national security, especially if quarantine rules are extended indefinitely.

At the same time, COVID has expanded the scope of national security by making public health and resiliency as or even more important than countering foreign adversaries. In response, the military has shifted personnel and material to augment civilian state and federal agency capabilities, leaving U.S. entities overseas more vulnerable to crises threatening stability in regions like Africa and the Middle East.

US Marine Corps in their blue uniform standing in formation

The Military Has Not Escaped PPE Shortages

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Again, like its civilian counterparts, the military has faced shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE) including diagnostic tools. "There is a dire and urgent need for development of rapid, accurate wearable diagnostics to identify and isolate pre-symptomatic COVID-19 cases and track/prevent the spread of the virus," noted a May UPI article discussing an RFP issued by the Army. The RFP was issued by the Medical Technology Enterprise Consortium, which collaborates with the U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command.

Fortunately, that wearable diagnostic solution already exists: FeverGuard. FeverGuard is a small, wearable health aid that fits comfortably on the upper arm. It monitors an individual’s temperature continuously and uses machine learning to analyze the data.

FeverGuard can identify service members that may be developing a potential fever — an early COVID symptom — so they can be tested, isolated, and treated as soon as possible. The Armed Forces counts 1.3 million active duty service members and 800,000 thousand in the reserves. FeverGuard can protect the women and men who faithfully serve our country here and abroad.

COVID Strikes at the Core of Military Culture

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The whole point of a military is to mass together to destroy an enemy. That’s exactly the wrong thing to do when confronting a transmissible virus. Instead, the standard, proven safety protocols must be adopted.

  • Masks mandatory
  • Rigorous attention to personal hygiene
  • Immediate isolation when infected
  • Social distancing where possible
  • More rapid testing

FeverGuard offers accurate, automated fever monitoring 24x7, reducing labor costs and time, especially for those in confined quarters like barracks and ships. It delivers an early warning at the first sign of a potential fever, allowing faster time to isolation of an infected, pre-symptomatic individual.

FeverGuard isn’t the only tool needed to stop the spread of COVID-19, but it could make an enormous difference. Earlier this year, the U.S. Senate overwhelmingly adopted a $2 trillion spending package that injected $10.5 billion into the Defense Department for pandemic response. Outfit the military with FeverGuard and there will still be plenty of that $10.5 billion leftover.