Real-time remote stress monitoring based on specific stress modelling considering load characteristics of different military forces

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Conference Proceedings
Authors: Alexander AlmerAnna WeberFlorian HaidLucas PalettaMichael SchneebergerStefan LadstätterDietmar WallnerPaul GlanzPhilipp KlöcklDominik EderThomas Hölzl

Abstract: An ongoing challenge for the Military Task Forces is the management of personnel to optimise and maintain performance, whilst also ensuring ongoing health and wellbeing. In the course of intensive training and exercises as well as in real operational scenarios, soldiers often suffer physiological and psychological borderline stresses and also injuries during physical and combat-related training, with overuse injuries often occurring here. Innovative developments and research projects for the physiological monitoring of soldiers arise, based on innovative developments in the field of biosensor technology. Soldiers are at the center of deployed sociotechnical systems despite major innovations in the field of autonomous systems and artificial intelligence (Swiss, 2020). These are aspects and development approaches that are of great interest to military as well as civilian task forces. Motivation and Requirements: Military training and exercise missions as well as real deployment scenarios are often associated with a high degree of physical stress and responsibility and require a high level of mental performance and concentration. Reduced concentration and reaction cause delayed or possibly even wrong decisions, which can have fatal consequences. The research project VitalMonitor therefore focuses on the development of a (i) real-time monitoring system, which analyses changes in physiological parameters from heart rate, heart rate variability, skin conductance, core body temperature, etc., (ii) decision support tool for mission commanders to determine optimal work-rest-cycles preventing physical overstraining in trainings and missions (iii) personalized physical fitness training for soldiers to control their individual stress situation in a targeted manner avoiding poor performance. Methods and Results: In order to be able to make concrete statements about a current, individual stress situation for the soldiers of different task forces, it is necessary to characterize the work stress and to develop specific load and stress models. Basically, here is a relevant difference in the stress models if we compare e.g. CBRN group, light infantry forces and special military forces in the operational loads. In a first step, an attempt was made to create a so-called expert model for the load characteristics on the basis of extensive expert knowledge and measured values collected in the context of various stress tests with various military task forces. The focus was initially on the CBRN task force and further extensive tests were carried out as part of the VitalMonitor project.The basis for the creation of a specific stress model is the comprehensive analysis of the scenario-related work conditions, the psychological and cognitive stress as well as the physiological stress and the interrelationships that occur. The use of an available innovative bio-sensor technology must enable the remote measurement of vital values of the soldiers in the different deployment scenarios. Conclusion and Outlook: Soldiers are at the center of deployed sociotechnical military systems, while requirements in the physiological and cognitive field have increased significantly. Therefore, optimized capability and performance development for soldiers is a key focus for military organizations. Innovative biosensor technology, which is currently available on the commercial market, enables the monitoring of physiological parameters during physical strain and thus basically also during different military deployment scenarios. A targeted use for military tasks, which provides soldiers, executives and medical personnel with meaningful, real-time situation-relevant information, requires an intelligent analysis of the sensor data. These analysis methods take into account, on the one hand, the load characteristics of the operational scenarios and, on the other hand, the individual fitness and stress situation of the persons.

Keywords: Real, Time Physiological Stress Monitoring, Wearable Biosensors, Physiological Stress Model, Core Body Temperature

DOI: 10.54941/ahfe1003977

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