News | Oct 21, 2019
Heatstroke has top athletes, soldiers falling out. This training app is the solution.
Developed by the U.S. and U.K. militaries, the iHATT application is ready for a commercial partner
The U.S. Army’s exercise app that acclimatizes athletes to hot climates is primed for adoption by a commercial partner, according to a tech expert that’s reviewed the underlying research.
Jointly developed with the U.K.’s Royal Navy, the iHATT, or intelligent heat acclimation training tool, prevents heat injuries by helping athletes (or soldiers) safely adapt to hot environments as fast as possible.
“It monitors heart rate and temperature data so trainees can keep straining their bodies within optimal limits. The lower limit ensures a shortened acclimation period and the upper limits prevent heat injuries during training,” Quinton King, senior technology manager at TechLink said Monday.
“It’s intelligent because the limits are established by an adaptive Physiological Strain Index, which progresses appropriately as the athlete’s body becomes acclimated,” the tech expert said. “For accuracy and individual enhancement, the modeling includes height, weight, and age data.”
IHATT was invented by Drs. Mark Buller of the U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine at Fort Detrick, and Simon K. Delves of the Royal Navy’s Institute of Naval Medicine in Gosport. The technology is patent-pending thanks to an international patent application filed by both governments and made public in June.
King, a tech licensing expert who has unique access to U.S. Army labs, is marketing the iHATT to companies that can package it as a product with public availability, most likely as a smartphone app or smartwatch software. Because iHATT was jointly developed and owned, King is coordinating with his British counterparts at Ploughshare Innovations.
A decade of data from the U.S. Military Health System, first reported by InsideClimate News and NBC News in July 2019, shows that the incidence of heatstroke in the U.S. military is climbing fast, and at least 17 active-duty service members have died.
Professional and amateur athletes are also at risk.
In August, high heat and humidity in Tokyo forced the International Triathlon Union to shorten the running segment of the race by five kilometers after French athlete Cassandre Beaugrand was hospitalized for suspected heatstroke, according to France 24.
“This is a solution to a real problem,” King said. “And that has us very optimistic we’ll be able to license it to a commercial partner shortly, so it can reach the track and field.”