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Smart integrated extreme environment health monitor with sensory feedback for enhanced situation awareness

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - SIXTHSENSE (Smart integrated extreme environment health monitor with sensory feedback for enhanced situation awareness)

Período documentado: 2021-11-01 hasta 2023-10-31

SIXTHSENSE is a project designed to enhance the safety and efficiency of first responders working in dangerous environments, like fighting wildfires or conducting alpine rescue missions. The goal is to improve on-site team coordination and mission execution.
In Europe, due to economic growth and climate change, disasters in hard-to-reach rural areas are becoming more frequent and severe. First responders now regularly face extreme conditions, increasing risks to their health and safety. To protect them, it's crucial to monitor their health closely during missions, ensuring they get timely, useful information without affecting their work.

SIXTHSENSE introduces a wearable health monitoring system that provides first responders with real-time updates on their health status through tactile feedback. This system detects early signs of health risks by analyzing data from various biosensors. It also helps manage teams more effectively and safely by monitoring all members in real time.

Furthermore, SIXTHSENSE aims to speed up technological advancements for first responders. It will develop a new research method that includes first responders in the technology development process. This approach ensures their significant input at every stage, without overloading them with tasks outside their expertise.

The SIXTHSENSE project was successfully finalized in October 2023. The technology was demonstrated in the relevant environment with successful field trials in the firefighting training center Sapjane (Rijek, HR) where practitioners from 3 firefighting brigades and 2 mountain rescue organizations used the system during a joint training exercise. The project results were presented to stakeholders in a workshop during a Firefighter Safety seminar in Rijeka, HR. Over 150 firefighters, as well as representatives of the industry producing technologies for first responders were took part in the workshop, providing their feedback and valuable insights.
A public webpage has been set up for the project by the project coordinator. This website contains general information on the project, information on the public deliverables and links to the social media accounts for the project so that the public can follow our progress

During the project many of these are only the basic outlines, as no details will be revealed until we have a clearer picture on the Intellectual Property generated from the project; thus, reducing the chances of accidental dissemination jeopardising potential patents and exploitation routes.

A total of 93 deliverable documents have been produced from May 2020 – Oct 2023 of the project and 13 project milestones have been met.

Milestones occurring during Period 1 of the project were:

• MS1 Common vision
• MS2 First tactile feedback prototype
• MS3 Alpha physiological strain assessment
• MS4 Alpha demonstrator
• MS5 Alpha field trials
• MS6 Electrochemical biosensors prototypes
• MS7 System integrating sensors for advanced strain assessment
• MS8 Beta demonstrator
• MS9 Beta field trials
• MS10 Final version of biosensors
• MS11 Gamma demonstrator
• MS12 Gamma field tests
• MS13 Exploitation and business plan

The key results from the project are:

- The SIXTHSENSE concept has been defined, a common vision within the transdisciplinary partners has been established and piloted with the ALPHA system
- Alpha prototypes were produced by modification and integration of assets existing within the consortium.
- Alpha design of electrodes and stimulation coding have been established in a co-development process with the first responders and then tested both in laboratory conditions and in the relevant environment
- Alpha prototype Multi-Electrode Array sensors have been designed, produced, and tested.
- Infrastructure for data collection, storage, analysis and sharing has been established and is used by partners from different disciplines to facilitate trans-disciplinary research.
- Alpha field trials have been performed in firefighting training facilities with over 50 participants.
- A novel physiological strain model for first responders deployed in extreme heat has been established based on the experimental data collected in the project trials with the sensors relevant for the SIXTHSENSE approach.
- Novel noninvasive biosensors for biomarkers of interest have been established and tested in laboratory conditions.
- Over 50 stakeholders from primary and secondary markets of interest for exploitation of SIXTHSESE research results have been identified and contacted.
- The first stakeholder workshop held with a selected subset of high-relevance stakeholders with the aim of directing the Beta stage research towards the assets with most potential for later adoption and exploitation in the markets of interest.
- The Beta system was prototyped and passed technical validation
- Two field trials were performed with this system, one in the firefighting scenario and one in the mountain rescue scenario. These tests were performed in the relevant environment, but highly controlled protocols
- The second stakeholder workshop held at Nicosia Safety forum 2022 with a large number of stakeholders from the civil protection sector, policy makers and academia.
- The final development iteration performed with feedback from practitioners and informed by the results of the Beta filed trials
- The Gamma system was prototyped and passed technical validation
- The final field trials were performed with the final SIXTHSENSE demonstrator in a joint exercise including 3 firefighting teams and 2 mountain rescue teams. These tests allowed system prototype demonstration in operational environment.
- The final stakeholder workshop held at Firefighter Safety Seminar in Rijeka, Croatia, with 150 firefighters from the SEE region, as well as representatives of industrial actors with products in the civil protection sector.
The SIXTHSENSE system will allow first responders to increase the situational awareness by sensing their current health status and other factors relevant to their team deployment through the electrotactile stimulation feedback. The system will be integrated into a textile to make it comfortable to wear, easy to set up and allow it to be used over a prolonged period.

The SIXTHSENSE technology will allow practitioners and researchers to produce data outputs suitable for use in a number of applications; from first responder deployment in extreme environments, to worker 4.0 to endurance sports.

The SIXTHSENSE system will allow collection and transmission of mission critical information currently unused in first responder deployments and as such represents a paradigm shift in mission critical telecommunications, which is investigated in WP8.

Developments of the novel sensors, electrotactile feedback and physiological strain models are the subject of papers currently in progress and will be further examples of the state of the art developments driven by the SIXTHSENSE project.

The SIXTHSENSE technology has been demonstrated in relevant environment during field trials with first responders in both mountain rescue and firefighting scenarios.
SIXTHSENSE first reponders monitoring
SIXTHSENSE as a team management tool