As a Product Manager at EVALAN, Govert van der Gun is closely involved in the development and application of BACE. BACE is the smart IoT (Internet of Things) building block of ARMOR Heat Monitor that ensures that the data collected through the heart rate sensor becomes available on the monitoring device in real-time.
‘For ARMOR Heat Monitor, we deploy BACE Go, which is the mobile BACE variant: a small device that you as a user carry with you yourself. BACE Go is continuously connected to the heart rate sensor and sends the data from the sensor directly to the monitoring device. This gives the trainer or supervisor real-time insight into the development of the participants’ body core temperature,’ Govert explains. ‘What is new is that BACE Go can now also communicate data via the mobile 4G network. This means users are not dependent on a Bluetooth connection, and that is a big improvement in the user features: for example, the trainer no longer needs to be nearby to receive data and is able to track the location of the team participants through GPS.’
Customisation in military training
‘As a Product Manager, I am constantly working on the further development of the technology and usability of BACE Go. For my master’s degree in Exercise Science, I am currently conducting research at the Dutch Defence Training Centres in the opportunities of reliably measuring the fatigue of military personnel. For this purpose, we are studying, among other things, the step frequency and the so-called ‘wobble index’: the way people move while walking. This is because movement patterns change when someone gets tired. The fitness level of soldiers in training is very different but they all receive the same training. For those with lower fitness levels, this can lead to injuries and dropout. With an appropriate training schedule, it is possible to still achieve the required training level. If you gather the right data accurately, you can identify which soldiers need such a modified training schedule. It is the first time research has been done in this way, which makes it extra challenging and interesting,’ Govert continues.
The future of BACE Go
‘For BACE Go, I foresee three main application areas. First of all, heat stress measurement – for this purpose we have developed ARMOR Heat Monitor, in close cooperation with the Dutch Defence Training Centers. But there are more opportunities for ARMOR Heat Monitor. In industries where physical work is performed under heavy or hot conditions, it is important that employees can work safely. ARMOR Heat Monitor helps to identify the risk of overheating so actions can be taken quickly to prevent heat stress, or – even worse – heat injury.’
‘Another application is the use of BACE Go for (scientific) research. Research often takes place in a laboratory or hospital setting, which can be fairly stressful for participants. Moreover, the collected data with this research methods are not always reliable. When researchers equip research participants with BACE Go, the participants can remain in their familiar everyday environment. BACE Go automatically connects to multiple sensors that measure, for example, heart rate, blood pressure, breathing or movement. The data from the sensors is automatically transmitted to the researchers, without intervention or dependence on other devices such as a mobile phone. By deploying this technology, a researcher creates the ideal research setting.’
Opportunities in healthcare
‘I also see many opportunities for BACE Go in healthcare, both in home care (where patients are monitored remotely) and in nursing homes and hospitals. How wonderful it would be if BACE Go’s technology could be deployed here. How exactly? That is what I would like to explore further. My goal is to develop technology that serves both the healthcare worker and clients in order to make people’s work and lives easier. Technology that really adds value, for example, to the daily challenges faced by healthcare workers. That is exactly why I chose this profession’, Govert concludes.
Profile of Govert
After studying aeronautical engineering at TU Delft, Govert opted for a master’s degree in biomedical engineering. After all, the human and medical side of engineering was of great interest to him. Govert has been working at EVALAN for four years and the last eighteen months as a Product Manager for BACE Go. In this role, he gets a lot of freedom and responsibility to develop new opportunities and application options for BACE Go.