SPIE Senior Member Babak Shadgan and colleague Behnam Molavi of University of British Columbia have won the 2012 Wearable Technologies Innovation World Cup in the safety and prevention category for a smart helmet that monitors vital signs of firefighters and other rescue workers.
The smart fire rescue helmet is a non-invasive wireless system capable of monitoring several vital statistics in real time.
Mounted in firefighters' helmets with a GPS, the system can help a central monitoring center to detect carbon monoxide poisoning or other critical health conditions of rescue workers in the field.
If a firefighter is poisoned, has heart failure, or is otherwise immobilized, his/her location is available to the monitoring center so that rescue operations can begin.
Dr. Shadgan is a postdoctoral fellow and sports physician at the Center for International Collaboration on Repair Discoveries at UBC Hospital in Vancouver. Molavi is a PhD candidate in the Department of Electrical Engineering.
The pair co-authored papers on near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) presented at BiOS, part of SPIE Photonics West, in 2010 and 2011. Shadgan has also co-authored several other proceedings papers and journal articles published in the SPIE Digital Library. He was awarded second place in the 2012 SPIE Startup Challenge business pitch contest at SPIE Photonics West.
Shadgan also authored an article for SPIE Professional magazine in January 2012 on a noninvasive and sensitive technique for early and accurate diagnosis of chronic exertional compartment syndrome (CECS) using NIRS.
The innovation award was presented in Munich in February.