A lot of good can happen when different organizations pool their resources and information to promote new ideas. Previously, we noted wearable health tech projects involving the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA) working with other institutions on injectable biosensors, exoskeletons, and more. We wrote about the Air Force Research Labs (AFRL)’s work with the University of Cincinnati on sweat sensors. The AFRL has helped form another health tech collaborations, the Nano-Bio Manufacturing Consortium (NBMC). A new AFRL collaboration involves a major hospital group and a private sector health tech development company.

Ascend Innovations is a new health tech collaboration in the Dayton, Ohio area, created to develop commercially-viable healthcare solutions. In addition to the AFRL, the other partners in Ascend are the Greater Dayton Area Hospital Association (GDAHA) and Kaleidoscope, a Cincinnati-based innovation and product design group. One of the collaboration’s first projects involves a biosensor and app system to address the opioid addiction epidemic that is rampant in Ohio and many other states. Ascend has applied for a $1.5 million grant from the Ohio Opioid Technology Challenge, a state-run program. Ascend plans to develop the app to work with biosensors developed by the AFRL. The app would let patients report on their pain levels, medication, and state-of-mind while the biosensors would track multiple metrics including heart rate, eye tracking and dilation, and respiration and send the data to a central monitoring location.

When multiple stakeholders collaborate on solutions to major problems each entity can focus resources on its strengths. This collaborative model may be the most practical and fastest way to bring health tech into play with major health and medical threats.