The health tech wearables that we write about typically combine one or more integrated biosensors with battery-powered wireless transmitters to send biometric data elsewhere to be stored and analyzed, usually to a smartphone. Such devices come in a myriad of form factors; they are medical monitoring miracles. There’s another wearable class that also makes a difference, often with immediate benefit. The second platform category consists of wearables that receive data, often to support emergency responders or field personnel. We’ve written about the Wrixo wristband wearable that holds medical record information and can receive updates via the cloud to assist first responders. We also covered EMERGE, a technology accelerator that applies technology to aid and protect first responders.

Samsung Electronics America recently announced its suite of wearable solutions that enable emergency personnel to maintain always-on connectivity and communications, plus location data via Computer-Aided Dispatch (CAD) , without a phone or mobile terminal. Samsung’s Galaxy smartwatches such as the Gear-3 are IP68/MIL-STD rated for water and dust resistance and ruggedness. IP68 breaks down like this: IP standards measure Immersion Protection. The first digit ranges from 1 to 6 for dust and dirt protection and the second digit from 1 to 9 for protection from water. The Gear-3 then has the highest rating for dust and dirt and the second highest for water. IP68 translates to “dust tight” defined as “complete protection against dust and contact” for dust and dirt and protection from water when continuously immersed in depth more than one meter. The only higher rating, IP69, requires protection from continuous high-pressure close range jets of water from any direction including steam jets.

In addition to their physical attributes, all Galaxy watches incorporate Samsung Knox, a defense-grade mobile security application. In addition, the watches can use Samsung Knox Configure, a cloud-based deployment service. Current CAD applications for the Samsung Galaxy smartwatches include Northrop Grumman CommandPoint, Caliber Public Safety PocketCop, Central Square Technologies Field Ops, and Tyler Technologies New World ShieldForce.

Medical technology advances can’t help much in emergencies if first responders can’t reach people in need. Connected wearable tech to assist emergency personnel serve a vital purpose.