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Week 7 Insights

We optimized our interviews to validate our assumption that (1) an Arduino or particle.io-based micro controller system would be pass the security laws at Fort Bragg (2) the micro controller system shown below is scalable and would fulfill the design constraints set by LTC Phillip Thomas and James Arp and (3) to discuss the feasibility of the proposed system both in terms of necessary skills and the time that we had available to work on an original prototype. In order to be fully prepared, we also explored commercial solutions in case we wouldn’t be able to deliver a proper prototype.


Primary Data Users

  1. Cognitive Performance Coaches
  2. Data Analysts
  3. Research Psychologist

Other Beneficiaries

  1. Instructors (Cadre)
  2. Trainees
  3. SWIC Commander


Vatrina Madre Information Technology Director | SWEG


  • We need to figure out if our device will be on the lang or NIPR networks.
  • Requirements for approval: cannot create vulnerabilities, must be compatible with Windows 10, cannot create risk
  • Bluetooth can be approved, although it is hard.
Maj Arth Commander’s Action Group, Director | Joint Special Operations Command


  • Military regulations are unclassified and open to the public -> ask LTC if he can send us rule regulation governing connectivity standards
  • Interview someone who pushed for new connectivity rules
  • Military bureaucracy creates more stringent rules as there are more and more rules as you go down the chain of command
Rachel Feher Congressional Research Service


  • Advisory Board – works specifically in healthcare consulting, look at what information or research on what healthcare is doing
  • Talk to people at Duke Hospital – rehabilitation department
  • Soldiers at Walter Reed National Military  Medical Center are meeting with so many doctors, and they have a central database for which to track each patient.  
Dr. Lawrence Appelbaum Director of Human Performances Lab | Duke


  • Different radio frequencies mean that we need to time sync
  • Proprietary information from different sensor makers will make synching difficult.
  • Arduino syncs by sending out an orientation pulse from each device and then it gets a timestamp
  • Tobii (lots of data), hrv (very little).
Yao Yuan ECE Student | Duke


  • Recommended Firefly hardware DIY platform
  • Recommended tutorial for learning circuit design
  • Willing to help with hardware prototyping if we needed it
Mitch Heath CEO | Teamworks


  • Conduct more MVPs and really try to understand your problem sponsors prototyping problem
Kyle Janson ECE BME Student | Duke


  • Willing to put us in contact with other ECE people working on data problems
  • Might not need to use a microcontroller. Consider looking at 3rd party companies that offer data integration but not necessarily collection
Mark Palmeri MD PhD and ECE Professor | Duke


  • Learning the skills to create this component/ device might take more time than is allotted to you. It depends on how much time the team has willing to give.
  • Willing to give time to go over possible device companies that are doing data integration
Trevor O’brien SWEG IT | SWCS

  • Hardware solution (chip set) could work, but may only be a short term patch with high future sustainment costs.
  • A network/web app solution, ideally with a 3rd party vendor would be ideal.
  • A thin client solution, where the software is hosted on a server and the devices only need storage and RAM could save up to $15 million.
Rich Diviney Retired Navy SEAL/Seal Team 6 Instructor

  • SEAL school has similar issue with attrition, A/S at 87%.
  • We should know whether or not attrition is coming from people giving up or from failing out. Special operator recruitment has changed in part due to pop culture influence, this leads to recruits who want to be hot shots and get disillusioned early on (in that case they are getting the wrong people).
  • Focus could change who is being recruited so that they get the right mental profile. Even though this seems like an obvious problem but school is generally blind to it (outsider perspective useful).


  1. The data analysts and the data managers would still be the main point of contacts to receive the raw data
  2. Bluetooth is now possible. From our interview with Vatrina Madre, we learned that there are two networks that we can operate on: Lang and NIPR. NIPR is more “black and white” and Lang is more lenient as far as devices to connect.
  3. The new facility will be up and running in 2-5 years.
  4. Creating a prototype from scratch seems infeasible given the time frame and the resources available. One commercial solution in particular, StelLife (introduced to us by Steve McClelland) is a strong candidate due to high data integration capabilities and scalability.


  1. The biggest problem is that given the time constraints and skills available to the team, creating a prototype from scratch seems less feasible. The team is stretched in regards to managing workflow given the high amount of deliverables and the capabilities of the team.
  2. This is still true: that the structure and procedure for data collection, analysis, and storage is changing week to week within HDP. Week to week, we learn of new developments in many of our beneficiaries’ roles as it relates to data analysis, connection, and storage.
  3. This is still true: We do not have the devices with us so it is difficult to test the effectiveness of our MVP. We have tried to ask for dummy data, but we faced barriers regarding confidentiality.
    1. We also have not been able to get in contact with vendors to supply a possible solution.


  1. We have mapped out a new workflow in which half of the team works on interviews while the other half of the team works on prototyping. We are currently going to reconsider this workflow at the end of this class in case team members feel overworked.
  2. We will commit to identifying companies that are willing to send new devices and data specs so that we more easily gauge the feasibility of creating a device from scratch
  3. We will look more into StelLife and other possible commercial products as a means of providing a solution to our problem sponsor.


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