The Project

Monitoring Stress among First Responder professionals is a CMU-Portugal funded project with the main goal to provide secure, reliable and effective first-response systems in critical emergency scenarios. To achieve this goal an interdisciplinary team with expertise in areas such as wearable technology for vital signs, biomedical signal processing, sensor networks and RF Location/Intelligent buildings was formed. The goal of the Vital Responder research project is to explore the synergies between innovative wearable technologies, scattered sensor networks, intelligent building technology and precise localization services to provide secure, reliable and effective first-response systems in critical emergency scenarios. The core problem under consideration is to evaluate human stress in real-time under adverse conditions, by means of continuous online vital sign monitoring of first responders. Turning this vision into engineering reality requires significant advances on the several fronts: real-time information gathering of body signals is very hard to achieve in uncontrolled and dangerous environments; GPS based location systems do not work indoors; inter-disciplinary research between engineers and clinicians on the origins and nature of physiological stress is still at an infant stage. The “silver bullet” is provided by a high-tech company named Biodevices, which together with researchers at the University of Aveiro developed a suite of non-intrusive wearable technologies, as inconspicuous as a t-shirt, capable of gathering relevant information about the individual. The next step, which is currently taken in collaboration with researchers at IT, University of Porto and Carnegie Mellon is to view Vital Jackets as nodes of a distributed system that leverages the rich data sets with short-range communication, intelligent building technologies and localization capabilities. Ultimately the team will deploy a prototype infrastructure that enables continuous online monitoring of the collected information. Companies like McLaren Electronics and Petratex are also involved in the project.



Measures the acceleration force in m/s^2 applied to the device, including the force of gravity.


Measures the ambient geomagnetic field in uT.


Network Location based on Cell-ID and Wifi availability.


Space-based satellite navigation system that provides location, satellite and time information.

Vital Jacket

Ambulatory ECG system.


Enables the analysis of CO levels, temperature, altitude and pressure.