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What’s behind the Readiband? How we measure and predict fatigue

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The Readiband

When we talk about our technology, you’ll hear us say that Readiband can measure both sleep and fatigue.

The sleep analysis is usually easier to understand – Quite simply, Readiband provides really accurate insight into how your team sleeps. Things like how well they sleep after games, how long they sleep on average, and what time they fall asleep when traveling to a different time zone.

The fatigue analysis is where Fatigue Science really makes its name. Measuring fatigue is not as simple as asking someone how tired they feel today, and predicting fatigue is not as simple as asking someone how tired they’ll be two weeks from now. Scientists identify fatigue by measuring an individual’s sustained attention and reaction time. To do this, they use a psychomotor vigilance task (or PVT) test. A PVT is a small electronic box with buttons and lights – When a light flashes, the individual must push a button, the faster they push the button, the faster their reaction time measurement and the higher the PVT score. Sounds simple enough, but PVT tests are impractical to use in the real world, and can only provide a fatigue measurement for the exact moment in time that the test is taken.  The Readiband, however, provides a continuous measurement of fatigue based on the sleep data it collects and something called the SAFTE (Sleep, Activity, Fatigue, Task and Effectiveness) model, which predicts the wearer’s PVT score.

What is SAFTE?

Federal Aviation Administration - SAFTE Validation StudyOver twenty years ago, the US Army started to invest in research to understand how long periods of wakefulness during critical operations were affecting their soldiers ability to react quickly and make effective, split-second decisions. From this research, a biomathematical model called SAFTE was developed. The SAFTE model is an algorithm, which processes information about sleep history and time of day, to predict PVT test scores. The model was built into a software used in schedule planning, to both understand and limit the dangerous effects of fatigue in military operations.

The ability of the SAFTE model to accurately predict PVT scores and therefore, predict performance and fatigue, was proven through a number of studies including those conducted by the US Department of Transportation’s Federal Railroad Administration and the Federal Aviation Administration. This means the SAFTE model is scientifically proven to provide accurate measurements and predictions of reaction time for your athletes without the need to coordinate PVT or other timed tests.

The SAFTE model is licensed exclusively by Fatigue Science for use in the Readiband. By using Readiband to monitor your athletes’ sleep quality, you can harness the power of 20 years of military fatigue research and development to understand how that sleep affects their athletic performance and reaction time.

For deeper reading, please refer to the following papers:

Comparison of Mathematical Model Predictions to Experimental Data of Fatigue and Performance
Journal of Aviation, Space and Environmental Medicine (2004)

Fatigue Models for Applied Research in Warfighting
Journal of Aviation, Space and Environmental Medicine (2004)

Press release: Fatigue Science now the global leader in fatigue management technology

Vancouver, BC – August 2, 2013 – Fatigue Science, a fatigue management technology company based in Vancouver, now offers the most comprehensive, valid and scientifically accurate fatigue management technology in the world. Under orders from the US Congress, the US Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA), multi-year study, validated Fatigue Science’s Readiband and Fatigue Avoidance Scheduling Tool (FAST).

Pat Byrne, internationally recognized sleep and fatigue expert and founder of Fatigue Science says “we are thrilled that our technology continues to receive further validation, in addition to the independent validations by US Department of Transportation, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research and the Kettering Sleep Disorder Centre.”

“We are proud to offer our clients the most accurate fatigue management technology in the world that allows them to measure, manage and mitigate their workplace fatigue” said Byrne.

The latest FAA study validates the SAFTE model used in Fatigue Science’s Readiband and Fatigue Avoidance Scheduling Tool (FAST). The FAA said, “the present study utilized actual sleep/wake/work data from a broadly representative sample of professional cabin crew to demonstrate clear relationships between performance effectiveness predicted by the SAFTE model and objective performance outcomes in the field.”  The FAA study involved over 10,000 field reaction tests and compared them to cabin crew sleep patterns.

Fatigue Science’s technology is used by research agencies, mining companies, transportation companies, governments, military organizations and professional sports teams globally. Including organizations such as Harvard Medical School, Australian Transport Safety Bureau, Rio Tinto, Colombian Air Force and the Vancouver Canucks of the National Hockey League.

Globally, fatigue is a major contributor to workplace accidents in all 24/7 operations and is a significant issue in professional sports.  “We are proud our technology allows companies to easily measure the sleep, fatigue and accident risk of employees to prevent fatigue related accidents while respecting the privacy of the employee” said Byrne.

Fatigue Science’s FAST software received further validation when it was used by the Transportation Safety Board of Canada in a retrospective analysis to identify fatigue in an air traffic controller as a contributing factor in a near-miss incident at Vancouver Airport.

Download a PDF version of the press release