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Biometric gloves to help monitor drivers in 2018!

Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo - Biometric glove
©WRI2

Always on the cutting edge of technology, Formula 1 will introduce a biometric glove for drivers next season which will monitor several medical factors.

The technology includes a small sensor stitched inside a driver's glove capable of measuring pulse rate and oxygen levels in the blood, two parameters essential in addressing a driver's medical condition in the event of an accident.

Ultimately, the technology, which is supported by the Global Institute for Motor Sport safety, will also have the ability to monitor body temperature and respiratory rate.

Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull drivers tested the special biometric glove in Hungary this summer.

In an interview with the FIA's in-house magazine Auto, FIA Deputy Medical Delegate Dr Ian Roberts spoke of the merits of the technology and its purpose.

"We know that the monitoring of people is essential in terms of their medical care," he said.
"Drivers in incidents are no different. We would like to start monitoring and assessing them as soon as we possibly can.

"But the equipment that we currently use is relatively bulky and is only applied after the incident has happened.

"There are also times when the driver isn’t immediately accessible to us, so if we can’t see him or we’re not actually next to him, there’s limited information that we can get."

As an example of the technology's function and use, Roberts pointed towards Carlos Sainz' accident in practice in Russia in 2015, when the Spaniard was trapped under a barrier, making his condition impossible to assess.

"Accurate monitoring was impossible until we got hands-on, and obviously we couldn’t do that until the barriers were moved," he said.

"If we had monitoring on him straight away we could have planned our rescue even better than we did.

"With this new technology, the moment a driver has an incident we will receive physiological readings and biometrics, so he is continually monitored from point zero right through to the initial response and on to the medical center."

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