The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is looking for new solutions that incorporate biometric technology to help monitor its employees’ health and stress levels from work and at home, according to a request for information (RFI) posted on SAM.gov.
The biometric technology being sought will help identify when employees need assistance due to physical or mental weariness, with an ultimate aim of optimizing performance and resiliency within the workforce.
“The scope of this project is to find innovative technological solutions that will improve the overall health and wellness of those consistently placed in high-stress and dangerous conditions,” the RFI stated. “DHS is seeking capabilities that not only promote intervention action when necessary but preemptively and in real-time optimize DHS personnel performance and resilience.”
The information collected by this new solution would be entered into a software database by the user. That data would also be supported by algorithms that can alert employees to oncoming physical and mental health issues and suggest actions that can be taken to avert any possible breakdowns.
The RFI asks that the solution be tailored to accomplish three main goals:
- Increase self-awareness of physical and mental status and associated limitations;
- Promote actions or provide interventions that optimize human performance and resilience; and
- Define how DHS can measure well-being as a trackable metric over time.
The RFI also stresses the importance of data privacy and protection, asking bidders to incorporate “existing and emerging standards-based protocols, data exchange formats and security policy frameworks” to avoid solutions that cannot be replicated across the department.
The RFI lists several stressors for bidders to consider, including “long hours, shift work, hot and cold environments,” as well as “negative perceptions of law enforcement, including scrutiny in the media and persecution in social situations.”
“Left unchecked, these stressors can lead an individual down a path towards depression, burnout, diminished performance, injury, problems at home, chronic illnesses, expensive treatments, and in the worst-case scenario, suicide,” the RFI stated.
While DHS is searching for a solution it can use across the entire agency, the effort targets employees in the agency’s Customs and Border Protection component specifically.
“Compared to [others], officers work under stressful conditions and are regularly exposed to the risk of accidents, physical attacks, or other trauma,” the RFI noted.
Additionally, the project is broken into five phases, with initial funding capped at $200,000, and later phases reaching $500,000. Each phase is slated to last from three to nine months. The first deadline for applications is January 13, 2022. The final deadline for applications is April 13, 2022.