The U.S. government’s BioWatch program was created in 2003 in response to the increased threat of bioterrorism sparked by the 2001 anthrax attacks. BioWatch, described as "the nation's first early warning network of sensors to detect biological attack" operates via a system of filters located within existing Environmental Protection Agency air collectors that monitor air quality. On a daily basis a technician visits the collection site, removes the sample to take back to a DHS lab, where the sample is tested. This process has been estimated to take between 36-48 hours from pathogen release to detection. Results from these filters are analyzed by the DHS Laboratory Response Network (LRN), which pass any significant results to the CDC and FBI. The program is now preparing to move forward with its next generation, which focuses on autonomous detection capabilities.
Today, the Company’s M-BAND detection system is one of only two known technologies capable of addressing the requirements of the next generation of BioWatch. In addition, M-BAND is the only system of its kind successfully demonstrated in the field under the DHS’ “BAND” Program (Bio-agent Autonomous Networked Detector). PositiveID’s M-BAND product was developed to dramatically decrease the time to detection/reporting to 3-6 hours, allowing the deployment of countermeasures and vaccines in a time frame where casualties and fatalities can be drastically reduced.
PositiveID’s M-BAND is also currently being evaluated under the Department of Defense Joint United States Forces Korea Portal and Integrated Threat Recognition (“JUPITR”) Program, which is intended to detect biological threats in order to protect our nation’s warfighters and allies, with systems on the Korean peninsula and at Aberdeen Proving Grounds in Maryland.