Job Safety

October 10, 2006

Extending Success

We just got an amazing email from the NIH. Our research plan for 2007-8 has been approved. We can now make a good test a great test and we will be able to prove it. Thank you NIH.

We like to think this funding has come to us because of our continued success in the field but, realistically, it comes from a recognition of the importance of much work in alertness testing everywhere. Human impairment continues to plague industrial society worldwide through accidents and critical errors. We will never eliminate these errors, our goal is simply to help reduce them, particularly in critical professions. If our research can make a small difference that is enough.

Properly testing and validating any psychological test with human subjects is a significant undertaking. Done properly it would strain the resources of any small company. But this funding allows us to continue building on the years of good scientific progress we have made through incremental steps in university labs and through clinical trials at private corporate labs. We will be conducting advanced clinical trials with hundreds of subjects at some of the best labs in the world at Stanford University, at Harvard Uiversity and on to implementation trials involving many more subjects in real world conditions.

As many of our users know the BLT basic alertness test is a very simple test. It was designed to be just challenging enough to be sensitive to significant human impairment – but not to be so difficult that the average person would find it unpleasant or tricky. We have a number of other tests but the basic alertness test is what we are testing now.

In the next two years we will further refine our “test bed” measurement techniques and our test testing validation methodology including human stress testing and sleep deprivation experiments. We will be able to use the same test bed and other proven techniques to measure the sensitivity and reliability of other test designs.

This means we can test new tests against a known benchmark. Test and game designers who would like to work with us on the next generation of human alertness tests should contact us. Keep in mind the following constraints: 1. Keep it less than 1.5 minutes, 2. Non-linguistic, 3. Easy to learn, 4. Not annoying (the test should not trick the subject). We like the Macromedia Flash application, but, provided the test is web capable, we are interested in ideas for the next generation.