SUNNYVALE, Calif. – Voler Systems has introduced the Universal Health Sensor Platform for companies developing health wearable devices. “With our sensor knowledge, we help development teams select the right sensor,” said Walt Maclay, president of Voler Systems, in a statement. “We then attach it correctly to a wearable device and develop the software that accurately reports the data. Voler’s Universal Health Sensor Platform is your fastest path to capturing and transmitting physiological data from humans because it is a pre-engineered prototype device that can directly evolve into your eventual commercial product.” The platform’s technology enables companies to gather physiological data potentially related to a condition or complication to refine either a diagnosis or therapy; test a wearable device sensor or sensors to confirm the measurement can be made as planned; and provide hypothesis testing for medical research or clinical care. It can collect data on people to determine the right type of sensor to use, the right place on the body to wear the sensor, and the best software algorithm to process the sensor data, Maclay said.
SAN MATEO, Calif. – Klue, a software company focused on behavior tracking and change, is partnering with Stanford University and Crossover Health on a study of the impact of wearable technology on dietary behaviors. The study will examine Klue’s Mindful Eating Messenger and Hydration Coach on consumption behaviors to understand how personalized, real-time micro-nudges impact dietary behavior modification, said Katelijn Vleugels, CEO and co-founder of Klue, in a statement. Klue is also partnering with Crossover Health in its Bay Area clinics. “We selected Klue as a partner based on their commitment to behavior change, complementing our mission to curate and integrate evidence-based point solutions,” said Dr. Karoline Hilu, chief strategy officer of Crossover Health, in a statement. Klue’s Mindful Eating Messenger module recognizes when, how fast and how much a person consumes and offers personalized, actionable micro-nudges to adopt specific consumption behaviors. The Hydration Coach allows users to set their own unique daily hydration goals, and automatically tracks progress against those goals, coaching users through the day to stay properly hydrated.
NEW DELHI –Smartron has launched its first wearable device, which features electrocardiography and blood pressure monitoring capabilities. Together with a mobile app, the tband provides the user with an overall Health Index score, which combines activity tracking, calorie count, sleep patterns, stress and fatigue levels, as well as blood pressure and heart health. “The tband is made for those who don’t just want to track their activity or calorie count but are looking at a holistic health indicator which is highlighted through our Health Index,” said Rohit Rathi, president and co-founder of Smartron, in a statement. “We hope to change the conversations around health with this launch.”The device continuously measures heart rate and resting heart rate, and can provide customizable alarms and medication reminders.
NEW YORK – The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research will use Verily wearable devices to track disease markers and advance the study of the disease.
More than 800 people will participate in a two-year MJFF-led longitudinal Parkinson’s Progression Markers Initiative. They will be outfitted with a Verily multi-sensor watch that will continuously collect data on movement and physiologic and environmental measures. The goal of the study is to use wearable devices in conjunction with clinic-based data and biospecimen collection to zero in on disease markers with the greatest potential to open promising avenues for further scientific inquiry.
Launched in 2010, the PPMI aims to deepen understanding of Parkinson’s and validate objective measures of the disease. The initiative is currently being carried out at 33 clinical sites around the world with support from 22 industry partners. Participants are followed for at least five and up to 13 years and include volunteers with Parkinson’s disease or at-risk for Parkinson’s, as well as control volunteers.
Verily and PPMI will make raw and curated data available to the worldwide research community to drive independent studies in Parkinson’s therapeutic development.
“Expanding this resource through data science and wearable computing holds the potential to deepen understanding of Parkinson’s disease and gain meaningful insights that can inform care and therapeutic development decisions,” said Todd Sherer, CEO of the Michael J. Fox Foundation, in a statement. “This is why PPMI was built, and will help fulfill its tremendous promise for people with PD.”
In addition to this study, MJFF and Verily are partners in the Accelerating Medicines Partnership Parkinson’s disease program, a public-private collaboration between the National Institutes of Health, MJFF and five life sciences companies and managed by the Foundation for the NIH. AMP PD is applying state-of-the-art cellular profiling technologies to samples collected through PPMI and other large-scale studies to define the molecular fingerprint of Parkinson’s disease. Data and analysis generated through that initiative will be available through the AMP PD Knowledge Portal, created by Verily.
Additionally, Verily and MJFF have collaborated on the promotion of the company’s Liftware, a selection of adaptive products designed as aids to people with hand tremor or limited mobility.
OLATHE, Kan. – The University of Kansas Medical Center has teamed with Garmin to better understand how wearables can help detect and manage significant medical conditions like sleep apnea and atrial fibrillation.
“As patients assume increased responsibility for their own health care, Garmin is committed to the development of wearables that can lead to the prevention or detection of serious health conditions,” said Scott Burgett, director of Garmin Health Engineering, in a statement.
Garmin has worked with UKMC to study how a wearable equipped with optical sensors could detect sleep apnea and provide a lower cost alternative to an overnight sleep center evaluation.
“Wearables have already increased the public’s awareness of activity levels while awake,” said Dr. Suzanne Stevens, clinical assistant professor of neurology at UKMC, in a statement. “This research helps us better understand how wearables can do the same while asleep, helping to detect sleep apnea, which left untreated can affect mood, memory, trigger heart arrhythmias, heart attacks, and even strokes.”
Garmin Health is also working with Dr. Madhu Reddy, associate professor of medicine at UKMC, to study how Garmin wearables could detect atrial fibrillation.
“Wearable technology capable of early detection and monitoring of heart rhythm disorders will be a revolutionary boon to cardiac care,” said Dr. Reddy, in a statement.
SAN FRANCISCO – Fitbit plans to use Google’s new Cloud Healthcare application program interface to help the company further penetrate the health care system by connecting user data with electronic medical records. The companies said that by combining Fitbit data with EMRs patients and clinicians can get a more comprehensive view of a patient’s profile, leading to more personalized care. “Working with Google gives us an opportunity to transform how we scale our business, allowing us to reach more people around the world faster, while also enhancing the experience we offer to our users and the health care system,” said James Park, co-founder and CEO of Fitbit, in a statement. “This collaboration will accelerate the pace of innovation to define the next generation of health care and wearables.” The companies will also look to help better manage chronic conditions like diabetes and hypertension by using services such as Fitbit’s recently acquired Twine Health. Using Google’s Cloud Healthcare API, Twine can make it easier for clinicians and patients to collaborate on care, helping lead to better health outcomes and positive returns for employers, health plans and hospitals. “At Google, our vision is to transform the way health information is organized and made useful,” said Dr. Gregory Moore, vice president, healthcare, Google Cloud, in a statement. “By enabling Fitbit to connect and manage key health and fitness data using our Google Cloud Healthcare API, we are getting one step closer to this goal.”
To accelerate these efforts, Fitbit will move to the Google Cloud Platform to innovate and advance its products and services.
FISHERS, Ind. – Mayo Clinic is collaborating with medical device company Recovery Force to develop wearable digital health garments. The Recovery Force platform embeds shape-changing fibers into garments and footwear to create lightweight wearable active compressions, providing users with improved circulation and the mobility necessary for a quicker recovery. The collaboration provides Mayo Clinic access to Recovery Force’s intellectual property, while providing Recovery Force with access to Mayo Clinic’s research, development and organizational resources. The two organizations will work together on developing future products, integrating the company’s technology to optimize clinical workflow and developing best practices for improved patient outcomes. “We are excited about the opportunity to collaborate with the progressive thinking team at Mayo Clinic on the development, assessment, and validation of our technology,” said Matthew Wyatt, founder and CEO of Recovery Force, in a statement.
LOS ANGELES — Proof is lacking that wearable biosensors are improving patient outcomes like blood pressure and weight, according to a study by researchers at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.
The study was published in a recent issue of the new Nature Partner Journal, npj Digital Medicine.
“As of now, we don’t have enough evidence that they consistently change clinical outcomes in a meaningful way,” said Dr. Brennan Spiegel, senior author of the study and director of health services research at Cedars-Sinai, said in a statement. “But that doesn’t mean they can’t.”
The study found that remote patient monitoring with biosensors had no statistically significant impact on any of six clinical outcomes studied: body mass index, weight, waist circumference, body fat percentage, systolic and diastolic blood pressure. The analysis found that these devices did show early promise in improving outcomes for certain conditions, including obstructive pulmonary disease, Parkinson’s disease, hypertension and low back pain.
“There is a big difference between using these sensors to track sleep for self-betterment and using them make medical decisions,” said Michelle Keller, co-author and a clinical research specialist at the Cedars-Sinai Center for Outcomes Research and Education, in a statement.
Investigators did a statistical analysis and in-depth literature review of 27 studies from 13 countries published between January 2000 and October 2016. Each study examined the effects of remote patient monitoring using wearable biosensors including physical activity trackers, blood pressure monitors, electrocardiograms, electronic weight scales, accelerometers and pulse oximeters. The interventions targeted patients who were overweight or suffering from heart disease, lung disease, chronic pain, stroke, or Parkinson’s.
A statistical analysis of the relevant literature revealed that remote patient monitoring resulted in no significant impact on any of the reported clinical outcomes.
MINNETONKA, Minn. – UnitedHealthcare and Qualcomm Life have integrated wearable devices from Samsung and Garmin into UnitedHealthcare Motion, a national wellness program that provides eligible plan participants access to activity trackers and enables them to earn more than $1,000 per year by meeting certain daily walking goals. The Samsung Gear Fit2 Pro and Gear Sport, and the Garmin vívosmart 3, have been integrated with Qualcomm Life’s 2net platform and customized to enable users to see on their wrists how they are tracking against the program’s three daily F.I.T. goals. Among eligible employees, 66% registered their devices, with more than two-thirds of those staying active with the program for more than one year. “We are expanding the portfolio of available devices to make UnitedHealthcare Motion more flexible, convenient and consumer friendly,” said Dr. Sam Ho, chief medical officer of UnitedHealthcare, in a statement. Qualcomm Life’s 2net platform enables the bring-your-own-device model to allow the integration of more activity trackers. “This program highlights the value of combing UnitedHealthcare’s pro-consumer benefit designs with Qualcomm Life’s expertise in providing seamless connectivity across a growing ecosystem of wearable devices to help people pursue their health and wellness goals,” said Dr. James Mault, vice president and chief medical officer of Qualcomm Life, in a statement.
SAN FRANCISCO and ANTWERP, Belgium – Wearable health startup Byteflies has launched a kit of wearable sensors for pharmaceutical companies, startups and research groups involved in clinical studies or the development of their own wearable health applications. The Byteflies Exploration Kit features a set of five programmable, high-precision sensors that continuously and remotely monitor any vital sign, sending the data gathered to Byteflies’ data processing platform. “The unprecedented level of detail offered by the Byteflies Exploration Kit forms the basis for a more powerful and personalized patient care,” said Hans Danneels, CEO and co-founder of Byteflies, in a statement. The sensors are programmable to specific use cases and can measure vital signs ranging from blood flow to electro-dermal activity, electrocardiogram, motion, respiration and electromyogram. “We seek to transform the entire health care system through our technology, leading to wearables with tangible medical relevance,” said Danneels.