WATERTOWN, Mass. – Wearable sensor developer BioSensics has received $2.5 million in grant funding from the National Institutes of Health to develop a wearable monitor for patients with Huntington’s disease.
“HD patients often have to travel long distances to be seen by knowledgeable HD clinicians,” said Dr. George Yohrling, senior director of mission and scientific affairs of the Huntington’s Disease Society of America, in a statement. “The development and eventual integration of wearable biosensors into a HD clinic would allow for remote monitoring of a patient’s motor symptoms and could alleviate this unnecessary burden on the entire HD family.”
The device, called HDWear, is powered by BioSensics’ PAMSys sensor technology and enables continuous remote monitoring of Huntington’s disease motor symptoms.
The two-year project will build on pilot work performed in collaboration with the University of Rochester Medical Center and Teva Pharmaceuticals, and published in the Journal of Huntington’s Disease in 2016. The study demonstrated a wearable sensor solution for remotely monitoring the severity of upper extremity chorea in Huntington’s disease.
HDWear will provide real-time, remote access to quantitative motor symptom scores like the Unified Huntington’s Disease Rating Scale, previously only possible through in-clinic assessments.
As a part of the project, BioSensics and the University of Rochester Medical Center will conduct a clinical study to evaluate HDWear for detecting pharmacological response to anti-chorea medication or subtle motor abnormalities in the premanifest stage of Huntington’s disease.
“We are excited to be working with BioSensics on evaluating wearable sensors to obtain objective, high frequency, and potentially sensitive assessments of individuals with Huntington’s disease, both inside and outside the clinic,” said Dr. Ray Dorsey, director of the Center for Health & Technology at University of Rochester Medical Center, in a statement.
“We look forward to creating a comprehensive telecare solution for Huntington’s disease to facilitate clinical research and new drug development, and ultimately to improve and revolutionize HD care and care coordination,” said Dr. Joseph Gwin, vice president of research and development at BioSensics.