SCOPE 2019

Shimmer shines with a new wearable platform for clinical trials

By Melissa Fassbender contact

- Last updated on GMT

(Image: Shimmer)
(Image: Shimmer)

Related tags: Wearables, Clinical trials, Data collection

Shimmer designed its new Verisense platform from the ground up after finding that current activity trackers fail to meet the “basic needs of the clinical research market,” says company executive.

Shimmer, a wearable technologies services and sensor manufacturing company, today released the new platform during the SCOPE Summit in Orlando, FL.

According to the Dublin, Ireland-based company, Verisense is a comprehensive solution for capturing complete biometric data. Verisense is today launching the Verisense IMU sensor, a general-purpose inertial measurement unit (IMU).

(Image: Shimmer)
(Image: Shimmer)

Geoff Gill, president of Shimmer Americas, said the company has taken a holistic view and tried to think through “every facet of the clinical research process to design a solution from the ground up.”

The resulting extendable platform provides “the best data at minimum burden to any stakeholder,”​ including sponsors, contract research organizations (CROs), sites, and participants, he told us.

The sensor can be used with a variety of cradles and is water resistant, enabling patients to wear the device at all times, even while bathing.

When worn on the wrist, the sensor monitors activity and sleep – though up to seven sensors can be worn on different parts of a patient’s body for use in other IMU applications.

“The platform is designed to manage hundreds of sites and thousands of participants while providing an easy to read dashboard that will allow sponsors and CROs to see how everything is going at a glance,” ​added Gill.

Meeting the needs of clinical research

Setting out to develop the platform for clinical research, the team assumed no one needed another activity tracker, with many already owning Fitbits and various smartwatches. So, the company thought its niche would be more sophisticated sensors, such as electrocardiogram (ECG), electromyography (EMG) and others.

“To our surprise, however, what we found was that none of the trackers on the market came even close to meeting the basic needs of the clinical research market,”​ said Gill. “Basic things like providing raw data to enable traceable and flexible analysis, long battery life, and trial management software were all lacking.”

Because Verisense enables a wide range of sensing to be done within a single platform, Gill believes the platform is “the best activity and sleep tracker for clinical research by far.”

“This flexibility means that companies can integrate Verisense once into their clinical research infrastructure and use it for all their remote sensing needs,”​ he added, noting that initial feedback has been very positive.

“Every potential customer we have talked to has mentioned specific projects on which they want to use Verisense,”​ said Gill. “Our biggest problem has been holding customers back until we could complete our testing and release the product.”

A limited product release on several trials will follow in the next two months, with long-standing academic customers. “Potential applications in this phase include studying activity and sleep in Alzheimer’s disease, fatigue in breast cancer, bilateral asymmetry in stroke victims, and Parkinson’s pre-symptomatic tremors,”​ said Gill.

Shimmer anticipates a full release of Verisense for large-scale trials later this year.

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