Shimmer initiative looks to answer ‘critical questions’ about wearable use in clinical trials

By Melissa Fassbender contact

- Last updated on GMT

(Image: Gett/DragonImages)
(Image: Gett/DragonImages)

Related tags: Shimmer Research, Wearables

Shimmer Research launches an initiative to develop a set of open-source algorithms and software tools for analyzing wearable sensor data – and, ultimately, standards that will be accepted by industry and regulators.

Nextbridge Health, which is developing an online marketplace and discovery platform for the clinical research community, and Dr. Vincent van Hees, author of the GGIR software and algorithms, join Shimmer as co-founders of the initiative.

Based in Dublin, Ireland, Shimmer Research is a wearable technologies services and sensor manufacturing company. As part of the company’s discussions about the use of wearables in clinical trials with potential pharma customers, Geoffrey Gill, president of Shimmer Americas, told us the questions most often asked are ‘what are your endpoints’ and ‘what is your validation.’

“These are critical questions and require a lot of work to answer,” ​he said, though work has been underway – for more than 10 years in some cases – by researchers across the globe.

“We believe there is a tremendous opportunity to leverage this work and dramatically accelerate industry progress,”​ said Gill, who explained that the goal is to increase access to validated open-source software to generate needed endpoints.

“By doing this, we believe standards will emerge that will be accepted by industry and regulators alike – enabling wearables to achieve their true potential in clinical trials and eventually patient care applications,”​ he explained.

Shimmer, Nextbridge, and Dr. Vincent van Hees will focus on building the infrastructure and recruiting partners over the next couple of months. “We are hopeful that many other organizations and individuals will join our efforts,”​ said Gill.

The group expects to be ready to launch by early next year with ‘an all-out campaign’ to add developers’ open source code to the database. Of benefit to these developers will be visibility, noted Gill, who anticipates that ‘significant’ business opportunities will emerge.

Shimmer will lead the effort by contacting its more than 3,000 academic research customers, which are spread across 75 countries.

The company earlier this year partnered with ClearSky Medical Diagnostics​ to improve insights into central nervous system (CNS) diseases by combining Shimmer’s Verisense wearables sensors platform with ClearSky’s algorithms and machine learning.

The Verisense platform was launched in February of this year​ and was designed to capture ‘complete’ biometric data.

Related topics: Clinical Development

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