The wearable technology market is quickly evolving into a major tech segment, in large part thanks to consumer market growth which is driven by sales of smartwatches. Major companies like Apple and Samsung are heavily involved in the innovation of wearable devices, which are now capable of performing a wide range of features including cellular connectivity, health monitoring, contactless payment and more. On the other hand, fitness trackers are also falling in popularity due to their limited features and abilities. However, the wearable technology market is now playing an important role in the medical sector, as devices can be used to remotely monitor a patient's various physiological parameters. In addition, new wearable monitoring devices, equipped with the Internet of Things (IoT) technology, are able to communicate with smartphones, transferring crucial data to user friendly applications. Overall, the most commonly measured data include vital signs such as heart rate, blood pressure, blood oxygen saturation, blood glucose levels as well as physical activities through the use of electrocardiogram (ECG), ballistocardiogram (BCG) and other devices. Now, the wearable medical devices market value is projected to reach USD 14.41 Billion by 2022 from USD 6.22 Billion in 2017, while expanding at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 18.3%, according to a report by MarketsandMarkets. Nemaura Medical, Inc. (NASDAQ: NMRD), Baxter International Inc. (NYSE: BAX), iRhythm Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: IRTC), Abbott Laboratories (NYSE: ABT), Garmin Ltd. (NASDAQ: GRMN)
During the pandemic, there have been several impressive innovations across numerous fields of medicine. For example, researchers at Northwestern University and Shirley Ryan AbilityLab in Chicago developed a novel wearable device and are creating a set of data algorithms specifically designed for early signs and symptoms associated with the viral infection and to monitor patients over time. Northwestern's John A. Rogers, who led the technology development, explained that some of the early signs of the infection are "fever, coughing and difficulty in breathing. Our device sits at the perfect location on the body -- the suprasternal notch -- to measure respiratory rate, sounds and activity because that's where airflow occurs near the surface of the skin... We developed customized devices, data algorithms, user interfaces and cloud-based data systems in direct response to specific needs brought to us by frontline healthcare workers." Outside of the wearable devices arena, the medical device industry is undergoing significant changes in terms of efficiency and scope as new technologies push the boundaries of what is possible as technology is transforming the medical device market with features such the Internet of Things (IoT), machine learning and advanced 3D printing.
Nemaura Medical, Inc. (NASDAQ: NMRD) announced breaking news yesterday that, "it has licensed the rights to Healthimation, LLC's mobile application based digital program, a well-validated and award-winning 12-week program to help patients manage their weight and pre-diabetes or early diabetes conditions. The program is intended to be combined with the company's proBEAT(TM) non-invasive patch CGM (continuous glucose monitor) for an enhanced behavioral change experience.
Developed at a major diabetes center in the U.S. over more than 15 years, the digital program curriculum implements the most advanced approach to nutrition, exercise, and behavioral change and has been clinically tested and has demonstrated many benefits to a patient's overall health, including weight reduction, significant improvements in A1C, lipid profile, and blood pressure, and a reduction in medications taken.
Healthimation, LLC has implemented this curriculum in an app that gamifies daily tasks and uses engaging high-quality animation and live coaching to encourage users to make healthy behavior changes, such as improvements in personal nutrition and exercise coaching, via the development and education of the app's avatar Lena. Through machine-learning technology, the software makes Lena "smarter", resulting in more personal recommendations for the patient over time.
Dr. Faz Chowdhury, Nemaura Medical's Chief Executive Officer stated, "We are delighted and honored to be working with Healthimation to bring diabetic patients an easy-to-use solution that combines our proBEAT(TM) CGM product with a clinically validated diabetes management and reversal program. Our ultimate aim is to help patients with pre-diabetes from becoming diabetic while also providing support to those currently with Type 2 diabetes to potentially reverse their condition. Diabetes continues to be one of the largest growing medical problems in the U.S., and our aim is to provide an unparalleled product and suite of services that can compete favorably with existing products on the market that are less convenient and more invasive for patients."
The Company believes that combination of the digital program with Nemaura's proBEAT(TM) offering expected to launch this year, will allow for more beneficial outcomes in patients with Type 2 diabetes, help prevent high-risk pre-diabetic patients from becoming diabetic, and possibly even lead to diabetes remission in some patients. The integrated offering offers numerous advantages in breadth of application and depth of features over other competing digital platforms on the market attempting to address the weight control and/or diabetes markets, many of which are more expensive and more invasive than the Company's anticipated solution.
SugarBEAT(R), Nemaura's patented, CE marked, needle-free CGM that is non-invasive, affordable, and painless, is easily applied to the skin via a small unobtrusive patch. The device transmits blood glucose data to users and/or healthcare professionals via a mobile app to allow for better monitoring or treatment. The Company's BEAT(TM)diabetes is a planned health subscription service driven by the personalized data provided by sugarBEAT(R) and processed through an artificial intelligence engine to provide personalized 1-on-1 lifestyle coaching and behavior change recommendations.
In the U.S., there are currently 88 million patients considered to be pre-diabetic and 25 million patients with Type 2 diabetes. Worldwide, there are 420 million patients with diabetes and over 1 billion people considered pre-diabetic."
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Baxter International Inc. (NYSE: BAX) announced earlier this year that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) clearance of Q-NRG+, a metabolic monitoring device utilizing indirect calorimetry (IC) technology. IC is considered the "gold standard"1 to accurately measure a patient's calorie needs, or resting energy expenditure (REE). These readings can help inform prescription and administration of nutrition therapy, which may include parenteral nutrition (PN), the intravenous administration of nutrients. Q-NRG+ is expected to be available in the United States beginning at the ASPEN 2020 Nutrition Science & Practice Conference taking place March 28 - 31, 2020 in Tampa, Florida.
iRhythm Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: IRTC) announced last year a collaboration with Verily, an Alphabet company, focused on the development of solutions aimed at improving the screening, diagnosis and management of patients with atrial fibrillation (AFib). This collaboration brings together iRhythm's expertise in AI based arrhythmia diagnosis and Verily's advanced health data analytics technologies to address the millions of patients living with undiagnosed AFib. The iRhythm and Verily collaboration aims to address this significant, underserved population at risk for asymptomatic or silent AFib. Under the terms of the agreement, iRhythm and Verily plan to collaborate on solutions capable of providing earlier warnings, enabling the identification and management of patients that could otherwise go undiagnosed until they have a cardiac event, such as a stroke. "iRhythm and Verily have a shared mission to create a better standard of care for cardiac patients - making heart health data more actionable so patients can live longer, healthier lives," said Kevin King, President and CEO of iRhythm. "We are pleased to partner with one of the world's most reputable healthcare technology companies to better serve the millions of people living with AF today. Verily's patient-centric approach to disease management and advanced hardware capabilities will prove critical in providing patients and providers with the tools needed to increase the efficiency of heart healthcare."
Abbott Laboratories (NYSE: ABT) announced back in 2019 the launch of a new, smarter heart monitor for better arrhythmia detection. With CE Mark in Europe and U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) clearance, the next-generation Confirm Rx(TM) insertable cardiac monitor (ICM), a paperclip-sized implantable device, combines smartphone connectivity and continuous, remote monitoring to track unpredictable heart rhythm problems for fast and accurate diagnosis. Abbott's Confirm Rx ICM is helping advance how physicians remotely monitor arrhythmias in people most at risk. Inserted just under the skin in the chest above the heart during a quick, minimally invasive outpatient procedure, the Confirm Rx ICM device is the only ICM on the market that syncs to a smartphone via Bluetooth(R) and transmits information to the physician to help identify irregular heartbeats quickly. Abbott's mobile app eliminates the need for an additional transmitter and is user-friendly health technology translated in nearly 40 languages. "Through new advances like Abbott's next generation of Confirm Rx ICM, physicians can act more proactively and efficiently in their treatment approach, and patients can stay engaged and connected," said Avi Fischer, M.D., Medical Director of Abbott's Cardiac Rhythm Management therapies.
Garmin Ltd. (NASDAQ: GRMN) announced earlier in June that it had acquired Firstbeat Analytics Oy, a privately-held provider of physiological analytics and metrics for consumer devices in the health, wellness, fitness and performance markets. Firstbeat Analytics is the consumer licensing business formerly a part of Firstbeat Technologies. Firstbeat Technologies will continue operating its Wellness and Professional Sports businesses. As one of the most prominent physiological analytics companies in the world, Firstbeat Analytics has been transforming heartbeat data from consumer devices into meaningful information and advice to enhance performance and wellbeing for nearly two decades. Using a combination of sensor data, including heart rate variability (HRV), Firstbeat Analytics blends physiological science with mathematics to provide the most advanced analytics and metrics in the areas of stress, sleep, VO2 max, training status/load, training effect, respiration rate, calories burned and much more. This data allows users to make better, more informed decisions about training and recovery.
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