Biometric wearables make inroads for health monitoring: BioStrap, Whoop, Oura and BioIntelliSense
BioStrap and Whoop bracelets, Oura Rings and BioStickers are all showing promise for biometric health and fitness monitoring, in a variety of settings, from early detection of transmissible diseases to tracking recovery for cancer patients and athletes.
BioStrap CEO tells personal story of early COVID-19 detection
Biometric disruptions sensed by his BioStrap alerted the CEO of the startup wearable-maker that he may have COVID-19, prompting him to schedule a test, which confirmed the early diagnosis he was warned of by the BioStrap app.
This according to a new case study published by the company, which describes CEO Sameer Sontakey’s experience.
People with even asymptomatic COVID-19 show significant biometric changes, according to the company, including to their resting heart rate, heart rate variability, oxygen saturation, respiration rate and arterial properties. A risk assessment system developed by BioStrap with a modified ‘Early Warning Score’ can detect potential respiratory infections based on these signals, the company says. The BioStrap EWS is based on the British National Early Warning Score (NEWS2) recommendations for risk stratification, but uses a continuous scale relative to the subject’s personal baseline biometrics.
BioStrap’s proprietary technology continuously captures reliable biometrics each night by extracting raw waveform photoplethysmography (PPG).
The biometric monitoring showed Sontakey’s sleep quality declined, with disruptions and their durations increasing, and his heart rate variability plummeted. After recovery, the BioStrap-EWS detected his return to normal values, and reclassified him as low-risk. The same pattern was also noted in other users who tested positive for COVID-19 during the company’s internal testing in 2020.
Whoop named official CrossFit wearable
Whoop and CrossFit have stuck a deal to make the biometric bracelet the official wearable of the sport and exercise platform, according to a company announcement.
The multi-year partnership is intended to benefit athletes at all levels of ability and experience with biometric data on training, sleep, and recovery.
Whoop brings real-time data sharing to CrossFit with Whoop Live, and the companies plan to launch several co-branded events. CrossFit will also integrate Whoop data into its educational component.
“CrossFit athletes were some of the earliest WHOOP adopters and have continued to be an integral part of our growing global membership,” says Will Ahmed, Whoop founder and CEO. “WHOOP is the ideal partner for CrossFit training as it provides the information that athletes and fitness enthusiasts alike need to understand their bodies, prioritize recovery, and ultimately optimize performance. We are incredibly excited to become an official partner of CrossFit and bring our communities even closer together.”
Whoop will also be used to collect biometric data for health monitoring of arctic paratroopers through a recent deal with the Pentagon.
Mass. firefighters wear Oura rings for health monitoring
Firefighters in Duxbury, Massachusetts have begun wearing Oura Rings to track their health biometrics and provide early indications that they should seek out COVID-19 tests, FirefighterNation reports.
The department began using infrared thermometers earlier in the pandemic to screen for COVID-19, but found their performance would fluctuate even based on firefighters being out in the sun, or sweating. The constant, passive biometric monitoring of the Oura ring enabled more accurate temperature monitoring while doing away with the twice-a-day checks.
The software is set up to transmit data only to the mobile phone of the individual wearing the ring, not a central portal, to avoid creating concerns about intrusive surveillance, according to the report. Feedback from firefighters has been positive.
Biometric sticker wearable to be tested for cancer treatment
BioIntelliSense has partnered with The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) to use the BioSticker continuous biometric health monitoring device in clinical trials with hematological cancer patients.
The BioSticker has been cleared by the FDA as a single-use medical device for 30 days of continuous vital sign monitoring, and by providing a medical-grade Data-as-a-Service (DaaS) platform and FDA 510(k) Class II medical device, BioIntelliSense says it sets a new standard for remote patient monitoring.
The wearable sticker was also selected for an early COVID-19 detection trial by the U.S. DoD earlier this year.