These studies, which are funded by the American Heart Association, will use wearable sensors to increase knowledge of the links between brain and heart health
CAMBRIDGE, MA – January 12, 2021 – Shimmer Research, a global leader in wearable technology for research applications, today announced that Boston University (BU) School of Medicine has selected Shimmer’s Verisense® wearable sensing platform to monitor participants’ motion, activity, and sleep in two brain health studies funded by the American Heart Association in collaboration with global philanthropist Bill Gates.
This new initiative is part of the American Heart Association’s Strategically Focused Research Network on Health Technologies and Innovation. Boston University Professor of Anatomy and Neurobiology Rhoda Au, PhD, is leading the Network’s fifth research site, a brain health and dementia technology research center, which will conduct the two new studies.
Dr. Au’s multidisciplinary team is studying the connections between heart and brain health, specifically relating to dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. They plan to use new technologies, such as the Verisense platform, to identify and track early behaviors that can affect brain health and lead to chronic diseases. They will also use advanced computational analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) to determine who is at risk for those diseases and ultimately find ways to prevent the behaviors or triggers that lead to them.
The first study will rotate the use of the Verisense Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) sensor devices across 350 participants. It is designed to be worn on the participants’ wrist, monitoring their motion, activity, and sleep, for two weeks every quarter for two years. Each participant will be sent a sensor and asked to return it in the envelope provided at the end of the two-week study period. Each Verisense sensor has sufficient memory on board to store up to 44 days’ worth of data, ensuring that no information will be lost. The second study will be of 15 participants and look at the usability of different technologies.
“This passive data collection approach requires minimal action by the participant, making it potentially more sustainable in the long term. It should also encourage a more diverse participant population by enabling people to enroll who have historically been excluded from this type of study because they could not afford to purchase the requisite wearable health technology,” said Dr. Au.
“We have chosen Shimmer sensors because they can provide the raw sensor data that we need to develop our advanced AI algorithms; this is in addition to the derived measures that are typically provided. The Verisense system was specifically designed to support remote clinical studies and offers unparalleled ease of use for participants,” she added.
“Although many of our clients like to use Verisense in a mode where it monitors compliance and participant data collection remotely in real time, the BU approach highlights another Verisense platform capability,” said Geoffrey Gill, President of Shimmer Americas. “By using the Verisense IMU on-board data storage capacity we can simplify the system and reduce cost. Shimmer is committed to meeting the individual needs of each study team we work with.”
Verisense is a highly flexible, modular platform designed from the ground up to meet the needs of clinical trials and remote patient research. It provides continuous, high quality raw data, while placing minimum burden on study participants and researchers. Verisense sensors can be worn by research participants for up to six months without charging. They can be worn on the wrist or on another part of the body as required by the study protocol. Verisense has a lightweight, low-profile design that is water-resistant. The Verisense IMU is a CE registered medical device.
About Shimmer Research
Founded based on Intel technology in 2006, Shimmer Research is a well-established wearable technologies services and sensor manufacturing company based in Dublin, Ireland. In addition to standard products, Shimmer provides customized sensor development services, volume manufacturing, and complete wearable sensor solutions of any complexity. Shimmer’s technology and services have been employed by thousands of researchers at more than 900 leading companies, universities, and research institutes in more than 75 countries. Shimmer’s technology is incorporated in the products and services of more than 20 original equipment manufacturers. Shimmer has an ISO 13485:2016 certified medical devices quality management system. For more information, visit www.shimmersensing.com, https://www.linkedin.com/company/shimmer/ or follow @ShimmerSensing.
Geoffrey Gill, (617) 945-2628
President, Shimmer Americas
Lisa Osborne, (206) 992-5245
Rana Healthcare Solutions