Owlytics’ MS Smartwatch Goes Through First Validation Stage

Margarida Maia, PhD avatar

by Margarida Maia, PhD |

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Owlytics Healthcare, in partnership with Tel-Aviv Medical Center in Israel, has taken its smartwatch — designed to monitor symptoms of multiple sclerosis (MS) from afar — through a first stage of validation.

The smartwatch, worn on the wrist, collects a continuous stream of personal health data that are sent to a cloud-based, artificial intelligence (AI)-powered software via the cellular network. The data then are analyzed by the AI software to potentially identify trends in MS progression and provide preventive solutions in real time.

In this first stage of validation, the company provided scientific evidence that the smartwatch may be used as a measure of response to a treatment in a clinical trial.

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“The Owlytics validated enterprise analytics cloud-based solution will support key pharma and providers’ research efforts by using passive physiology, activity, gait and fall remote monitoring as well as self-tagged patients’ symptoms,” Gill Zaphrir, co-founder and CEO of Owlytics, said in a press release. “One of the solution differentiators is the off-the-shelf cellular and elegant smart watch containing advanced vital sensors.”

People living with MS may experience spasticity, a condition in which muscles stiffen or tighten, making movement more difficult and increasing the risk of falls.

Owlytics’ solution assesses the risk of falls and detects actual falls with an accuracy of 90% and a false alarm rate of less than 5%, the company says on its website. It also may be used to monitor overall wellness status, track activities of daily living, and locate the user anywhere in both indoor and outdoor environments using a GPS tracker in case of an emergency.

The information is returned automatically via a web API, which is an interface that provides communication between the device and software applications.

In addition to these data, caregivers, researchers, and doctors also may have access to self-reported symptoms, which may help establish how MS is progressing over time and perhaps predict a relapse before it happens.

The smartwatch — and the built-in technology — is registered with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as a class II medical device. Last year, the company received a $1.3-million grant from the Israeli Innovation Authority to support its development.

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