Wearables & Devices

Wearable Medical Devices Ease the Burden of Remote Patient Care

Digital biomarkers are defined as objective, quantifiable physiological and behavioral data that is collected and measured by means of digital devices such as portables, wearables, implantables, or digestibles. The data collected is typically used to explain, influence, and/or predict health-related outcomes. Based on system components, the smartphones and smartwatches segment held the most significant share of around 46.11%. For example, some smartwatches now feature optical sensors that continuously measure variations in blood volume and composition using a technology called photoplethysmography (PPG). And, according to data provided by Strategic Market Research, the digital biomarkers market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 35.7% to USD 23.31 Billion by 2030. Nemaura Medical Inc. (NASDAQ: NMRD), Abbott Laboratories (NYSE: ABT), iRhythm Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: IRTC), Apple, Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL), AdaptHealth Corp. (NASDAQ: AHCO).

Apart from the rise in expenses in the healthcare segments, there has been a significant increase in the usage of smartphones, smartwatches & wearable digital technological devices like fitness trackers. Additionally, the outbreak of the pandemic has seen demand for wearable medical devices accelerate as it has become of paramount importance to monitor patient health remotely and to be able to address concerns in a timely manner. As COVID-19 spread, smartwatches that measured blood oxygen saturation (SpO2) became widely available, alerting people with low SpO2—a life-threatening symptom that is hard for people to detect unassisted. In fact, more than 10% of U.S. consumers who own smartwatches are now using them to detect COVID-19 symptoms, according to a report by Deloitte.

Nemaura Medical Inc. (NASDAQ: NMRD) announced breaking news last month that, “it has been granted a UK trademark for ‘Meta Score,’ a term the Company plans to use as a digital biomarker for its consumer metabolic health program. Trademark applications are now pending in several other major global territories.

Meta Score will be the metric and digital biomarker the Company will use as part of its consumer programs. This digital biomarker will derive output from Nemaura’s glucose sensor in combination with a number of behavioral inputs of users. These consumer programs target the pre-diabetes and obesity markets, with over 87 million people in the U.S. alone with pre-diabetes.

‘We believe that owning the description of measurement for the biomarker utilized in the Miboko program is an important differentiation among all of the various metabolic health programs currently available,’ commented Nemaura CEO Faz Chowdhury, Ph.D. ‘While there are many medical measurements that doctors rely on to understand a person’s metabolic health, by creating and branding a simple-to-describe score we have created a means to easily track metabolic health and demonstrate progress while using our sensor that is easy to wear.'”

Abbott Laboratories (NYSE: ABT) announced this April that it has launched an upgraded version of its NeuroSphere™ myPath™ digital health app with enhanced functionality that will help doctors more closely track their patients as they trial Abbott neurostimulation devices to address their chronic pain. This upgrade is part of Abbott’s commitment to connected care technology and is intended to put people in control of their health and facilitate better communication with their doctors. The digital health app, which can be used with both Apple and Android devices, provides a doctor, their staff and the patient with a shared view of patient-reported outcome measures through each stage of the treatment journey while trying a spinal cord stimulation (SCS) or dorsal root ganglion (DRG) therapy device.

iRhythm Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: IRTC) announced on July 22nd, it received FDA 510(k) clearance for its ZEUS (Zio ECG Utilization Software) System for the Zio Watch. Produced in partnership with Verily, an Alphabet precision health company, the ZEUS System combines deep learned algorithms with a proven and trusted cardiac arrhythmia service. The ZEUS System is the AI algorithm and solution component of the Zio® Watch: a sensor-based wearable for noninvasive, clinical grade, long-term continuous monitoring for atrial fibrillation (AFib). Verily also received FDA 510(k) clearance for the Zio Watch (Study Watch with Irregular Pulse Monitor). “We are incredibly excited about this important milestone as we make progress in bringing a new monitoring platform to patients who can benefit from it. There is a clear need in the market today for a clinical grade, long-term and noninvasive monitoring solution,” said Quentin Blackford, CEO and President of iRhythm. “iRhythm is focused on redefining the standard of care with earlier insight to predict and prevent disease, and the Zio Watch with ZEUS System provides clinicians a platform that has the potential to meaningfully improve patients’ lives.”

Apple, Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) announced on June 6th, more customizable watch faces, an enhanced Workout app, sleep stages, a first-of-its-kind AFib History feature, and an all-new Medications app. Apple showcased the watchOS 9, which brings new features and enhanced experiences to the world’s leading wearable operating system. Apple Watch users will now have more watch faces to choose from, with richer complications that provide more information and opportunity for personalization. In the updated Workout app, advanced metrics, views, and training experiences inspired by high-performing athletes help users take their workouts to the next level. watchOS 9 brings sleep stages to the Sleep app, and a new FDA-cleared AFib History feature provides deeper insights into a user’s condition. The new Medications app makes it easy for users to conveniently and discreetly manage, understand, and track medications. “Users around the world love Apple Watch for helping them stay connected to those they love, be more active throughout the day, and better manage their health,” said Jeff Williams, Apple’s chief operating officer. “This fall, watchOS 9 takes the Apple Watch experience to the next level with scientifically validated insights across fitness, sleep, and heart health, while providing users more creative ways to make their Apple Watch their own.”

AdaptHealth Corp. (NASDAQ: AHCO) announced last year that it has closed the previously announced acquisition of AeroCare Holdings Inc. (“AeroCare”). The acquisition was consummated for total consideration consisting of approximately $1.1 billion in cash and 31 million shares of AdaptHealth common stock. AeroCare is a leading national technology-enabled respiratory and home medical equipment (“HME”) distribution platform in the United States and offers a comprehensive suite of direct-to-patient equipment and services including CPAP and BiPAP machines, oxygen concentrators, home ventilators, and other durable medical equipment products. The acquisition of AeroCare significantly enhances AdaptHealth’s scale and geographic reach with the combined company serving nearly 3 million patients from over 500 locations across 46 states.

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