ClearSky Medical Diagnostics employs Shimmer Research wearables for clinical trials

The partnership will use Shimmer’s Verisense platform to improve analysis of sensor data for CNS diseases.
By Tammy Lovell
11:12 AM

ClearSky Medical Diagnostics and wearable technology firm Shimmer Research are joining forces for clinical trials into central nervous system (CNS) diseases.

The partnership aims to bring a new level of analytic capabilities to the use of wearable sensors in clinical research.

ClearSky is a spin-off from the University of York’s department of electronics, which develops medical devices to help with the diagnosis and monitoring of neurodegenerative conditions, such as Parkinson’s disease.

They will employ Shimmer’s Verisense wearable sensors platform, which has been designed specifically for use in clinical research, with ClearSky’s algorithms and machine learning.

The Verisense inertial measurement unit (IMU) sensor can be worn on patients’ wrists to capture biometric data such as activity and sleep. Its seven sensors can also be worn on different parts of the body to study complex musculoskeletal or neurological conditions, such as dystonia or epilepsy.

WHY IT MATTERS

The clinical research intends “to leverage ClearSky’s experience and datasets to develop endpoints for a wide variety of CNS disorders based on Verisense data”, according to Geoff Gill, president of Shimmer Americas.

ClearSky’s clinically-validated medical devices have been used in medical centres worldwide and in clinical trials to demonstrate the efficacy of new drugs.

For example, its LID-Monitor can distinguish dyskinesia induced by the drug Levodopa, which is commonly used in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease, from the tremors caused by the disease itself.  This allows doctors to optimise patients’ Levodopa dosage.

Its machine learning technologies aim to improve patients’ quality of life and save time and money by reducing the numbers of consultations required.

THE LARGER TREND  

Wearable technologies are increasingly being used to aid clinical research and development.

European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA) companies recently partnered with researchers to develop a sensor-enabled tool to digitally assess loss of mobility in older people.

In May, wearable sensor maker MC10 announced it is working with biopharma company AbbVie on a new set of multiple sclerosis (MS) clinical trials. MC10 had also previously partnered with UCB for Parkinson’s Disease research.

Also, Alphabet subsidiary Verily recently announced a series of new strategic partnerships with four global pharma companies using its FDA-approved watch, designed to record, store, transfer and display electrocardiogram (ECG) rhythms.

ON THE RECORD

“The Verisense platform is truly a breakthrough for conducting clinical research,” said ClearSky cofounder Dr Stephen Smith. “It can provide the continuous raw data from wearables needed for sophisticated algorithms, yet places almost no burden on the participant or the clinical site.”