Hexoskin raises nearly $1M to make health-sensing apparel for medical monitoring, diagnostics

By Aditi Pai
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Montreal, Canada-based Carre Technologies, which does business as Hexoskin, has raised about $960,000 ($1.32 million Canadian) from Anges Québec and the Anges Québec Capital fund, for its health-tracking apparel line.

Hexoskin shirts include sensors that track heart rate, heart rate variability, breathing rate, respiration volume, activity, and sleep. Data from the shirt is sent to a companion app, available for iOS or Android smartphones. 

The shirts are available for men, women and juniors. While the adult versions were launched in early 2014, the shirts for juniors were unveiled at CES earlier this year. The adult version costs $399, while the junior version costs $379.

Hexoskin will use the funds to apply for an FDA clearance for a new line of smart clothing products that will be used for medical monitoring and diagnostics, Hexoskin CEO Pierre-Alexandre Fournier told MobiHealthNews in an email.

The company made news last year in February when a group of six, three men and three women, embarked on a 45-day expedition in Antarctica to test Astroskin, a more advanced version of Hexoskin, for the Canadian Space Agency (CSA). At the time, the CSA also invested $1.12 million Canadian in a total of five studies, including a study to test Astroskin. The CSA said the studies will explore technologies that aim to make space flight safer for astronauts.

Last month, another company working on health sensing apparel, Athos, raised $35.5 million in a round led by Social Capital with participation from MAS Holdings, Lightspeed Venture Partners, and Felix Capital, as well as existing investors DMC, True Ventures, and Joe Lacob, who is managing partner and chairman of the basketball team Golden State Warriors.

And a few months prior, another health-sensing apparel company, OMSignal, made news when the company partnered with Ralph Lauren to sell a line of shirts, called PoloTech, that have embedded fitness tracking sensors. The PoloTech shirt has silver fibers woven into its fabric to help it track heart rate, heart variability, breathing depth and recovery, intensity of movement, energy output, stress levels, steps taken, and calories burned. The shirt, available on Ralph Lauren's website, costs $295.