Proteus Digital Health quietly launches consumer-facing wearable for athletes

By Jonah Comstock
12:20 pm
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Proteus RecoverProteus Digital Health, which offers medication adherence and wellness monitoring built around an ingestible sensor pill, has quietly launched a new, consumer-facing offering. Proteus Recovery, which now has a Twitter account, a trademark filing, and a section on Proteus's website, is a biometrics monitoring patch for athletes to help them recover from a workout faster.

"Proteus Recover is the only system that supports the 24-hour optimization of athlete recovery and daily physiologic load," the company writes on its website. "Understanding an athlete's entire day and night will provide information to drive simple yet impactful changes, maximizing athletic performance."

Based on Proteus's website and the trademark filing, it seems the Recover system doesn't make use of Proteus's famous ingestible sensor, instead relying entirely on the sensor-laden patch. 

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The system purports to measure five core metrics: A recovery score, deduced from heart rate variability during sleep; sleep duration, as well as start and stop times; resting and average heart rate; energy expenditure in kilocalories; and subjective feedback from the athletes (presumably collected via a mobile device or web app).

"The Recover product and associated wearable sensors is a consumer product and not a medical device," the page disclaims. "The product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. The Recover product is intended for use by athletes for surveillance of physiologic information. This includes heart rate, respiration rate, skin temperature, activity, body posture and other associated metrics."

Proteus's core product is a medication management and adherence system that includes sensor-enabled pills, a peel-and-stick biometric sensor patch worn on the body, and companion smartphone apps. The patch records when a pill is ingested and also tracks other things like sleep patterns and physical activity levels. The ingestible sensor component secured FDA clearance in July 2012, while the company’s sensor-laden patch got FDA clearance in 2010. The company raised $52 million this summer and has been one of the best-funded companies working in digital health for the past few years.

Up until now, the company's customers have mainly been pharmaceutical companies who use the technology in trials to assess medication adherence as well as the effects of medication -- a recent study found that the technology was highly accurate at detecting medication adherence.

The introduction of a consumer product gives the company a faster-moving, scalable market and help to increase the visibility and acceptance of the technology. In addition, more and more sports teams are turning to some kind of digital health technology to track their athletes, as a recent Financial Post story pointed out.

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