Paris-based Chronolife has unveiled this morning the commercial launch of Nexkin, a CE-marked smart T-shirt that monitors six physiological indicators, designed for risk reduction and prevention programmes.
The French company has also landed funding from startup studio and investment fund iBionext, French insurance company Adrea and Swiss family office Celeste Management. The amount secured was not publicly disclosed.
WHAT THEY DO
Chronolife’s platform reportedly uses wearable electronics to incorporate 10 biometric scanners into a machine-washable T-shirt that is able to continuously track the wearer’s heart rate, abdominal and thoracic breathing, body temperature, physical activity and pulmonary impedance.
Data is sent via Bluetooth to the user’s smartphone and integrated using the company’s unique algorithm to generate actionable insights that can then be reviewed by health professionals.
WHAT IT’S FOR
According to Chronolife, the technology could make an impact in the management of chronic conditions, occupational health and safety, sports rehabilitation and more.
The company said on Thursday that it would look to obtain medical certification for Nexkin in Europe and FDA clearance in the US. It received approval from the Federal Communications Commission earlier this year, along with CE marking.
THE LARGER PICTURE
The potential of smart garments has caught the eye of many in digital health. In 2018, smart clothing was projected to become one of the fastest growing segments in the smart wearable area by 2022 in a report from Juniper Research.
Footwear in particular has been a focus. The past couple of years have included the launch of Siren's smart sock and Sensoria Health's smart shoe, both designed for the detection of diabetes complications. Even Google was rumoured to have been investigating some kind of smart footwear.
However, these wearables have yet to enter the mainstream. Speaking about Nexkin, John Nosta, digital health enthusiast and NOSTALAB president, told MobiHealthNews it was important to understand how the data collected “can correlate to practical clinical applications”.
Rather than the smart T-shirt itself, Nosta said the “magic” might lie in the gathering of various physiological parameters and their processing through AI.
“Our ability to connect the physiologic dots and develop unique and powerful insights as a function of several easily acquired data sources can be a real game changer for medicine and digital health,” Nosta said. “In the future, physiologic data will be acquired at a distance with no contact with your body or skin.”
ON THE RECORD
Laurent Vandebrouck, chief executive of Chronolife, said in a statement: “The Nexkin T-shirt makes accurate, unobtrusive continuous health monitoring both affordable and convenient across a wide range of industries and functionalities, from pharmaceutical testing to senior care.
“By combining wearable electronics with advanced AI-powered analytics, we’re delivering biometric monitoring capabilities that will revolutionize the way researchers and healthcare professionals interact with patients.”