G42 Healthcare introduces wearable technology to COVID-19 vaccine trial

The Abu Dhabi technology company is currently spearheading the world’s first Phase III trials of one vaccine, with volunteers from the UAE and Bahrain taking part.
By Ahmed El Sherif
02:15 am
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Credit: G42 Healthcare 

G42 Healthcare has announced a volunteer healthcare management programme with US wearable technology firm WHOOP to monitor the health and fitness of those taking part in the company’s COVID-19 vaccine trials. 

Volunteers participating in the world’s first Phase III trials of the COVID-19 vaccine are being offered the WHOOP Strap 3.0 fitness tracker in order to measure key biometrics during the process. Dubbed “Whoop4Humanity”, the initiative will allow volunteers to check parameters such as heart rate, respiratory rate, heart rate variability, and sleep performance.

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“As a digital business, this new partnership is a logical extension of the highly-advanced AI and super computer solutions we are already using in the trials process,” said G42 Healthcare CEO, Ashish Koshy. “New volunteers will be invited to engage with the technology developed by WHOOP that will enhance their individual volunteer experience. 

“We believe that giving volunteers an opportunity to use the WHOOP Strap 3.0 wearable device will reinforce their confidence in the trial by giving them the ability to check on several daily health data points. This will complement the world-class clinical expertise that the healthcare professionals in the UAE are providing to the volunteers and ensure their safety and well-being throughout the trials process.”

THE LARGER CONTEXT

G42 Healthcare – a subsidiary of the Abu Dhabi-based technology company, Group 42 – is spearheading the current COVID-19 vaccine trial, which commenced in the UAE capital on 16 July. Taking place in partnership with the Department of Health, Abu Dhabi, the UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention (MOHAP), and Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (SEHA), the trials are reportedly being carried out following the “international guidelines stipulated by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United States Food & Drug Administration (USFDA).”

Phase III follows the apparent success of the Phase I and Phase II trials conducted by China’s Sinopharm, which reportedly resulted in 100% of volunteers generating antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 after two doses in 28 days.  

The current trials are taking place with volunteers aged between 18 and 60 living in the UAE or Bahrain, and are expected to last for six to twelve months.

Meanwhile, on its website, WHOOP states that: “In response to the global pandemic, we’re working with researchers from leading health organisations and universities including Harvard Medical School, Brigham Health, and CQUniversity to investigate COVID-19 symptoms, treatment, mitigation, and population health management.”

ON THE RECORD

“WHOOP is proud to partner with G42 Healthcare and participate in their innovative Phase III COVID-19 vaccine trial,” said WHOOP founder and CEO, Will Ahmed. “The continuous biometric monitoring offered by WHOOP will help volunteers evaluate any changes to their health and help track their daily fitness levels. 

“This partnership represents the future of healthcare: using continuous monitoring and artificial intelligence to better understand the effect of drugs, vaccines, and other treatments.”

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