BOSTON, Nov. 6, 2020 — Empatica has been selected by the U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command (USAMRDC) to deploy a wearable and algorithm that enable the early and pre-symptomatic detection of COVID-19. The project’s focus is on protecting the health of the general population by preventing outbreaks via early detection and alerting. Empatica’s Aura algorithm gives a daily risk-indication of an individual having contracted COVID-19, using physiological data collected by Empatica’s medical smartwatch, EmbracePlus.
The initiative is multi-phased, beginning with the clinical validation of Empatica’s algorithm on healthy participants at risk of contracting SARS-CoV-2. FDA submissions for regulatory approvals will run in parallel, with the project concluding in a virtual clinical study on participants opting-in to test and validate the entire platform.
The tested hardware will consist of EmbracePlus, a medical device in a smartwatch form-factor, with clinical-grade sensors that measure heart rate, heart rate variability, temperature, respiratory rate, and electrodermal activity. The device unobtrusively monitors a person’s vitals, and sends in-app alerts for patterns suggestive of COVID-19 infection, helping wearers self-isolate and seek testing without unwittingly infecting others.
“Use of wearable tech to prevent rapid spread of COVID-19 within our units is an important capability,” says Commander Christopher Steele, Director of the Military Operational Medicine Research Program at USAMRDC. “Key Industry partners are well positioned to help the DoD in this regard.”
Empatica CEO, Matteo Lai expressed the importance of this collaboration, “It is a privilege for our team to participate in the effort to combat COVID-19 together with the USAMRDC. The department arguably has the world’s best track record in sponsoring and fostering groundbreaking technologies. Their inspiration to intervene and act with this initiative brings into sharp focus the impact COVID-19 has had in our daily lives, as well as the need to work together to face the challenge. This is not only a technological race against time, but also a civic responsibility in employing our experience against a threat to our health and economy.”
Empatica is the only manufacturer of a medical device system combining a wearable, app, and algorithm to provide a daily COVID-19 risk assessment to users. Earlier this year, Empatica partnered with HHS to validate Aura’s COVID-19 detection capabilities on at-risk healthcare workers. Furthering this work with the USAMRDC provides additional resources to deploy Aura to the general population.
Empatica Inc is a pioneer in continuous, unobtrusive, and remote health monitoring driven by AI. Empatica’s platform combines accurate biomarkers, software and wearables to monitor multiple conditions. Empatica’s products are used by thousands of institutional partners for research purposes, in trials and studies examining Stress, Sleep, Epilepsy, Migraine, Depression, Addiction, and other conditions.
The USAMRDC is the Army’s medical materiel developer, with responsibility for medical research, development, and acquisition. USAMRDC produces medical solutions for the battlefield with a focus on various areas of biomedical research, including military infectious diseases, combat casualty care, military operational medicine, medical chemical and biological defense, and clinical and rehabilitative medicine.