Empatica’s 2020 in review
The targets for 2020 that we set early this January have not been met. Instead, we achieved much more.
Empatica’s road map for this year suddenly changed in March, with the outbreak of COVID-19 soon identified by the WHO as a global pandemic, and followed by one of the worst global crises since the Second World War. Given the difficulties, limits, and disruptions we had to endure, the milestones Empatica ended up conquering in the last 12 months have come with a deeper sense of gratitude and, since you’ve been part of our journey all along, we’d like to share them with you in this brief retrospect.
Commenced the EmbracePlus production with the first hundreds of units produced.
Engineered and designed to be the most powerful smartwatch in the world for physiological data collection, the EmbracePlus comes in a beautiful design packed with advanced sensors and E-Ink display. Kicking off the production processes, and seeing this special medical wearable come to life, despite the severe delay due to the pandemic, filled the whole team with pride and excitement for our future endeavors!
Introduced a new compliance tool in the Research Portal.
Improving participants’ compliance has always been a concern for research teams, CRO personnel, and study coordinators. In order to keep our research ecosystem constantly aligned with this need, we built a new feature designed to make it simple to monitor subjects’ compliance in studies of any size, giving investigators a detailed and comprehensive view of quality data that is automatically sent from each subject’s wrist.
Launched Empatica Care, a full remote patient monitoring platform.
As hospitals across the world became inundated with COVID-19 cases, the ability to constantly monitor the health of multiple individuals with limited physical contact became challenging but also imperative. We have taken our years of expertise in creating medical wearables, biomarkers, and healthcare platforms, and have built Empatica Care: a platform that can enable the continuous, nonintrusive vital signs monitoring of people, no matter where they are.
Announced Empatica Aria, our COVID-19 detection algorithm.
Aria is the only wearable AI system with an app and online dashboard, that can help contain COVID-19 transmission by automatically alerting individuals to the earliest physiological signs of a possible infection, even without any symptoms being present. We designed it with the intent of reducing the spreading of COVID-19 within communities and give peace of mind to workers, students, and their families.
Partnered with HHS’s BARDA to validate Empatica Aria.
Back in 2018, we started collaborating with the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (“BARDA”), part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), to develop a respiratory infection prediction algorithm and wearable. This year’s new initiative builds on the extremely positive findings of our initial work with BARDA, and aims to validate Empatica Aria, our COVID-19 early detection system, by running a study with the participation of healthcare workers.
Chosen by the U.S. Army to deploy a COVID-19 early detection wearable.
Following a response to the Request for Project Proposals issued this May 2020, we were chosen from a rigorous selection process 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 aim: protecting the health of the general population by preventing outbreaks via early detection and alerting. Thanks to Empatica’s valuable partnerships with renowned hospitals, universities, technology, and pharmaceutical companies, we have been able to kick off multisite validation trials for Empatica Aria in the US, UK, and Italy.
Awarded Digital Tech Trailblazer winner by Xconomy.
We felt incredibly honored to receive the 2020 National Xconomy Award as DigitalTech Trailblazer, and grateful for the community to recognize the impact of our technology in the healthcare system and beyond.
Rolled out the Medication Reminder feature on the Mate app.
Studies have shown that missing even a single dose of medication can lead to a breakthrough seizure. Also, up to 70% of people with epilepsy can be seizure-free with proper medication and treatment. And so, in an effort to help people with epilepsy and their caregivers manage one of the most important aspects of their treatment regimen, we designed a brand new feature for the Mate App: Medication Reminders.
Published a new scientific literature on Empatica.com.
Our new Publications Page now features all Empatica scientific papers and those of other international research groups who have used our Embrace2 and E4 wristband to advance the understanding of human health in real-life settings. The studies that made us most proud have investigated the importance (especially in the time of COVID-19) of continuous monitoring of vital signs with the use of the E4 wearable sensors. Among them:
- Reliable Respiratory Rate Extraction using PPG
- Monitoring skin temperature at the wrist in hospitalized patients may assist in the detection of infection
- Sleep quality prediction in caregivers using physiological signals
Entered a new, remote, reality.
In compliance with the lockdown policies adopted in the US, Europe and South Korea, the Empatica team, as most companies around the world, went remote. Everyone experienced the shift differently but we all did our very best to carve a new work dimension at home while keeping strong ties as a team. We encouraged one another, discussed difficulties, found solutions together, and focused on what we do best: serving our community.