The Usage of Smart Fabric Technology in the Medical World
Sonny Vu, CEO, Misfit Wearables will be presenting "From Fittech to Medtech, Possibilities for Smart Fabrics," at Smart Fabrics 2012. His talk will focus on the incorporation of smart fabrics into wearable medical devices, including a look at what disease states could benefit from this technology and an overview of the key regulatory issues in the realm of medical device manufacturing.
Misfit Wearables, a wearable health sensor startup, is already getting a lot of attention, due in part to the fact that one of its initial investors is John Sculley, former head of Apple from 1983 to 1993. Prior to founding Misfit Wearables, Vu previously worked at AgaMatrix, where he created a blood sugar meter for diabetes patients that also plugs into the iPhone or iPod touch. REGISTER to hear more from Sonny Vu at Smart Fabrics 2012.
What are some of the more recent developments and opportunities for smart fabrics in medical devices?
Sonny Vu: The most recent and visible applications that I've seen are in the field of biofeedback and remote monitoring "devices." I'll be speaking about this in my talk. The opportunities are nice because not only are there medical device-like applications but also consumer-level scale for fitness and wellness applications which don't require prescriptions. There is some bleeding-edge work in progress around things like Alzheimer's early detection, gait analysis for rehabilitation, etc. but they're not very close to commercialization so I wouldn't include them with the other stuff I just mentioned, which basically already exist.
What disease states could benefit from wearable medical devices?
Sonny Vu: Physical re-hab, heart disease, obesity, asthma (basically, chronic diseases are the most likely candidates).
What are some of the challenges/hurdles in the wearable medical device industry?
Sonny Vu: Getting accuracy levels to a point where you can design and execute strong clinical studies that will show significant outcomes. But beyond that, regulatory and reimbursement. There just isn't the same mass of "predicate devices" to rely on for 510k's for regulatory filings; similarly, there just aren't that many existing reimbursement codes for wearables stuff yet, so there's still a bit of "missionary sales" that are needed. But having some good outcomes data on hand can only help.
What are you most looking forward to at Smart Fabrics 2012?
Sonny Vu: Meeting people in the field! I feel like we've been working in the wearables space in a bit of a vacuum and would just love to have some high-bandwidth conversations with smart people who know their stuff in this field.
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