An Edinburgh startup has won a major healthcare contract to develop what is believed to be a massively significant form of technology.
Snap40 acquired the £1 million contract from NHS England in order to further develop what it asserts will be a “game-changing” wearable monitoring device.
The company’s technology consists of a single medical wearable device, worn on the upper arm, that continuously monitors respiratory rate, heart rate, relative change in systolic blood pressure, oxygen saturations, skin temperature and movement.
Funding has been provided via the Small Business Research Initiative for Healthcare, and in the early stages will be used to scale the technology.
Also important as the device is developed will be the critical validation funding for two clinical studies with NHS Fife and with NHS Lothian’s Emergency Medicine Research Group Edinburgh (EMERGE).
Data gathered by the device is transmitted continuously to a predictive analytics software platform, which is imbued with smart technology.
The wearable encompasses proprietary machine learning and artificial intelligence algorithms, with this technology collaborating in order to analys a user’s vital signs for changes and indication of risk.
If the system determines that the wearer is in danger then it will provide an automatic alert to clinical staff.
With the well-known Apple Watch achieving decent market penetration, such wearable technology is beginning to breach the mainstream.
Snap40 CEO Christopher McCann has suggested that that the technology could help ease the burden on the UK’s beleaguered health service; obviously important considering recent revelations about the funding, staffing and general state of the NHS.
“Access to doctors and nurses is at a premium. Our society simply cannot afford one-to-one care – snap40 changes that. It allows our world-class healthcare staff to care for many more patients by helping them to prioritise who needs attention most.”
While Karen Livingstone, the national director of Small Business Research Initiative for Healthcare, believes that such wearable technology will become more prominent in the coming years.
“People are increasingly taking control of their own health, using tools to inform their behaviours and decisions,” she said. “Artificial intelligence technology is becoming more and more powerful, and will play an increasing role in healthcare over the coming years.”
It is hoped that the Small Business Research Initiative for Healthcare contract will enable the company to achieve its long-term goal of achieving regulatory clearance in Europe and the United States.