(by Tony Bitzionis | FindBiometrics) – Toronto-based biometric clothing company Myant has spent the last month monitoring the health of 10,000 people in Toronto after distributing its Skiin brand of biometric garments in a trial at an unnamed clinic in the city.
Skiin, which was in development for between five and seven years, uses biometric sensors sewn into the fabric of the clothing to monitor the wearer’s heart health via electrocardiogram (ECG), allowing the garment to predict various cardiovascular problems.
“Our CEO’s father had an ailment and he wanted to be able to monitor him remotely and continually, so the idea of monitoring people through textiles came up,” said Myant Vice President of Research, Milad Alizadeh-Meghrazi, in conversation with the Toronto Sun.. “And cardiovascular metrics being one of the top things that would help highlight an individual’s well being was the first thing that we went for. And we have it right now.”
Myant tested the Skiin lineup — currently made up of bras, male and female underwear, chest bands, and T-shirts — earlier this year in Sault St. Marie, Ontario, in a pilot project in cooperation with Sault Area Hospital and Algoma University.
Having already achieved Health Canada II medical device certification from the Canadian government, Alizadeh-Meghrazi is careful to point out the difference between the technology behind Skiin, and other biometric wearables with health features that have been gaining in popularity in recent years.
“We can monitor cardiovascular pretty well and we can get a proper ECG, electrocardiogram, as opposed to the fancy Apple watches and fitbits that just map your heart rhythm to an optical sensor,” he said, adding, “This is not an Apple watch in your underwear. This is a medical device in your underwear.”
Aside from a $1.5 million grant it received from the province of Ontario in May of this year, Myant has also received help from Mitacs, Canada’s premier internship program, through which the company had the help of more than 20 interns from the Toronto-area universities Ryerson, the University of Toronto, and the University of Waterloo.
Source: The Toronto Sun