Healthtech innovator WearOptimo and leading healthcare provider Aspen Medical have reached another significant milestone in the commercialisation of ground-breaking microwearable hydration sensors.
Aspen Medical has shown its further confidence in WearOptimo by following up its multi-million-dollar investment with the finalisation of a Strategic Collaboration Agreement and Distribution Framework Agreement.
At the same time, founder and Executive Chairman of Aspen Medical, Glenn Keys AO, has joined the board of WearOptimo, significantly bolstering the strategic investment and partnership.
Human trials of WearOptimo’s sensor for the detection of dangerous dehydration levels are set to begin early this year.
The hydration monitor will be the first of WearOptimo’s microwearable product to market, and has wide applications across mining, aged care, construction, and sport, where dehydration can have a major impact but is notoriously difficult to monitor.
Aspen Medical Chief Medical Officer Dr Katrina Sanders was enthused about the value the microwearable can bring in the field of aged care.
“This has the potential to be a game changer, not only in the resources sector but also in aged care. The challenges with assessing hydration levels in patients were further exacerbated during COVID, as viral outbreaks limit staff contact and group gatherings which are central to health assessments. Technology like WearOptimo will provide the healthcare industry with much greater flexibility to make assessments and improve clinical outcomes.”
WearOptimo is pioneering a healthtech platform that uses a range of wearable sensors with microscopic electrodes that painlessly penetrate just the outer skin layer to measure biomarkers in real time and detect conditions from dehydration to cardiac arrest.
Instead of sitting on the skin’s surface, micro-electrodes on WearOptimo’s next-generation wearables reach a hair’s width into the epidermis, to tap into biomarkers that surface-based products can’t measure. Beyond hydration, they have the potential to replace frequent blood tests and invasive implantable monitors, among other key applications.
WearOptimo CEO and founder Professor Mark Kendall said the collaboration with Aspen Medical, and having Mr Keys join the board, were significant steps in realising the value of the Australian-created sensor.
“Aspen Medical is a foremost distributor and supplier of health and safety equipment and we’re excited by what we can achieve together,” he said. “Glenn’s work across the last two decades has turned Aspen Medical into a world-leading provider of patient care and we welcome his wisdom on deploying our platform in key markets.
“The hydration microwearable will be a vital tool in safety here in Australia and around the world and we’re looking forward to exploring new markets with Aspen Medical.”
Mr Keys said he was relishing joining the WearOptimo board as he saw the new alliance with WearOptimo as a vital next step in early intervention patient care.
“This will be a formidable alliance at an important time in the evolution of healthtech,” he said.
“Consumer expectations for better health tech are high and we know WearOptimo will be delivering on that.”
As well as the strategic investment and partnership with Aspen Medical for the hydration microwearables, WearOptimo has ongoing strategic and investment support from the Australian National University, and grants from the Federal and Queensland governments. Also, WearOptimo has recently welcomed further investors: announcing in late 2022 its successful first close of an additional $5 million of investment into the company.
The company is currently working on plans for a pilot plant in Queensland where it can scale up to produce up to 20 million microwearables.