Could a wearable break a drug addict’s habit?

[grow_thumb image=”” thumb_width=”150″ /]Two studies of addicts, recovering and otherwise, using the Empatica biosensor bracelet, have indicated that certain data could help track addicted patients’ behavior and possibly behavior leading to a recovering addict’s drug relapse.

The pilot tracked five supervised addicts (one cocaine, the remainder morphine) who wore the E4 Empatica before, during, and after a drug use event. When each drug was used, it created a unique ‘signature’ of vital signs. The second study of 15 recovering addicts also confirmed these results, with all participants keeping their bracelets on and interested in their results. According to the researchers from the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester, their next study will examine drug ‘signatures’ of different types of users, from first time to tolerant user, and also to help gauge the effect of drug antidotes in an ER/ED setting. Eventually, the studies will gather information on predicting drug relapses.

The Empatica continuously measures heartbeat, motion in three dimensions, skin electrical conductance, and skin temperature, each up to 30 times per second, plus GPS.  IEEE Spectrum Hat tip to former TTA Ireland Editor Toni Bunting

ELabNYC Pitch Day 2015

Thursday 3 April, Microsoft’s NY Technology Center, Times Square NYC

[grow_thumb image=”” thumb_width=”100″ /]The third annual Pitch Day for the now 20 startup/early-stage life science, biotech and healthcare technology companies in the ELabNYC (Entrepreneurship Lab Bio and Health Tech NYC) is a culmination of their year-long program participation in this NY Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC)-supported program. The entrepreneurs in the ELabNYC program primarily come from from the doctoral and post-doc programs from New York’s many universities, from CUNY to Columbia, from many parts of the world, and most have experience within the city’s multitude of major health research institutions from The Bronx to Brooklyn. New York is also a center of funding for life science and health tech ventures; it’s #2 with NIH awards totaling $1.4 billion. For the past few years, NYEDC has also supported these companies with finding access to capital, specialized space (e.g. wet labs such as the million square feet at Alexandria Center alone, plus Harlem Biospace and SUNY Downstate in Brooklyn) and partnerships with major companies such as Celgene, Eli Lilly, Pfizer and GE Ventures.

This Editor will concentrate on health tech companies–eight, up from five last year [TTA 17 Apr 14]. Each company pitched for five minutes on its concept, its current state of advancement (including pilots/customers), its team and a funding timeline. It was a very different mix from last year’s class, which focused on compliance, diagnosis, dementia and concussion. These companies focused on niches which are either not being served well or to substantially reduce costs. Nearly half the entrepreneurs were women, a substantially greater number than one usually sees in the biotech/health tech area. Short impressions on our eight, with links to their Executive Summaries on the 2014-15 ‘class page’: (more…)