UCB recruits Belgian wearables firm for epilepsy study

UCB is to recruit the tools of Belgian wearables startup Byteflies for an upcoming epilepsy study. 

The trial will investigate the use of Byteflies‘ Sensor Dot device in the monitoring of difficult-to-measure seizures in people with epilepsy.

The idea behind the Sensor Dot is to house an “entire vital signs lab” in one wearable that can provide vital insights for researchers.

At around the size of a 10p piece, it sits on the surface of the skin and can measure surface blood vessel volume, the heart’s electrical activity, respirations, motion, and sweat gland and muscle tissue activity. Recorded data is then passed on to researchers in its raw form.

In this particular study, the Sensor Dot will be used to “measure a combination of brain, heart and respiration signals,” according to Byteflies CEO Hans Danneels in response to a MobiHealthNews email.

“That way, it is possible to do more accurate seizure detection and detect different types of seizures. With our wearables, it will be possible to do this in a discrete way (behind the ear or even in-ear) instead of having big and uncomfortable systems.”

The project is being carried out in collaboration with the University of Leuven, the Leuven University Hospital, and product developer PiliPili in a small group of patients.

“In partnership with Byteflies, UCB is excited to be at the forefront of next generation wearables, collaborating to evaluate the benefits of measuring patient symptoms and experiences which, in the future, could support individually tailored care approaches,” said Erik Janssen, Head of Innovative Solutions, Neurology Patient Value Unit at UCB.

Janssen added: “Everything we do at UCB is inspired by patients, and driven by science. In this regard, harnessing technology and innovation are crucial elements in our mission to provide maximum value to those patients who need it the most.”

The partnership with UCB is the first with a big pharma name since it raised $600,000 in a recent funding round. It is hoping to launch its own “wearable health toolkit” aimed at accelerating clinical trials and research by the end of the year.

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