It’s been one of the clearest market trends of these last months. “Wearable” devices are storming through all types of segments. In a dearth of other more practical apps for medical use, medical apps in the area of mHealth are perhaps some of the most interesting.
In particular, the sector of biomedicine and textronica has been a fundamental pillar of the activity of Nuubo, a Spanish company with offices in Madrid and production centres in Paterna (Valencia), which has been working in this field since the end of 2005. Their long trajectory is just starting to touch down, and is doing so in the form of the nECG Platform: a platform for cardiac monitoring.
Agustín Maciá, project co-founder, commented to us that the company aims to “cover all the monitoring timeline”. Above all, this offers a reduction in expenses and notable versatility compared to current systems, where this type of treatment is invasive and far more costly (both for patients and medical staff) in terms of time, money and planning. The nECG platform is composed of three elements:
- nECG Shirt, a T-shirt with BlendFix textile electrodes which capture the patient’s ECG signal.
- Wireless receptor nECG Minder, which registers information captured by the T-shirt and other parameters which are sent via Bluetooth.
- nECG Suite, a visualisation and analysis software which manages the information registered and transmitted by the nECG Minder, and which contextualises it by generating reports and advanced analysis.
In spring 2014, the company received a round of investment of 3 million euros. It clearly stood out from other market proposals, which we often see in the form of quantifying watches or bracelets. As Maciá explained, “their products are very interesting, but only in cases where information is self-managed. The technology is valid, but varies greatly: they can’t obtain an electrocardiac signal or diagnostic quality. These aren’t medical devices, and they aren’t prescriptive. Some might reach this objective, but the majority fall into the category of heart-rate monitor, with more sensors in those which don’t intervene in diagnostics”.
This is one of the differentiating characteristics of Nuubo and its platform. Their complete focus on medical cardiac monitoring has required them to overcome all kind of controls in current regulation. The technological patent is being registered in various countries, and the company is now entering a key phase of commercialisation with an initial introduction to Spain and strategic points of Europe. It will then make the jump to the United States, although this “won’t take long” due to the notable drive and interest that have been received.
Maciá explained how these devices offer “diagnostic profitability”, and can be applied to all kinds of cases in which short-term monitoring takes place, such as those habitually realised by Holter monitors, as well as “longer and more invasive implantations, such as subcutaneous ones”. With the nECG platform, effective, long-lasting monitoring solutions are realised. They are practically non-invasive (the clothing has been designed to wear both naturally and comfortably) and can be adjusted to all kinds of time period.
These “wearable” medical devices are, as such, very different from the rest of the market’s traditional solutions. As the cofounder of Nuubo pointed out to us, they allow for monitoring of arrhythmia and syncopes and also cover all kinds of treatment stage (hospitalisation, home treatments).
That’s not all: the nECG Platform app is a reality in sports medicine, where various projects with football teams have already taken place. Here, this solution facilitates a vital cardiac screening and helps prevent severe health problems (such as those responsible for cases of tragic sudden deaths of football players during matches).
It’s not for nothing that Nuubo’s solutions have already been awarded the nickname of “life vests”. Keeping in mind the fact that cardiac diseases are responsible for half the deaths in Europe (their global cost is estimated at 192 billions of euros per year), having a solution like this before us seems incredibly promising.
The mHealth competence centre forms part of Mobile World Capital Barcelona’s Programme of International Competence Centers (PCCI). mHealth works with a three-fold objective: to identify mobile technology opportunities in the provision of health services, to transform current healthcare models and processes, and promote the interoperability of health services in the field of mobile technologies and connectivity, building foundations that make it possible to integrate mobile health solutions.
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