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  • Tim Kannegieter

3 wearables research organisations you should follow

In this article we profile three organisations in NSW you should follow if you want to keep abreast of the cutting edge of innovation in wearables.

Mackenzie Wearables Research Hub

The University of Sydney is launching the Mackenzie Wearables Research Hub next month as part of the Charles Perkins Centre, which is focused on easing the burden of diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular disease. The new centre will be focused on optimising the use of “research grade” wearables and work with industry to develop hardware solutions for advanced wearable devices.

Of particular interest is its goal of developing rigorous research methods and algorithms for signal interpretation into tangible aspects of human behaviour, particularly standard signals such as movement, energy expenditure, posture and sleep. The aim is to give “meaning to the signal” across all age groups and clinical populations by correlating the “ground truth” of what trial participants are actually doing with sensor data captured.

The Hub will be providing research services to design, perform and disseminate high quality research using wearable devices, at low cost for those seeking to collaborate with University of Sydney researchers. The Hub is also part of a global network of research projects in the same space and will be providing advice to these projects.

The Hub is being officially launched on 7 September 2023. Register here to hear firsthand what the Centre will be doing.

ARC Hub on Connected Sensors for Health

The ARC Hub on Connected Sensor for Health launched in February 2023 and aims to help foster a national ecosystem for designing, manufacturing and commercialising a range of biophysical and biochemical sensors with research themes encompassing key issues such as energy and data management, data analytics, Apps and cybersecurity.

The Hub primarily operates by facilitating a range of projects with companies looking to solve problems in the sphere of its research themes. The list of Partners illustrates the diversity of applications in the wearables space. Examples include:

  • Vlepis – Advanced sensors communicating physiological data for in-home and community care

  • Nutromics – DNA based sensors delivered with a patch

  • Softsense – Flexible wearable technology that conforms to the skin.

Genesys is participating in this Hub with its own research project developing smart sensors for monitoring the health of living cells in production processes for cell and gene therapy applications, in support of its Microbioreactor CRC-P project in this space.

Contact the Hub directly to find out how to get involved.

NSW Smart Sensing Network

Another organisation worth following is the NSW Smart Sensing Network. While not directly running a wearables research program, many of the projects and institutions it supports are involved in the space.

The NSSN published an article by Dr Noushin Nasiri from the NanoTech Laboratory at the School of Engineering in Macquarie University on Using Wearables to Create a Proactive Healthcare System. The article provides an entertaining and thought provoking overview of where the wearables industry has come from and where it may go.

She cites an example of the work of her own laboratory which has developed “tiny biosensors detecting low concentrations of breath biomarkers in complex gas mixtures, like human breath. Detecting such trace concentration of the biomarker using a wearable device is not an easy task, as differentiating between the thousands of molecules present in exhaled breath requires atomic-scale tailoring of reaction sites and efficient transduction of sensing reactions”.

This example highlights the pivotal role of innovative sensors in driving forward the value proposition of wearables. Follow NSSN to keep abreast of the opportunities.

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