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ANU develops Microwearable sensor healthtech

A revolutionary healthcare technology with the potential to save millions of lives globally is poised to enter mass-production following the announcement of a $30 million deal in Australia. The project will fund an advanced technology facility in Brisbane, Australia – a critical step to WearOptimo making and distributing its MicrowearableTM sensor health technology worldwide.

WearOptimo’s inexpensive, pain-free wearable devices can give patients and their doctors’ early warning of life-threatening events such as heart attacks, heatstroke and other conditions. They represent a breakthrough in personalised medicine.

A partnership between the Queensland Government, The Australian National University (ANU), WearOptimo, and the Australian National Fabrication Facility (ANFF) will invest $30 million in a globally-competitive, high-tech manufacturing facility – based in Australia – for the production of Micro wearable sensors to reach into key healthcare markets.

WearOptimo’s “sticker-like” Micro wearable sensors provide real-time monitoring and fast, accurate reports on a patient’s health to enable timely medical care. Potentially they can replace frequent blood tests for some of our most serious diseases.

The WearOptimo Founder and CEO said the new devices are designed to vastly improve the lives of seriously ill patients.

He said, “Our Micro wearable sensors are at the cutting-edge of personalised treatment and healthcare. The Microwearables we’re working on is designed to empower individuals and their healthcare providers – to put them in charge of tailored, rapid treatment and recovery.”

For example, the project team is developing Microwearable sensors to detect and alert to dehydration while people are on the job, or to dehydration in the elderly. Another type of their Microwearable sensor is being developed to help with the early detection of heart attacks and cardiovascular disease, which is responsible for 20 million deaths per year.

The team is also working on tackling some of the biggest killers on the planet, so it is a real thrill to receive this support for their important work. The ANU Vice-Chancellor stated that WearOptimo was a shining example of how university-backed research delivers significant outcomes for all Australians.

He noted, “One of our key missions is to help develop and deliver the products and industries of tomorrow that will make our lives better and power our prosperity as a nation. WearOptimo is taking the latest breakthroughs in health and transforming them from bold ideas into everyday innovations that will make a major difference.”

It was noted that the funding is a welcome boost to that mission and will ensure Australia is a global leader in healthcare for decades to come. Founded in 2018, WearOptimo is based in Brisbane and became The Australian National University’s first innovation company. In 2020, WearOptimo signed a deal to export their wearable health sensors to markets all over the world.

Wearable technology market projected to grow

According to recent research, the global wearable technology market size was valued at US$32.63 billion in 2019 and is projected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 15.9% from 2020 to 2027. The growing popularity of the Internet of Things (IoT) and connected devices and the rising technically sound population is expected to drive the demand.

Other research indicated that the wearable market in Australia is expected to register a CAGR of 14.5% during the forecast period from 2021-2026.

Smart wearables offer a multitude of features, which include fitness tracking, managing daily tasks, checking emails and making contactless payments, and more. Hence the change of consumer lifestyle and rising awareness of advanced technology will influence the growth of this market.

The Australian wearable market is multiplying due to the faster adoption of advanced technologies into wearable objects such as eyewear, wristband, and watch. These technologically advanced products are used in military, health, and wellness, the fitness of general people.

Moreover, the rising awareness about health consciousness among Australian people is fuelling the growth of this market. The ongoing COVID-19 crisis has expanded the role of wearable technologies in the healthcare sector. These wearable products can offer different types of information, which include blood pressure, oxygen levels, quality and quantity of sleep, calorie intake, cholesterol levels, etc.

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