Matthew Johnson, General ManagerFostering the ‘quality over quantity’ credo, APDM Wearable Technologies engraves its name in the industry as a gold-standard in research-grade wearable technology for patient monitoring. With practiced researchers and expert engineers at the helm, the company develops wearable sensors called Opals to quantify human movement for movement disorders research and general wellness. The Opal sensors have the ability to capture dynamic movements at a high-frequency sampling rate while still sensitive enough to quantify the subtle tremor of a neurological patient’s wrist. Clients can add up to 24 sensors on a single wireless network, and these sensors come with a long battery life (8+ hours), which acts as a competitive advantage for APDM. Also, users can wirelessly stream or log data and never worry about losing data, thanks to its 8GB of storage.
Built on the Opal are APDM’s core solutions—Mobility Lab, a gait and balance assessment system and Moveo Explorer, a full-body kinematic system. Mobility Lab contains Opals that are attached to the subject or patient who then goes through a standardized test for measuring their spatial-temporal gait and balance. A report is then automatically generated, and the data is uploaded through APDM’s free data acquisition software, Motion Studio. Complementing Mobility Lab is Moveo Explorer that replicates million-dollar motion laboratories at a fraction of the cost. With automated kinematic analysis, this solution conducts a real time full-body test and offers joint range of motion outcome measures that doctors and researchers can understand.
The firm’s current focus lies in applying digital technology to neurology and physical therapy. Based on customer feedback as well as its own research, the team at APDM has determined that physical activity level (PAL) is typically insensitive to disease and therefore focuses on the quality of an individual’s movements rather than quantifying the number of steps they have taken. “The ultimate goal of our product suite is to drive clinical decision-making as opposed to simply monitoring a patient’s general activity level,” says Matthew Johnson, General Manager at APDM.
More importantly, APDM plans to pursue precision medicine so that clients can study how a patient’s diurnal patterns change over the course of a day or a week and accordingly suggest a relevant therapy.
The ultimate goal of our product suite is to drive clinical decision-making as opposed to simply monitoring a patient’s general activity level
To do this, the company is in the process of creating the next generation of Opals for at-home continuous monitoring. Here, Johnson points out that APDM stands for Ambulatory Parkinson’s Disease Monitoring, a revolutionary approach towards wearable technology established in 2007 at a point when the industry was not even aware of it.
One of the key problems with clinical trials is that they are extremely expensive and do not offer sensitive endpoints. Here, Johnson explains how APDM helped a pharmaceutical client execute a rare disease study effectively and at a low cost. The client required 200-300 patients for the trial which would have been a large and expensive undertaking, but was able to leverage the clinical endpoints (pertaining to rare diseases like Multiple Sclerosis and Ataxia) procured by APDM’s Opal sensors applied to a small pool of patients. Having been recorded in intervals on a daily basis, these endpoints translated into ample data for the client to utilize in its study without having to commission hundreds of patients. APDM made the entire trial procedure feasible for the client while also delivering them the necessary information within a short time.
As the clinical industry becomes more receptive to wearable technology, APDM is ramping up to be ready with their scientific validation so it can emerge as a market leader. In the long run, the company intends to grow from servicing research institute and pharmaceutical companies to general clinical practice with the prime objective of helping patients navigate their disease with actionable, sensitive outcome measures.