BodyMedia to offer disposable health tracking patch

By: Brian Dolan | Jan 9, 2012        

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BodyMedia PatchAt CES (the Consumer Electronics Show) in Las Vegas, BodyMedia announced plans to offer a disposable, peel-and-stick, biometric patch developed in conjunction with medical device company Avery Dennison. The companies expect the device to be used in preliminary evaluations for weight management. (Notably, BodyMedia has an existing relationship with Jenny Craig, however, the weight loss program was not specifically mentioned in the most recent announcement.)

The patch, which is meant to be worn for up to seven days, makes use of BodyMedia’s array of sensors to track calorie burn, steps taken, activity levels, sleep patterns and more. BodyMedia says it collects more than 5,000 data points each minute. The wearable sensor leverages Avery’s proprietary Metria Wearable Sensor Technology, which is purports to be “skin-friendly”. BodyMedia’s other tracking devices are typically worn around the user’s upper arm. BodyMedia has been making such devices since 2001.

The new patch is meant to be worn on the back of the user’s left tricep, according to BodyMedia. The company expects the placement to provide “an inconspicuous solution similar to a large bandage with no wires required to transmit data.” Interestingly, competitor Basis seems to be taking an opposite approach. It wants its wrist worn health tracking device to be conspicuous as a symbol of wellness.

In the future, BodyMedia expects the patch to be used in corporate wellness programs, remote elder care and safety, and monitoring of vital signs for a variety of health conditions.

Avery’s Metria technology is based on the wearable sensor technology developed by Proteus Biomedical, which is, among other things, creating an intelligent medicine platform that can detect when a user ingests her medication. Proteus secured a patent for the technology last year. Proteus describes its technology as the “most wearable, sensor enabled and low cost sensor patch on the market”. (Updated: Originally this article incorrectly stated that Proteus licensed the technology from Avery — it is, in fact, the other way around as now stated above.)

More on the patch from BodyMedia in the press release below:

PITTSBURGH & CHICAGO, Jan 05, 2012 — In a new advance in remote body monitoring, BodyMedia and Avery Dennison Medical Solutions, a business unit of Avery Dennison Corporation, today announced the development of a body monitor patch offering a comfortable, economical means of gathering physiological data for health and wellness initiatives over a period of seven days or less. Combining Avery Dennison Medical Solutions’ proprietary Metria(TM) Wearable Sensor Technology and skin-friendly patch form factor with BodyMedia’s proprietary algorithms and years of body monitoring expertise, the new wearable patch solution will initially be used as an evaluation tool for weight management. Future applications are expected to include corporate wellness programs, remote elder care and safety, and monitoring of vital signs for a variety of health conditions*.

The patch solution, expected to launch in 2012, will utilize similar sensor technology developed for BodyMedia armband-based body monitoring systems that have been successfully used for weight loss support since 2001. The smaller form factor, shorter-term use and significantly lower price point than the armband will make the patch useful to introduce prospective armband users to the value of continuous body monitoring for weight management, while also paving the way for new uses by consumers, wellness counselors and healthcare professionals.

The disposable patch solution will:

— Track key lifestyle indicators such as calorie burn, steps taken, activity levels and sleep patterns through multiple sensors that collect more than 5,000 data points per minute.

— Enable that data to be uploaded to a computer or mobile device for use as a guideline to determine the need for behavioral modification to promote weight loss and other wellness efforts.

— Be worn on the back of the left tricep, providing an inconspicuous solution similar to a large bandage with no wires required to transmit data.

— Remain in place for up to seven days even while showering and exercising through use of Avery Dennison Medical Solutions’ splash-proof adhesive chemistries and production technologies.

“By shrinking the size, price and wear-time of our body monitoring platform to provide a snapshot of someone’s lifestyle, this patch opens the door to wider use of wearable sensor technology to manage and improve many different areas of health,” said BodyMedia CEO Christine Robins. “Whether used on a trial basis before investing in our full BodyMedia FIT system for weight management or to obtain a snapshot of user vital signs for other applications, the patch will provide both BodyMedia and our partners with an important new tool for health and wellness.”

“With this product, we are introducing a new form of body monitoring that redefines the category from a design, usability and price perspective. This is the kind of innovation that can have a significant impact on the future of healthcare,” said Howard Kelly, vice president and general manager, Avery Dennison Medical Solutions. “By pairing our Metria(TM) Wearable Sensor Technology platform’s proprietary sensor, user interfaces, adhesive chemistries, materials and manufacturing processes with BodyMedia’s algorithms and experience as a category leader in continuous on-body monitors, we have laid the groundwork for a whole new generation of remote monitoring.”

Prototypes of the new body monitor patch will be on display at BodyMedia’s North Hall 3435 booth at the International CES conference running January 10-13 in Las Vegas. For more information on the wearable sensor technology embedded in the patch, visit www.bodymedia.com or www.medical.averydennison.com/Metria .

*Metria Wearable Sensor Technology products have not been evaluated by Regulatory Agencies.

About BodyMedia, Inc.

When your body talks, BodyMedia listens. BodyMedia has been unlocking and deciphering secrets of the body since 1999. Headquartered in Pittsburgh, PA, BodyMedia is the pioneer in developing and marketing wearable body monitors that equip consumers with information they can use to make sweeping changes to their own health and wellness beginning with weight management and soon to include management of other conditions affected by lifestyle choices. The BodyMedia platform is the only system of its kind that is registered with the FDA as a Class II medical device and that has been clinically proven to enhance users’ weight loss by up to three times (data on file). For more information, visit www.bodymedia.com .

About Avery Dennison

Avery Dennison AVY -0.61% helps make brands more inspiring and the world more intelligent. For more than 75 years the company has been a global leader in pressure-sensitive technology and materials, retail branding and information solutions, and organization and identification products for offices and consumers. A FORTUNE 500(R) company with sales of $6.5 billion in 2010, Avery Dennison is based in Pasadena, California and has employees in over 60 countries. For more information, visit www.averydennison.com .

SOURCE: Avery Dennison Medical Solutions