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Sault Area Hospital piloting health project using undergarment technology

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The hospital in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., is running a pilot project with new health tracking technology.

The Sault Area Hospital has teamed up with a company to pilot technology called Skiin, from Myant Inc. It’s wearable technology much like Fitbits or Apple watches, except it’s being used in undergarments.

“The difference really is the presentation of the product. It’s a garment,” said Dr. James Chan, director of innovation with the hospital.

The garment options include underwear, T-shirts, bras and chest bands that can monitor a person’s heart rate, body temperature, sleep patterns and activity levels.

Chan says the garments are paired with an app, so users can monitor their health information. 

Skiin wearable technology from Myant Inc., comes in four undergarment options: underwear, bras, T-shirt and a chest band. The technology will be piloted at the Sault Area Hospital. (Myant Inc.)

“You’ll be wearing this technology instead of having it on your wrist,” he said.

Chan says the technology will be helpful for anyone who is interested in improving their health or tracking changes in the measurements.

“But really I think our pilot project is directed toward vulnerable populations, as well as Indigenous populations and women in particular,” Chan said.

He says the Sault area is a good location to pilot the technology because of the proximity to rural and remote communities.

“The product itself has a lot of value for people who live in smaller communities where they want to do remote care monitoring, and can’t always easily make it to a large centre where they could visit a hospital or a clinic,” he said.

The pilot project is free for participants, and is set to run for 18 weeks. Participants can choose which type of garment they want to use.

About 500 participants have already signed on but Chan says the goal is to get 2,500 people to be part of the pilot project.

Along with the trials, the product from Myant Inc., will also be researched at nearby Algoma University, for functionality, usability, and effectiveness.

“We’re working on it now so that we’ll understand how practitioners, health providers, physicians and others will be able to use that information to advance health care,” Chan said.

Up North7:07Smart undergarments being testing in Sault Ste. Marie

For many of us, our watches no longer just tell time. But rather, they help track our physical activity and health. We heard about a company that’s hoping to take the technology to the world of undergarments – and they’re testing it in Sault Ste Marie. We spoke with James Chan, director of innovation at the Sault Area Hospital. 7:07
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