Montreal, Canada, August 22, 2019 - The CIHR (Canadian Institutes of Health Research) organized a press conference at CHU Sainte-Justine, Mother and Child University Hospital Center today to announce the funding of a five-year project to collect biological and vital signs data from patients suffering from Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME), also known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), to improve medical knowledge of the disease. Canadian Minister of Health, the Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, was at the event to make the announcement with Dr. Alain Moreau, Scientific Director of the Viscogliosi Laboratory in Molecular Genetics of Musculoskeletal Diseases.
In Canada, over half a million Canadians suffer from ME. According to the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention), in the United States, 836,000 to 2.5 million Americans suffer from ME, but most of them have not been diagnosed. There is currently no biological diagnostic test for ME. The disease is diagnosed based on symptoms and by ruling out other conditions that could be causing the symptoms. The CHIR funded project will build the largest long-term cardiopulmonary and activity database in the world for patients with ME.
Hexoskin, a Montreal-based leader in smart clothing, health software, and AI services will provide its health monitoring solutions to support building the database. Pierre-Alexandre Fournier, CEO of Hexoskin, is pleased by today’s announcement: ‘’We believe this project will help us understand how to better take care of patients presenting symptoms of ME. Recent data shows that the prevalence of this disease is higher than previously estimated and has an enormous impact on Canadians living with ME and our society. Data collected in this project will impact millions of lives’’.
Dr. Alain Moreau will be the Principal Investigator with the Interdisciplinary Canadian Collaborative Myalgic Encephalomyelitis - ICANCME - Research Network: “Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) is possibly the last medical enigma of the 21st century. Our scientific partnership with Hexoskin will be instrumental to address the complexity of ME given its clinical heterogeneity and phenotypic variability overtime. The Hexoskin wearable technologies will allow researchers and clinicians to investigate people severely affected by ME (housebound or bedridden), which is rarely done due to their limited capacity to participate in clinical studies.”
Founded in 2006 in Montreal, Hexoskin is the leader in non-invasive sensors, smart clothing, software, data science & AI services. Hexoskin launched in 2013 the first washable smart shirts that capture cardiac, respiratory, and activity body metrics. Hexoskin is an end-to-end system to monitor the user’s general health, vital signs, sleep, and activity, using built-in sensors embedded in Smart Garments made in Canada. The system can be used for a wide range of research domains including cardiology, respiratory, behavioural and physiological psychology, biofeedback, sleep patterns, circadian rhythms, effects of aging on physical performance, human energy expenditure, and physical conditioning.
The Hexoskin smart clothing and solutions were validated in over 70 scientific publications in the fields of cardiology, respiratory, behavioural and physiological psychology, sleep patterns, circadian rhythms, effects of aging on physical performance, and AI-Machine Learning. The company provides custom solutions, R&D project management, and services to international clients in defence, aerospace, security, police and first responders, pharmaceuticals, academics, and healthcare.
Hexoskin is also known for collaborating with the Canadian Space Agency to provide its advanced health technologies Astroskin (Bio-Monitor) to monitor the vital signs of the Canadian Astronaut David Saint-Jacques and future astronauts visiting in the International Space Station for the next five years. The company launched in 2018 the Astroskin platform for research and public/private projects on Earth.