Ontario govt supports launch of tech to detect early disease warnings

June 08, 2021 - Canada

The Ontario state government in Canada is investing over $1.5 million, through the Ontario Together Fund, in Myant Inc. to help commercialise ‘connected wearables’, which can sense, monitor and help detect various symptoms that may signal the onset of diseases, including those associated with COVID-19. The project is expected to create 80 jobs.

“Ontario has world-leading talent in the innovation and life sciences sectors,” said Vic Fedeli, minister of economic development, job creation and trade, in an official press release.

Myant Inc. is a Canadian small and medium enterprise in the health care sector that has developed the Textile Computing platform by embedding biometric sensors into fabric and creating textile-based medical devices and connected wearables under the brand name Skiin.

Everyday clothing items with embedded sensors can track the wearer’s vital signs through Myant's Connected Care Life app. This information can be shared with an individual's circle of care, including his family and healthcare providers, enabling remote patient monitoring and real-time decisions for improved patient care.

Ontario’s investment will help Myant accelerate the commercialisation of Skiin by conducting a broad, community-based deployment of the product. Myant will produce Skiin kits to be distributed to about 2,500 trial participants and is partnering with Algoma University and the Sault Area Hospital to deliver the trial.

Trial participants will wear Skiin garments for three to four months. Clinicians will monitor their health through the mobile app and data platform and university students studying computer science or biomedical engineering will monitor the user experiences of both participants and clinicians.

Through this project, Myant will learn and test how to deploy the system with several key stakeholders including hospitals, public health institutions, physicians, and home care workers. Once commercialised, Skiin will be manufactured at the company’s facility in Toronto.