Year: 2012-13

Company: Proteus Digital Health

Liaison(s): Willy McAllister, Todd Thompson, Mark Zdeblick

Proteus Digital Health is a pioneer in digital healthcare. By creating medical devices that communicate with digital technology, such as smart phones, tablets, and cloud computing, Proteus enables people to develop and sustain healthy habits and businesses to develop new information-based business models. Founded in 2003, Proteus’ flagship technology revolves around wearable and ingestible sensors. In July 2012, Proteus gained FDA clearance of their ingestible sensor that is powered by stomach fluid. Sensor-enabled pills communicate when they have been ingested by transmitting a signal to an adhesive, wearable sensor patch that also collects physiologic data such as heart rate, skin temperature, and physical activity. Data is transferred via Bluetooth to a paired device and uploaded to the Cloud. Users can then share their data with family, caregivers, and/or clinicians to build a community of individuals that help each other stay healthy. The patch system was conceived to serve the elderly or chronically ill; however, Proteus’ long-term mission is to provide a range of lifestyle tools that serve individuals of all ages and stages of health. Proteus wanted to evaluate the potential uses of the patch in a competitive athletics environment. The Proteus TMP team was tasked with identifying how the patch might be used in this new market and what user requirements needed to be changed to target this new audience. To accomplish this objective, the team met with coaches and athletic trainers from many different sports and conducted extensive research to evaluate the current state of athletic monitoring and identify ways the Proteus patch could address an unmet need. During this initial phase, the team identified swimming as a unique point of entry into the larger athletics market. The team then focused the remaining stages of the project on producing a working prototype of the patch and user interface for use as a training tool for swimmers and coaches. Through testing of the device on athletes from the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps swim team and garnering feedback from swim coaches, the Proteus TMP team will make recommendations regarding the features and marketability of the potential commercial product.