Shimmer: Innovative Sensing Applications

 Geoff Gill, President, Shimmer Americas
The global patient monitoring devices market, wearable devices, in particular, is growing at a com-pound annual rate of 7.4 percent. Motion sensors represent a large share of these devices to capture and store relevant information in real-time—a basic component for researchers and Original Equip-ment Manufacturers (OEM) to carry out research and product development. According to Geoff Gill, President of Shimmer Americas, the typical framework for the deployment of a patient monitoring solution ranges from 6 to 10 years and goes through prolonged research and trial stages delaying time-to-market. Gill points out that OEMs or researchers cannot invest their valuable time in developing software or manufacturing equipment. Shimmer caters to these specific needs by offering end-to-end research products that help them deploy medical devices in the least possible time frame. “We are an enabler: we provide technology and services to help companies get quicker to the market at the lower possible cost,” states Gill.

Right from offering customized hardware including a series of general purpose sensor platforms, and fit-to-purpose software, Shimmer is a one-stop-shop for wearable monitoring device manufacturers. The firm’s sensor technology offers high quality, scientifically reliable data to provide complete insights into developing a comprehensive end product. Based in Dublin, Ireland, the company is a pioneer in manufacturing standard products like ECG, EMG, and GSR motion sensors. Priced affordably, their sensors are used by over 500 institutions across 75 countries to perform fundamental research and to finally develop original products. Shimmer, with its world-class manufacturing facility, produces a full range of hardware customized to client requirements.

Furthermore, Shimmer maintains a large data library with information collected from multifarious sources and devices to assist researchers and OEMs quickly develop and launch their products—without falling short of any required data.

Entities working with their custom sensors can easily plug into Shimmer systems to use our large set of data collection and analytical tools

“This speeds up the development of a consumer product— from concept to production in just five months—a key differentiator in a market where the real challenge is time and cost,” notes Gill. The firm also develops products that integrate with third party sensors with their data collection platform. “Entities working with their custom sensors can easily plug into Shimmer systems to use our large set of data collection and analytical tools,” adjoins Gill. This approach is complemented by Shimmer’s hardware compatibility feature that supports sensors of all major types—resistive sensors, voltage based sensors and digital sensors which can be directly wired in for data exchange.

Over the course of its history Shimmer has served many OEMs and research institutions. Testimonials are ample; one great example is the development of Kinesis solution and the QTUG application, based on the Quantitative Timed Up and Go Test, that helps identify people at risk of falling, a major issue in health care today. Kinesis incorporated Shimmer sensors with minor modifications into their systems and relied on Shimmer for the manufacturing and hardware development. The solution provides Kinesis with valuable inputs on the kind of therapy patients need and monitor their progress through therapy to prevent falls. Knowing that the average cost of a fall is about 55,000 dollars, with some ending up costing much more or causing the patient’s death, the solution is making a clear and quantifiable difference.

Shimmer’s plans for the near future involve continuing the development of their OEM product line, as well as supporting the research community and extending research products into the pharmaceutical and clinical trial phases. The maturing space for consumer neuroscience is not forgotten with the on-going development of a new version of their NeuroLynQ solution that will enable healthcare providers to monitor up to 45 persons simultaneously and get emotional reading and response to stimuli—in real-time.