The Open Wearables Initiative Soliciting Algorithms and Datasets

February 13, 2020
Applied Clinical Trials

Shimmer Research, a global leader in wearable technology for research applications, has announced that the Open Wearables Initiative (OWEAR) is now actively soliciting open source software and datasets from wearable sensors and other connected health technologies. OWEAR is a collaboration designed to promote the effective use of sensor-generated measures of health in clinical research through the open sharing and benchmarking of algorithms and datasets. OWEAR has also expanded its Working Group to include executives from four major global pharmaceutical companies, a major clinical research organization (CRO), Sage Bionetworks and the Digital Medicine Society (DiMe).

Wearables, ingestible sensors, and in-home monitoring technologies offer the opportunity to assess an individual’s health continuously, objectively, and in real time. As a result, they hold the potential to revolutionize health, healthcare, and health research. However, the lack of accepted endpoints is proving to be a major impediment to the adoption of these digital measures in clinical trials. OWEAR will leverage the work of thousands of researchers from academia, pharma, and other organizations during the past decade to facilitate the development of those requisite endpoints.  

OWEAR will serve as a community hub, indexing, distributing and benchmarking algorithms openly and transparently. It will act as a neutral broker, conducting formal, objective benchmarking processes, and identifying high-performing algorithms in selected domains. Its goal is to provide the industry with a searchable database of benchmarked algorithms and source code that can be freely used by everyone. This new resource will help to streamline drug development and enable digital medicine.

In a conscious effort not to duplicate resources, OWEAR will not host the software or datasets because that role is already fulfilled by repositories such as GitHub, Synapse.org, and UCI Machine Learning Repository. OWEAR is focused instead on aggregating all the available resources and collecting the required metadata into an index so that healthcare researchers can more easily find and evaluate the algorithms and software that best meet their needs.

“Shimmer Research is proud to help lead OWEAR and partner with our peers to develop this new open source database for the benefit of the entire community. Shimmer has already registered several algorithms with OWEAR and we are reaching out to the over 3,000 leading researchers who use our wearable sensors for healthcare applications and encouraging them to register their algorithms and datasets with OWEAR as well,” said Geoffrey Gill, president of Shimmer Americas. 

“We are delighted to join this important digital medicine initiative,” said Jennifer Goldsack, executive director at DiMe. “DiMe firmly believes that collaboration is critical to achieve our shared goal of advancing digital medicine to optimize human health.” 

“We are excited to partner with OWEAR and look forward to bring together OWEARs open initiative with Sage Bionetworks efforts for open and collaborative benchmarking. Open wearables first benchmarking project is focusing on the use of wearable sensors to measure gait,” said Dr. Larsson Omberg, vice president, systems biology at Sage Bionetworks.

OWEAR is asking software developers and medical researchers to register algorithms related to digital medicine and publicly-available datasets from wearables and connected health technologies, even those with license restrictions, at www.owear.org. This information will be collected into an index of all current resources which will be made available soon.