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Press Room

August 31, 2020


Smart ring from leading wearable technology and smart apparel company Formsense, to quantify rehab outcomes in stroke survivors with $2.4M NIH grant.

(San Diego, CA) Formsense, a leading wearable technology and smart apparel company, has been chosen as technology partner for a $2.4M grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) that includes an interdisciplinary team of world-renowned researchers in rehabilitation sciences.


Prof. Sunghoon (Ivan) Lee, a health informatician from UMass Amherst’s Institute of Applied Life Sciences (IALS) is the Principal Investigator of the grant, supported by Prof. Paolo Bonato and Randi Black-Schaffer from Harvard Medical School - and human-centered mHealth design expert - Eun Kyoung Choe from the University of Maryland iSchool and Human-Computer Interaction Lab - as well as Nathan Ramasarma, founder and CEO of Formsense.


This grant will help deploy and test a novel mobile health (mHealth) system, leveraging Formsense’s wearable sensor that slips on a finger like a ring, to monitor and encourage movement and activity in the weak upper limb of stroke survivors in an ambulatory setting. For several years, Formsense and its University partners tested the use of this novel solution validating its capability of monitoring both gross-arm and fine-hand movements clinically relevant to track and assess activities of daily living (ADLs) for affected patients.


“As a research-driven company, Formsense supports early and strong collaborations in academia in order to validate its technologies and explore commercial solutions that can accelerate adoption in the market,” says Ramasarma, whose San Diego-based company develops wearable sensor technologies that objectively measure human performance in health, fitness, and sport. “The vision of Formsense was always to improve the quality of people’s lives and the confirmation of this grant from the NIH is particularly gratifying to me and the whole team at Formsense.”


August 13th, 2020


Formsense, a leading smart apparel company, is part of a task force led by the Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, to study the role of mHealth technology in mitigating the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

(San Diego, CA) Formsense, a leading smart apparel company, has taken on the unusual role as part of an expert task force working together with Mass General Brigham Health System and its Spaulding Rehabilitation Network to publish a study on the role of mHealth in the COVID-19 pandemic. The outcome of the task force is a published study entitled “Can mHealth Technology Help Mitigate the Effects of the COVID 19 Pandemic?” in the newest issue of IEEE Open Journal of Engineering in Medicine and Biology.  


The study aimed to review mobile health (mHealth) technologies and explore their use to monitor and mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Task Force identified existing and forward-looking technologies including smart apparel that could be deployed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and would likely be suitable for future pandemics. 


Formsense CEO and founder, Nathan Ramasarma and board member, Ali Hashemi, a healthcare expert and founder of Polymath Ventures, participated in the task force formed by Paolo Bonato, Ph.D., Director of the Spaulding Motion Analysis Lab, who was the lead author on the study. Formsense has been working with Dr. Bonato’s lab and its university partners since 2016 to apply its wearable sensors and markerless motion analysis algorithms to aid in the monitoring and rehabilitation of stroke patients in an ambulatory setting. As part of this COVID-19 task force, Formsense was able to lend its expertise on motion analysis, wearable sensors, and its integration with smart apparel. 


“Working on this task force and being able to apply our technology and insights to further the quality of our response to pandemics like COVID-19 has allowed Formsense to cement its leadership as the next generation of connected but untethered health and fitness platforms” said Nathan Ramasarma. “It’s not often that a startup gets invited to participate in such efforts alongside world-class organizations that have the potential to transform the lives of millions.”


Dr. Bonato, further explains the relevance of wearable tracking technologies, “The better data and tracking we can collect using mHealth technologies can help public health experts understand the scope and spread of this virus and most importantly hopefully help more people get the care they need earlier. Our hope is to build on more studies from here and continue to expand our understanding.”


What is mHealth?

Telehealth usage and mobile health technologies, commonly called mHealth, has gained the attention of the public at large. While telehealth has allowed patients to stay connected for ongoing appointments and check-ins, wearable mHealth technologies provide a significant opportunity for data collection, and mHealth technology can be used to monitor patients with mild symptoms who have tested positive for COVID-19.  


Individuals can visit to learn more about the Motion Analysis Laboratory at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital.

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