The Med in Ireland conference that we recently had a chance to visit, featured Shimmer, a successful body-sensing firm out of Dublin. The company also has offices in Cambridge, MA and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. They build a variety of modular sensing devices for clinical studies, product development, and anything else that would require to record electrocardiograms (ECG), electromyograms (EMG), respiration, and the like, particularly in large numbers of people.
The devices all look similar and use the same data and transfer ports, allowing large numbers of them to be plugged into charging banks. These banks also automatically download the data saved within the Shimmer sensor modules.
One nice thing that many people will appreciate is that the firmware driving the hardware is all open source, and available on GitHub, so you can do quite a bit of tinkering and programming the individual devices yourself. There are also APIs in common languages and platforms that let other software interface with Shimmer’s software and devices, to allow to adjust things like storage and display of data gathered by the sensors. To get started, the company recommends their Development Kit that can be used to see what’s possible and to define one’s needs and better understand how to achieve them.
But the company really specializes at working with researchers at creating the technology platform they need for their studies, and making it easy to implement this with real humans. The firm consults on system integration, helps build custom applications, and even manufacture unique hardware to meet the researchers’ needs. The company has interesting case studies of different applications of their sensing platform, including for studies of seizures, resistance training, and even how people react to events in movies.
Please note: Enterprise Ireland, an organization of the Irish government promoting indigenous businesses, sponsored the travel and accommodations for this report.