The “wearables” market is a hot one with many barriers to entry and even more to maintaining footing. Apple, Fitbit, Garmin, Pebble, Jawbone all have a stake in the game, while Microsoft may have lost its standing with the removal of the Band from online shelves.
A new wearable may be entering the game, specifically focused on sweat.
Eccrine Systems, Inc. just raised $5.5 million for its noninvasive wearable system that focuses on sensing — yes — sweat. The announcement revolves around its Series A funding with participation and support from CincyTech Fund IV and other sources within the CincyTech local, regional and national investor community.
The technology, originated by the University of Cincinnati and the Air Force Research Labs at Wright Patterson Air Force Base, is to collect personal health data to be used in medicine, fitness-for-duty, stress management, treatment efficacy and industrial toxicity.
“Sweat holds great promise as the best noninvasive source for acquiring the type of molecular data and physiological insights that the medical community has historically collected and analyzed from blood,” said Robert Beech, CEO and cofounder of Eccrine Systems, in a release.
Beech said that, to date, the use of sweat has been limited in accurately capturing and reporting real-time contents in the context of daily life, including work, sleep and other activities.
Technology has evolved in looking at microfluidics, nanotechnology and miniaturized electronics to monitor sweat molecules in real time.
United States Air Force Research Laboratory awarded Eccrine Systems $3.96 million in a contract focused on the development for monitoring of specific molecular biomarkers in human sweat. Eccrine Systems also raised $1.5 million in its seed round in early 2015 and now has a staff of more than 20 team members.