Dealing with data

Shimmer announces open source wearable sensor initiative

Shimmer Research, a developer of wearable technology for research applications, has announced the launch of a healthcare industry open-source initiative for wearable sensor algorithms. Te initiative is being co-founded by

Shimmer and Dr Vincent van Hees, author of the GGIR soſtware and algorithms for movement sensor calibration, sensor wear detection, and signal aggregation. GGIR is an R-package to process multi-day

raw accelerometer data for physical activity and sleep research Shimmer is also working with Nextbridge Health, which is developing the Nextbridge Exchange, an online marketplace and discovery platform for the clinical research community. Tis new initiative seeks to develop a

curated set of open source algorithms and soſtware tools to analyse wearable sensor data that will be available to all medical device and pharmaceutical companies in a pre- competitive environment. It will allow the work conducted by thousands of researchers

Merck Acquires BSSN Software

Merck has acquired BSSN Soſtware, a Darmstadt, Germany-based laboratory informatics company which specialises in data management and integration soſtware. BSSN’s employees have joined Merck as part of its Applied Digital Lab Productivity Solutions team. ‘BSSN Soſtware and the capabilities that it

brings will allow Merck’s customers to better use and share their scientific data — the most important part of laboratory experiments,’ said Jean-Charles Wirth, head of applied solutions at the life science business sector of Merck. ‘We acquired this company for commercial growth of the lab data management technology that BSSN provided for many years. Tis acquisition creates opportunity and gives Merck a unique position in this fast-paced market.’ BSSN Soſtware is known for developing and

marketing data management and integration soſtware that unifies data from instruments and data systems and makes them available for analysing, processing and sharing. It collects and converts scientific data from a broad range of more than 200 lab instrument models into


during the past decade to be leveraged to create commonly-accepted de facto industry standards. Wearable sensors have the potential to

make an impact on clinical trials by enabling continuous, real-world data to be included in clinical and post-marketing studies. Tey allow occasional and oſten subjective measures of health to be replaced with continuous, objective measures. But the lack of accepted clinical endpoints is proving to be a major impediment to the widespread adoption of wearable sensors in clinical trials. ‘We are excited to be working with Dr

Vincent van Hees and Nextbridge on this initiative. Vincent’s GGIR platform sets the standard for open source algorithms in terms of usability, documentation, and validation. More than 80 peer-reviewed studies involving almost 200,000 participants have used GGIR. When we searched for algorithms to power our Verisense wearable sensor platform for clinical trials, nothing came close to GGIR,’ said Geoffrey Gill, president of Shimmer Americas. ‘To make GGIR even more accessible,

and expand the scope of algorithms covered to include all biometric sensors, requires significant infrastructure and ongoing effort. Tat’s where Nextbridge comes in. It

Building a Smart Laboratory 2018

is building an exchange for clinical research that is ideally suited to supporting this open- source effort for the long term,’ added Gill. ‘Shimmer’s deep connections to the

research community provides a fantastic channel to reach and recruit researchers to provide content,’ said Richard Strobridge, CEO of Nextbridge Health. Trough this initiative, sponsors will

gain access to transparent, peer-reviewed, and validated algorithms that have been commonly accepted by the industry. Tis advance should expedite clinical trials, reducing their cost, and improving patient access to treatments. Similarly, wearable sensor developers will gain access to accepted, validated algorithms, thus reducing duplication of efforts, and likely leading to quicker acceptance of new devices by the industry and regulatory agencies. Algorithm and soſtware developers will receive increased visibility, greater recognition, and broader uses for their work, potentially resulting in business opportunities for them. Shimmer is actively recruiting additional

sponsoring organisations for this initiative and will be asking its 3000-plus research customers in more than 75 countries to contribute any soſtware that they wish to make open-source.

a single, unified format. As a middleware offering, it facilitates communication and data flow between instruments and systems, such as laboratory information management systems, electronic lab notebooks and enterprise resource planning systems. Te acquisition complements Merck’s efforts to support its customers’ digital transformation in the lab. Since 2014, Merck has been working

with BSSN Soſtware, which primarily served pharmaceutical and food and beverage

customers and provided services to facilitate standard laboratory efforts. BSSN Soſtware was the first company to introduce to the market a complete AnIML implementation, an open standardised XML data format for storing and sharing of experiment data. With this acquisition, Merck is combining BSSN’s technology with its market access and laboratory domain knowledge to develop and commercialise an open and interoperable platform for laboratory data.

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