Novel Wearable and Wireless Scratch Sensor as a Drug Discovery Tool

Project: Research project

Project Details


Aim 2: Algorithm and Software Improvements. Aim 2A: we propose to extend healthy normal testing to strengthen our predictive algorithm and train against additional cofounders with an additional 8 subjects (n=16 total). We will add scratching events on top of clothing or beneath clothing, and assessing whether blankets / coverings affect the algorithm. Aim 2B: we will implement enhanced software usability features and formally conduct usability testing with intended users (n=15). Aim 2C: we will implement additional cybersecurity features related to the mobile application and cloud. Aim 3: Extend our existing clinical study at Northwestern University to include more pediatric and adult individuals with AD (n=30 target total). In this study, subjects wear the sensor on the dorsum of their dominant hand and set up an infrared camera at night for up to 1 week. In these individuals, we will survey patients and caregivers on which scratch metrics are most meaningful (e.g. scratch time, scratch events, or scratch intensity) and collect patient-reported outcomes of itch (VAS for itch, PROMIS® Itch, and NRS score) to compare against the sensors’ outputs. In addition, a subset of individuals (n=10) will wear the sensors for an additional 7 days continuously to identify differences between daytime and nocturnal scratching. Itch is a profoundly disturbing sensation where there is a lack of objective measurements hindering drug development in this space. Our technology leverages novel biomedical engineering and machine learning to address this physiological measurement challenge. Beyond AD drug development, we foresee utility of this technology in supporting drug development targeting alleviation of itch for other dermatological disorders (e.g. prurigo nodularis, psoriasis), renal or hepatic failure, genetic disorders, and certain neuropsychiatric conditions.
Effective start/end date12/1/217/31/22


  • Food and Drug Administration (PRESPEND // PRESPEND)


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