Nanowear Inc. takes home multiple awards for textile-based nanosensor technology


UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Nanowear Inc., the leading developer of patented, textile-based nanosensor technology for chronic disease management, recently received three awards for its first-of-a-kind wearable textile undergarment, SimpleSense, that can remotely monitor congestive heart failure (CHF) in patients, following CHF-related hospitalization.

Cofounded by Vijay K. Varadan, Distinguished Professor Emeritus in the Department of Engineering Science and Mechanics, Nanowear was the $10,000 grand prize winner in the Philips Wearables Challenge, hosted by MedTech Boston and Medstro in October.

Launched in summer of 2017, the Philips Wearables Challenge is a call for novel solutions to predict early signs of patient deterioration and prevent hospital readmission. Forty teams from across the country submitted cutting-edge technologies and systems, such as wireless wearable sensors, connected devices, real-time monitoring and data analytics, to facilitate early, appropriate interventions. Nanowear was one of six finalist teams that were selected by a combination of crowd votes and evaluations from expert judges.

In September, Nanowear also received two awards totaling $50,000 for SimpleSense at The MedTech Conference: the MedTech Innovator Execution Award and the Virginia Shimer Rybski Memorial Award. The MedTech Conference is the leading gathering in North America of global medical technology executives with regulatory, reimbursement, business development, legal, intellectual property, marketing, quality, compliance, human resources and other key responsibilities. The conference is powered by the Advanced Medical Technology Association (AdvaMed).

The MedTech Innovator Execution Award recognizes the potential of a promising entrepreneur or entrepreneurial medical technology company. MedTech Innovator is the industry’s nonprofit global competition and accelerator for medical device, digital health and diagnostic companies, with a mission to improve the lives of patients by accelerating the growth of companies that are transforming the health care system.

The Virginia Shimer Rybski Memorial Award was created to encourage the enthusiastic pursuit of business excellence in the medical technology industry. Nanowear was selected the winner by audience vote.

Nanowear also recently won the regional competition at the Accenture HealthTech Innovation Challenge and, as a result, was invited to compete for the grand prize at the StartUp Health Festival event during the JP Morgan Healthcare Conference in San Francisco in January 2018.

CHF is a devastating chronic disease that occurs when blood flow out of the heart slows and blood returning to the heart through the veins backs up, causing congestion in the body's tissues. Swelling in the body can occur—most often in the legs and ankles—and fluid may collect in the lungs and interfere with breathing, causing shortness of breath for the individual. CHF requires seeking timely medical attention and often results in frequent hospitalization.

The disease accounts for a large and growing population of the chronically ill, and the ability to remotely monitor CHF patients and keep them out of the hospital is essential in today's world of value- or outcomes-based medicine. According to the American Heart Association’s 2017 Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics Update, the number of adults living with heart failure in the United States increased from about 5.7 million (2009-2012) to about 6.5 million (2011-2014). Based on the latest statistics, the number of people diagnosed with heart failure is projected to rise by 46 percent by 2030. In addition, there is a systematic financial burden on health care providers that costs the nation approximately $31 billion each year.

With SimpleSense, Nanowear is helping to solve this unmet economic and clinical need.

Utilizing proprietary FDA-cleared cloth-based nanosensors, SimpleSense captures and transmits multiple parameters, including electrocardiogram, heart rate variability, respiratory rate, impedance cardiography (stroke volume and cardiac output), thoracic impedance, sound/ cardio-phonography (S3 murmurs) and actigraphy, to a cloud-based environment via an iOS mobile application and physician dashboard. The technology provides access and updates to medical professionals anywhere in the world for assessment of patient health and progress.

This low-cost, easy-to-use, non-invasive solution will provide data aggregation and daily algorithmic scoring to alert care management teams of decompensating heart failure in patients weeks in advance of hospitalization events, ultimately enabling actionable changes to patient care during normal business hours while patients are at home. SimpleSense will also improve patient outcomes and reduce recidivism following hospital discharge through the ability to promote real-time medication titration, coordinate care plan modifications and potentially schedule outpatient visits.

“SimpleSense will allow the millions of CHF patients to live their lives with confidence and return the quality of life they deserve,” said Varadan, who is also Professor of Neurosurgery at the Penn State College of Medicine and the Twenty-first Century Endowed Chair of Nano- and Bio-Technology and Medicine, Distinguished Professor of Electrical Engineering, Distinguished Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Distinguished Professor of Neurosurgery at the University of Arkansas.


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Chris Spallino

Vijay K. Varadan, Distinguished Professor Emeritus in the Department of Engineering Science and Mechanics

Vijay K. Varadan, Distinguished Professor Emeritus in the Department of Engineering Science and Mechanics



The Penn State Department of Engineering Science and Mechanics (ESM) is an internationally distinguished department that is recognized for its globally competitive excellence in engineering and scientific accomplishments, research, and educational leadership.

Our Engineering Science program is the official undergraduate honors program of the College of Engineering, attracting the University’s brightest engineering students. We also offer graduate degrees in ESM, engineering mechanics, engineering at the nano-scale, and an integrated undergraduate/graduate program.

Department of Engineering Science and Mechanics

212 Earth and Engineering Sciences Building

The Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA 16802

Phone: 814-865-4523