Biofourmis, Chugai to develop wearable for digitally measuring endometriosis pain

Biofourmis is teaming up with Chugai Pharmaceutical to help develop a digital and objective method for clinically assessing a person’s pain, and they’re starting with a focus on endometriosis.

Notoriously difficult-to-diagnose, yet still affecting one in 10 women of reproductive age, endometriosis is caused by the growth of epithelial cells outside of the uterus, leading to pelvic pain and potential infertility. 

However, the severity of pain can vary on a daily basis and present in different ways, making it hard for some patients to effectively communicate their symptoms to healthcare professionals.

Using its digital platform and artificial intelligence algorithms, Biofourmis and Chugai aim to analyze data from a wearable biosensor, in search of patterns that could be used to effectively quantify endometriosis pain.

That system—including a patient-facing smartphone app, using certain game-design elements to help urge daily tracking of symptoms—will then be tested and validated through a global, real-world trial set to enroll more than 120 women with endometriosis.

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"Chugai aims to become a top innovator by utilizing digital technologies, and we are thrilled to partner with them," said Biofourmis founder and CEO Kuldeep Singh Rajput. "This unique collaboration with Chugai is another indicator of the growing consensus in the healthcare industry that combining digital solutions with therapeutic developments—from discovery to patient care—is a powerful way to augment efficiency.”

The AI-based technology will provide a continuous quantification of pain by applying analytics to physiology biomarkers. The platform will also include a clinician-facing web dashboard for remote review and intervention.  

According to Satoko Shisai, head of Chugai's digital and IT division, the new partnership also folds into the company’s Digital Vision 2030 project, announced this past March, which aims to transform the Tokyo-based company’s efforts across all its value chains.