Janssen taps PhysIQ's AI platform to make wearable sensor data more useful

Janssen building
The AccelerateIQ platform continuously collects and analyzes data from any biosensor, allowing Janssen to draw more information from wearable devices in clinical studies. (Janssen)

In a classic case of putting the cart before the horse, mountains of valuable data gathered by wearable biosensors are all too often left on the table, thanks to a lack of technology able to quickly and thoroughly analyze the information.

To surmount this issue and take full advantage of all collected data, Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen pharmaceuticals division has turned to PhysIQ and its artificial-intelligence-fueled data analytics platform.

The digital medicine startup’s cloud-based AccelerateIQ platform continuously collects, processes and analyzes data as they are collected by wearable biosensors. The platform is powered by FDA-cleared algorithms and digital biomarkers to help identify clinically relevant insights within the data.

By licensing the technology, Janssen will be able to expand its use of biosensors in—and therefore collect more data from—clinical studies. The platform’s findings can then be used to advance subsequent research projects and the company’s commercial strategy.

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“Continuous real-world sensor data and digital biomarkers are the new frontier of clinical development and pharma commercialization,” Chris Economos, PhysIQ’s chief commercial officer, said in a release, pointing to its compatibility with a range of sensors, data types and analyses.

The partnership builds on past investments by J&J in PhysIQ’s technology. In 2018, Janssen began funding an oncology study in which PhysIQ’s algorithms were used to parse data collected by VitalPatch biosensors.

Cancer patients undergoing treatment were asked to wear the sensors around the clock. The goal of the study was to identify potential biomarkers in the sensor-collected data that could eventually be used to help predict adverse reactions to various cancer treatments.

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Even as its platform is already being deployed in real-world settings, PhysIQ continues to update the technology with new algorithms and biomarkers.

Last fall, the Chicago-based startup received a one-year contract from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to use its analytics platform and connected wearable devices to identify biomarkers that could be used to monitor patients for major changes in health status after a positive COVID-19 test result.

In January, after the first 10 weeks of the project showed significant progress in devising a “COVID-19 Decompensation Index” indicating a worsening case of the virus, the NIH extended the contract, bringing it to a $6.6 million investment.