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LifeQ, the Stellenbosch-based biotech startup, is on a serious roll. In the 18 or so months since it launched globally, its technology has been used by TomTom, it’s announced a partnership with US-based designer and manufacturer of semiconductor products and solutions US Analog Devices, Inc. (ADI), and now it’s partnered with Garmin with the goal of developing a “connected health solution”.
According to a press release sent to Ventureburn, the aim of the partnership is to ensure health data generated from its wearable devices delivers on current and future high efficacy information requirements of the health insurance and corporate wellness ecosystems.
By combining the market-leading wearable devices of Garmin with the unique on-device and cloud based biomathematical capabilities of LifeQ, the release says, the two companies hope to “deliver a joint digital health solution as part of the broader health ecosystem”.
Reading between all the technical jargon, it seems that the aim of the partnership is to find a way of providing as much personal data to insurers based on parameters related to sleep, stress, activity and nutrition as well as risk metrics as required by the insurance and pharmaceutical industry (such as cardiovascular age).
The two companies believe that doing so will allow insurers to deliver more personalised products and lower the cost of healthcare around the globe. In addition, they say, the proposed “connected solution” will help consumers make smarter choices around health and nutrition.
“The connected health and insurance ecosystem of the future will be propelled forward to a whole new level through rapid delivery of personalized physiological information that is now possible due to rapid advances in hardware and analytics capabilities,” said LifeQ co-founder and COO Riaan Conradie. “By combining LifeQ’s computational systems biology based on-device and cloud based analytics products with Garmin’s world leading devices we will jointly open up a range of high value personalized solutions to the health and life insurance industry. We are very excited about this preferred partnership.”
This is not the first time Garmin has looked to South Africa for exploratory technology. Around the same time as LifeQ was making its global launch, the US-based tech company bought out Stellenbosch-based radar startup iKubu.
“Garmin is excited to team up with LifeQ to enable the advancement of the healthcare industry,” said Allison Swelin, manager of Garmin Health sales and marketing. “Garmin wearables are being used across a number of healthcare applications as a tool to help monitor things like activity levels, all-day heart rate and sleep.”