Empatica’s Embrace Plus Smartwatch Will Monitor Health of Astronauts Aboard Mars Mission

Empatica EmbracePlus
Image: Empatica (PRNewswire photo)

Empatica, an MIT Media Lab Spin off that develops medical wearables using AI, announced their new smartwatch EmbracePlus built in partnership with Translational Research Institute for Space Health (TRISH). EmbracePlus was chosen by TRISH to be the first wearable to monitor the health of the astronaut crew that will board the first manned mission to Mars.

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EmbracePlus has been designed from the ground-up as a space-ready device suitable for health monitoring during deep space missions. EmbracePlus can support longitudinal diagnostics, giving astronauts actionable insights into their health without the need of wearing invasive instrumentation, said Empatica in a press release.

Empatica was chosen because of its track record and success in creating the first smart watch used in neurology to detect seizures, the Embrace2, which has received FDA clearance for both its hardware sensors and its software alerting algorithm. The brand new EmbracePlus will provide the highest quality measures for long-term medical sensing while functioning reliably and robustly, despite harsh and challenging environments. The device also offers powerful on-board advanced processing that can run custom AI algorithms to provide support to the wearer.

Humans on Mars
Artist’s conception of first human habitat on Mars (Image: Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Nasa)

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The breakthrough features of EmbracePlus include:

  • An e-ink face giving reminders and prompting the wearer with questions, facilitating engagement
  • A powerful microcontroller unit (MCU), for running advanced AI algorithms
  • A comfortable, swappable and customizable strap, which runs circuitry inside to power electrodes
  • Customizable sensor data sampling
  • Wireless communications and fast data streaming using Bluetooth 5
  • Custom LED and photodiode configuration detects high-quality heart rate and heart rate variability
  • Custom electrodermal activity sensing provides continuous changes in autonomic stress
  • A portal with secure access to raw data and tools to ease the management of large studies
  • On-wrist charging with a revolutionary new patent-pending sleek pod, ensuring the device never needs to be taken off unless the wearer wants to
  • Waterproof package

Empatica will start shipping Embrace Plus in the summer of 2020.