There are wearables that help people get organized, act as a workout coach and even one that can control a drone—but those that saves lives open new possibilities for medical wearables.
Medical technology startup, Recovery Force, in collaboration with Jabil, a global manufacturing company based in Florida, has created a wearable medical device called the RF1400 that changes shape in real-time to produce “sequencing compressions.” This gives the device the ability to increase circulation in the wearer’s cardio-vascular and lymphatic systems.
The RF1400 accomplishes this by using a special woven nickel-titanium fiber, known as nitinol, embedded in a textile. Through the platform developed by Recovery Force, those fibers can then be used to provide the wearer everything from blood clot prevention to a better workout recovery period.
Recovery Force developed the embedded fiber technology and then partnered with Jabil to make a product that the National Institutes of Health called “a marvel of engineering.”
“The clinical impact includes: the reduction of post-operative pain, swelling and wound healing time, treatment of chronic lymphedema, prevention of blood clots (DVT), and alleviating joint pain and sore muscles,” the company stated in a study released alongside the announcement.
The most important difference between this technology and the previous standard of care is that it gives patients mobility when seeking treatment. Previously, devices for similar ailments were either very large or stationary. The additional mobility might also appeal to athletes, who can use the RF1400 to enhance recovery and performance through better circulation.
It’s also a giant step toward making wearables more practical by embedding the components of a device directly into its textiles. Wearables using this technology can be lighter, more flexible and easier to clean—issues that have plagued wearable creators for years.
Jabil, through its existing production capabilities and thanks to 20 years of experience integrating electronics with textiles, designed the battery power source, the electronics integration and then embedded the Recovery Force fiber into the necessary textiles.
“It was a perfect storm to take what we had learned about these materials and transfer that knowledge to Jabil so they could apply all their core competencies to help us commercialize and find a sales channel partner,” Matt Wyatt, co-founder and CEO of Recovery Force said.
The partnership isn’t expected to stop there; Recovery Force and Jabil’s next goal is to create devices that can fight against chronic lymphedema, or excessive fluid in the lymph vessels and improper vein functioning.