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Human clinical trials of a Queensland-invented microwearable sensor for the detection of dangerous dehydration levels are set to begin at Queensland University of Technology after the latest successful fundraising round for pioneering healthtech firm WearOptimo.

Instead of sitting on the skin’s surface, WearOptimo’s next-generation wearables use micro-electrodes that reach a hair’s width into the epidermis and painlessly penetrate the outer skin layer to tap into biomarkers that surface-based products can’t measure. They have the potential to replace frequent blood tests and invasive implantable monitors.

WearOptimo’s hydration monitor will be the first microwearable product to market. and it has wide applications across mining, aged care, construction, and sport, where dehydration can have a major impact but is notoriously difficult to monitor.

WearOptimo has been working with ANFF experts in ACT, Queensland, and Victoria over a number of years to develop the sensor’s platform architecture, utilising a plethora of cleanroom-based nanofabrication techniques.

ANFF CEO Jane Fitzpatrick says, ‘We are so excited to see another example of what can happen when great ideas happen in the supportive ecosystem that Australia can provide. The provision of world leading, open access infrastructure is such a crucial part of this landscape to assist companies developing deep tech.’

This latest round of funding for WearOptimo follows the original and ongoing strategic and investment support from the Australian National University, grants from the Federal and Queensland governments and a strategic investment and partnership with Aspen Medical to aid distribution of the Hydration microwearables.

The company is currently working on plans for a pilot plant in Queensland where it can scale up to produce up to 20 million microwearables. Further raisings are expected to continue to take the products to market.

For more information, read WearOptimo’s press release.