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Wearables FAQ

What is a wearable?
A wearable is a device that incorporates technology (high or low tech) into an item that can be worn or is in contact with the body. Information from the wearable can either be transmitted to another device or platform or can assess and mitigate a health issue immediately.

How do I participate?

  1. Think about a wearable solution to a vital health problem.
  2. Investigate wearables that are currently available so that you do not recreate an existing solution.
  3. Create your team.
  4. For questions you have about FDA regulation contact the Office for Investigator-Sponsored IND and IDE Support (O3IS) – See FAQ for details.
  5. For questions you have about intellectual property contact the Innovation Institute – See FAQ for details.
  6. Apply! Details regarding the Round 1 submission can be found here.

The deadline to submit your application is May 15 at 5pm.

Is a cell phone considered a wearable device?
No. However, your wearable may incorporate a cellular device that supplements your wearable device.

Can my solution use an existing wearable?
Yes, but only if it is used in a new way or to address a health problem that it is not currently used for.

Can I create an app that uses a smart phone as “the wearable?”
Yes, if you have a truly new to use the technology in the smart phone as part of the solution.

Am I eligible to participate if my wearable uses existing technology?
Yes. You may be eligible if your wearable utilizes existing technology in a novel way.

Does my wearable need to be electronic?
No. Your device may be structural or topical in design.

Is an implantable considered a wearable?
Yes. Devices or solutions that can be implanted into the body are considered wearables.

Are there any requirements regarding the duration of time the wearable is worn?
Solutions must be worn long enough to solve or improve the health problem.

Am I eligible to participate if my wearable concept is commercially available?
We ask that you do not propose something that already exists.

What are current wearable devices and concepts?
Click here for a list of commercial wearable devices

What can I learn from O3IS?
If your project could potentially require any FDA approval, the Office for Investigator Sponsored IND and IDE Support can help you to understand the requirements. Some wearables will require FDA approval and it is necessary to understand that ahead of time so you can submit a project and timeline that is realistic. Visit: http://www.o3is.pitt.edu/

What can I learn from the Innovation Institute?
The Innovation Institute is at the core of innovation and entrepreneurship at the University. They can provide a wealth of knowledge and advice as you conceptualize your project, regarding Intellectual Property (IP) and the ability to support and promote app development. Visit: http://www.innovation.pitt.edu/

Can I collaborate with an external partner?
Yes. We highly encourage collaborations both internal and external to Pitt.

Can a military veteran be a member of my team?

Current Wearable Devices:

Note: This list is incomplete. If you are aware of any devices that are not on this list, please let us know.

  • Skirt and Shorts
    • Athletic training
    • Body media (recently discontinued weight management system by Jawbone)
  • Skin
    • Electrodermal activity (galvanic skin response)
    • Skin temperature

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