At high-risk jobs in industries such as mining and oil, assessing one’s physiological health in a timely fashion is mission-critical. Bodytrak is a wearable worn inside the ear that records vital signs such as core body temperature, heart rate, VO2 and motion (including fall detection).
PCMag interviewed CEO Leon Marsh about how UK-based company came to be and the consumer market potential of the product.
"I set up Bodytrak in 2013 after my then-employer, Nokia, sold its smartphone business to Microsoft," Marsh told PCMag. "I'd been researching sports physiology for a while, and saw a gap in the market to bring highly accurate real-time monitoring to people who are active in the field, and not contained in a controlled lab environment."
"I knew there was a wide market for a device like ours because of fatalities in the fire service purely due to heat stroke. I then found out around 50 percent of fatalities are related to cardiac arrest, [so] we could monitor all vital signs with our product."
While the Bodytrak was under development, British soldier fatalities in the SAS division (similar to US Navy SEALS) during training exercises on the Brecon Beacons spurred a search by the Ministry of Defence (MOD) to find ways to prevent heat stress in soldiers.
"I knew there was a wide market for a device like ours because of fatalities in the fire service purely due to heat stroke," he explained to PCMag. "I then found out around 50 percent of fatalities are related to cardiac arrest, [so] we could monitor all vital signs with our product.
"In addition, I could see many industrial use cases for it, across mining, oil and gas, and other utility workers in hazardous or remote environments. In fact we estimate the total market potential, in aggregate, across defense and industry is £51 billion [$66 billion]".
Seven patents and $4.9 million in seed funding later, Bodytrak is quickly gaining momentum and has plans for a Series A round in 2019. The company focuses on enterprise customers for its subscription-based business model, but is also exploring licensing its technology to consumer brands.