The device helps volunteers to self-monitor daily heart rate, respiratory rate, heart rate variability, sleep performance and other key biometrics. Image Credit: Supplied

Abu Dhabi: As part of the UAE’s vaccine trials, volunteers will receive a wearable device to monitor their health after UAE’s vaccine sponsor, G42 Healthcare, partnered with Boston-based tech firm, Whoop.

The partnership with Whoop was announced Thursday by G42, an Abu Dhabi-based artificial intelligence and cloud computing firm that is running the trials under the supervision of the Abu Dhabi Department of Health (DoH) and the UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention.

The wearable devices will be distributed to volunteers who join the clinical trials at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre and Al Qarain Centre in Sharjah, and they will also be given to volunteers who come in for the second dose of the vaccine. The devices will help volunteers to track and self-monitor daily heart rate, respiratory rate, heart rate variability, sleep performance, and other key biometrics.

“As a digital business, this new partnership is a logical extension of the highly-advanced AI and super computer solutions we are already using in the trials process. New volunteers will be invited to engage with the technology developed by Whoop that will enhance their individual volunteer experience,” said Ashish Koshy, chief executive officer at G42 Healthcare.

“We believe that giving volunteers an opportunity to use the Whoop Strap 3.0 wearable device will reinforce their confidence in the trial by giving them the ability to check on several daily health data points. This will complement the world-class clinical expertise that the healthcare professionals in the UAE are providing to the volunteers, and ensure their safety and well-being throughout the trials process,” he added.

The medical aspects of the trial in the UAE are being managed by Abu Dhabi’s public health provider, the Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (Seha).

“The continuous biometric monitoring offered by Whoop [devices] will help volunteers evaluate any changes to their health and help track their daily fitness levels. This partnership represents the future of healthcare: using continuous monitoring and artificial intelligence to better understand the effect of drugs, vaccines, and other treatments,” said Will Ahmed, Whoop founder and chief executive officer.

The Phase III trials in the UAE began on July 16. The vaccine itself was developed by Chinese pharmaceutical giant, Sinopharm China National Biotec Group, and it proved successful in the first two phases of trials, generating COVID-19 antibodies in all volunteers when two vaccine doses were delivered 28 days apart.

The Phase III trials are open to individual volunteers aged between 18 and 60 years living in the UAE and Bahrain, and are expected to last 6 to 12 months.