Science and wellness, a match made in heaven?
According to Creative Wellness Co, the global wellness market is valued at over $4.75 trillion. And if we think about the change in attitudes towards personal wellness over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s no surprise that venture funding for retail health and wellness tech startups set a record in the first quarter of 2021, with $4.2bn invested across 153 deals.
It’s a staggering amount of investment, and, like our fellow startups operating in this exciting space, we’re focused on getting a slice of the pie!
What is ORB Innovations?
We are a specialist R&D team based in London who are developing a next-gen wearable called ORB Smartguard. There’s five of us in the team including my Co-Founder and CTO, Thomas Quinn, plus our expert machine learning engineer, data scientist and hardware engineer.
Anna (Editor of Startups Magazine) kindly interviewed me back in 2019 (you can read the article here) which delves into our startup journey and our mission to empower people to better understand their body and achieve their performance, wellness, and health goals to live healthier, happier lives.
An unrequited rugby-related concussion which caused my subdural hematoma was the impetus behind ORB Innovations. By embedding intelligent data sensors into mouthguards which are a vitally important and compulsory piece of kit worn by those in high-impact sports (such as boxing, rugby and ice hockey) we open up a wealth of data insights which can be leveraged by coaches, agents and the respective athletes.
Let’s talk about a total athlete approach
I don’t know about you reading this, but the team here at ORB Innovations LOVED watching the Tokyo Olympics! Months, in fact years, of training being put to the ultimate test. Everything from nutrition, to sleep plans, to regimented training plans, all coming together for that all important match day performance.
We see ORB Smartguard as a novel bit of kit that we hope, one day, will be included in an Olympians’ toolkit. Imagine real-time data that reports on multiple performance indicators non-invasively including blood oxygen levels, body temperature and heart rate. The insights can be used to support rehab plans, modify training regimes or make pitch-side decisions based on scientific real-time athlete data. It’s this total athlete approach that we believe will help athletes and teams be the most successful they can be.
But I’m not an athlete
Go to Parkrun every Saturday? You’re an athlete.
Part of a league? You’re an athlete.
Nowadays, there is so much publicity promoting personal health and wellness. The Apple watch lets its users record an ECG, and CES 2020 saw an influx of wearable trackers flood the market. More of us are taking control of our wellness and we’re big advocates of that, as long as the data gleaned is credible and truthful.
Our intended initial users are those that would need to wear a mouthguard so typically, athletes at all sorts of levels. Our vision is that outside of a hospital or laboratory, ORB products are seen as the default technology to use for providing reliable insights into human vital signs and performance, whether sport, healthcare or other.
What’s next for ORB Smartguard?
We’re pedal-to-the-floor busy preparing to launch a pilot programme involving a mix of men & women Professional athletes putting our tech through its paces. After the pilot programme, our attention will shift into fundraise mode… so it’s a busy time in the lab at the moment!
I’ve had some great conversations with the sports press - including this article by Mark Palmer, Scottish Rugby Correspondent at The Times. We have an opportunity to support the wider agenda concerning concussion in sport, which is no simple feat, so I’m excited to see where this takes us.