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The Sault Ste. Marie Program

Myant’s vision of proactive healthcare takes shape in Sault Ste. Marie.

In early May, the Ontario government announced a $1.5 million investment in Myant—the world leader in Textile Computing—through the Ontario Together Fund program. With the launch of the Skiin Sault Ste. Marie Program, this partnership aims to support better health outcomes for residents and contribute to the development of a more connected, personalized, and preventative healthcare system.

Since the official announcement in May, Myant has also partnered with the Sault Area Hospital and Algoma University with plans to construct a research lab and develop a joint curriculum to engage students and researchers in innovate virtual healthcare. The program will start in September and run for 3–4 months, where 500+ members of the Sault Ste. Marie community will wear Skiin Underwear to help measure and quantify their health and wellness. Skiin garments will be distributed at no cost to each participant, and will, following the trial, be made available for purchase to the public at a retail price of $600.

The Goals of The Skiin Sault Ste. Marie Program

Today, the primary goal of this community program is to help members of these communities achieve one or more predetermined health outcomes. These outcomes include: improving sleep, decreasing stress, increasing social connections, and more.

 The second goal of the program is to help reduce the physical and communicative barriers between participants and their loved ones. By increasing connectivity through the Skiin garment and the Skiin Connected Life App, participants can passively share how they are feeling with members of their care circle that also use the app. This new form of communication—the Expressive Digital Presence—was developed by Myant’s CEO Tony Chahine, who sought a better method of communication and connection with his father living with dementia. “All I really wanted was a way to know that he was OK when I wasn’t by his side,” said Chahine, “some peace of mind and the knowledge that we were in this together.”

Myant believes that Skiin can help us reimagine the ways in which we care for each other, and the ways in which we are cared for by our loved ones and physicians. This will create a connected and proactive approach to our own health, and that of those we love.

Powering the Future of Healthcare

In the future, Skiin will help everyone—especially marginalized and vulnerable populations—gain access to the best care while increasing the size and connectivity to their care circle. Today’s healthcare system is heavily focused on reactive, episodic care: the act of treating patients after a heart attack, stroke, or another event has already occurred. Healthcare today also depends on patients self-reporting their symptoms while receiving disjointed support from their care circle; family and friends simply don’t have the tools to improve a patient’s medical program adherence and wellbeing. Factors like location and cognitive and physical function are significant barriers to a patient receiving adequate healthcare. Remote communities like Sault Ste. Marie can see higher discrepancies in healthcare access, and would benefit from holistic and continuously connected care systems like Skiin that allow for preventative, personalized care.

The lines between what Skiin is and what Skiin could be are easy to blur. The Skiin Underwear family of garments currently measure the wearer’s core body temperature, heart rate, and more, but the possibilities are far greater and more complex, and the vision is vast. In the future, Skiin products will provide slip and fall detection, bio-impedance, EMG, EEG, and the early detection of patterns and symptoms signaling the onset of certain illnesses.

Skiin garments create a continuous baseline of a wearer's health data and connect them with their doctors and loved ones. When families use Skiin and are more involved in a patient’s healthcare journey, the patient is more likely to adhere to their health regimen. As a result, practitioners can better guide patients on their health journey, contextualize an event for more informed diagnosis, and over time, provide patients with preventative, personalized healthcare. 

Thank you to the Sault Ste. Marie community for your support and participation in leading Canada into the future of healthcare!