Dr. Pierre Fournier combines his knowledge in business analytics with his technological prowess to develop his company, Hexoskin. He strives to utilize wearable health sensors and AI technology to make a difference in health care.
Dr. Sohaib Imtiaz: Hey, guys. Welcome to another episode of the Body Clock podcast by Owaves. Today, I’m lucky to be joined by Pierre-Alexandre Fournier, who is currently based in Montreal in Canada. Hey, Pierre. How you doing?
Dr. Pierre Fournier: I’m good. Thanks for having me.
Dr. Sohaib Imtiaz: No, I’m glad you could make it on. So I reached out to Pierre because we had actually been on the same Harvard Business School cohort back in 2014-2015 studying business analytics, economics as well as management as well. So it was interesting to see Pierre’s journey and how he’s used those skills and knowledge and combined it with his existing technological prowess to really bring his company, Hexoskin, which he is CEO of and founder of since 2006. And it’s been quite a lot of news recently with deals and partnerships that we will go into that sign. It’s quite exciting, especially for young people and young athletes and some of the studies he’s doing towards lifestyle medicine and measuring health metrics. So, Pierre, could you tell the listeners about your journey and your background?
Dr. Pierre Fournier: Yes, well, my background is engineering and science in general. I did my graduate studies in machine learning back in 2003-2005. And I’ve worked with different companies and telecom microelectronics and A.I. companies. And before I decided to start Hxoskin in 2006 with my co-founder and CTO, Jean-François. So the idea behind Hxoskin is to develop new tools to be able to monitor health in real-life situations. So we started pretty early in the industry, I’d say back in 2006. It was one year before Fitbit started. It was two years before the app store for iPhones. So we were a bit early, but we thought in 2006 that we were starting machine learning for health care companies. And then it became a remote monitoring platform because basically there was no data to do the machine learning that we wanted to do for preventative health and predictive analytics for healthcare. So we’ve built a platform first to be able to collect data. And now, finally, we’re able to develop algorithms for different event detection related to health or wellness, but also for chronic diseases and clinical trials.
Dr. Sohaib Imtiaz: So that’s really quite cool how you’ve been able to overtime, really develop this platform in the wearable. So the wearable is obviously a vest that you wear which has this technology embedded in.
Dr. Pierre Fournier: Yes. So the Hxoskin can smart shirts, I would say, it’s the visible part of a deep software platform to collect data in real-life context so that the Hxoskin smart shirt monitors heart activity, so EKG, heart rate, heart rate variability. It monitors breathing, and not only breathing rate but complex breathing patterns as well. Ventilation, tidal volume. And it monitors activity and sleep as well.
Dr. Sohaib Imtiaz: Yeah. When I first came across it, I thought it was something out of the Avengers. You know, like an Iron Man suit. You kind of brought that to life with all these metrics, which as I know, you’re into the quantified self-movement. So am I. And I use a lot of wearables and it really helps see where you’re at in terms of recovery as well as kind of energy expenditure and, you know, sleep quality. But now with breathing rate and ECG and Apple Watch, I mean, you’ve kind of seemed to bring everything into one wearable garment. So who are the main users of this at the moment? Who is using? I know I had there’s a lot of doing things in space as well as in athletes.
Dr. Pierre Fournier: Yeah. So when we launched the platform in 2012-2013 while the existing shirt was not a medical device yet. So we decided to go after an unregulated market. So we’re talking about the elite sports, performance, clinical research, defense, aerospace. So we have time for the military in Canada, in the US, Australia, and other countries. Police forces, firefighters, paramedics. And so while we have this project with the Canadian Space Agency and NASA, where we monitor astronauts inside the International Space Station. So we’ve actually launched the system in space last year in the space X rocket from Florida. It was installed in January by, Canadian astronaut, David Saint-Jacques. It’s going to be used by various astronauts- Canadian, American and European for the next five years at least to monitor health and space to life science experiments in space, including research on circadian rhythms.
Dr. Sohaib Imtiaz: That’s really relevant because Owaves we realized the importance of circadian rhythms, circadian biology, and the fact that it’s being studied at such a cutting edge level with astronauts is very encouraging. So it seems to be a very obviously cutting edge technology and a great tool for research and finding out what’s these different vital signs, how they correlate to human health. You seem to be focusing, which is important in how do we a, improve performance, optimize health, keep people well, which a lot of the research nowadays is not done and it’s done in people who are normally quite unwell or down that paradigm of illness. They’re already becoming ill or ill. So you’re looking at them upstream than that?
Dr. Pierre Fournier: Yeah. And then I would say wellness research is still in its infancy because we lacked the proper tools to monitor people outside the clinical environment until very recently. The technology just got to that point where we can do long term longitudinal studies about what works and what doesn’t work. But what we see and what I think, in general, about that is- health can be very simple. You need to sleep every night. You need to eat three meals a day. Good food. Spend time with friends. Stay active. It doesn’t have to be super intense. You know you don’t have to go to Olympic training to be in shape. You just need to be somewhat active. And it makes a whole lot of a difference. And people forget about that. Sometimes they do these crazy diets. They over-train themselves. They forget to recover. And actually, the more you train, the more you need to recover. You don’t need to have a crazy diet to eat. Healthy food is key. You need to eat normally. And that’s what most people don’t do today. They don’t eat normally. They eat bad food, and they have bad meal schedules.
Dr. Sohaib Imtiaz: Exactly. And that’s really interesting because there seem to be two things occurring where one is keeping someone, well, healthy and a well-rounded way, which I always come to this- imagine a spider diagrams, kind of the ones we have if you’ve grown up playing video games, soccer games, you know, a pro-revolution. A player has, you know, speed, strength, agility, etc., about five or six different domains. And you want to try and be scoring a good value on each. Rather than being crazy for training, but not on recovery because you’re not going to be that effective. And that’s what you pointed out. So I agree. I think it is a lot about balance and getting that balance right. And that’s what we’re trying to achieve with Owaves here. But what Hexoskin allows people to do, a, you democratize, you know, these measurements, more people can, you know, use these vests and use a monitor outside of a clinical environment. But then there are people who are experimenting, biohackers. You know, Silicon Valley has a big culture of self-experimentation and tracking certain values for certain performance metrics, which is traditionally, as you said, used on top athletes because that performance is directly related to that success. For a normal person, that isn’t as relevant. They may have to sacrifice maybe mental health for the extra training or whatever but to have well-rounded individual health, you’re right, do simple things well. But I do have the concept of being able to use this vest to measure yourself in such a way. Is it something you think will become consumer grade at any point?
Dr. Pierre Fournier: We have users who are, I would say, regular consumers by the Hexoskin shirts and they use it for their own training or for their own self-study. I would say most of these people have the desire to answer questions with a scientific approach, and they use the Hexoskin shirts as a tool to get the answers to their questions. And I think it’s pretty useful for a lot of people for these reasons. So they learn things like how much do they sleep at night? How do I sleep? Do I wake up at night? How much do I toss and turn during the night? When I train, how fast do I recover? What is the effect of this training or my physical activities on my overall well-being and my sleep? So these are all things you can quantify when you have the right tools. And the Hexoskin smart shirt can be one of these tools that you have to answer your questions.
Dr. Sohaib Imtiaz: That’s interesting because almost a new field of scientific wellness or quantitative wellness that’s developing now. And it’s interesting because just in the last few weeks there have been two big companies; Ubiome being one, doing work on the microbiome and REvel being another, doing personalized health tests, biomarkers, et cetera, who have actually both shut down. Well, one has been shut down, the other being investigated by the FBI, but they’ve hit some roadblocks. Did you see the market for this increasing more in the future? Are these companies a bit early right now for where we are in terms of research? But as well as people knowing that they can quantify their health and make smart decisions?
Dr. Pierre Fournier: Well I would say these companies are pretty exceptional. And one of them is failing. They were involved in fraud. And the other one is probably mismanagement. But in both cases, I think, you know, delivering a consumer-grade microbiome analysis tool or genetic testing is- these fields are pretty early. And I think most people don’t need to go that far to take care of their well-being. And like I said, it’s pretty simple things in the end. Sleep well, train, recover and eat well. What we see in elite athletes is that eight hours is really a minimum, when you need to sleep. I think something that should become a trend that some point is a trend of sleep diet, where people commit to sleeping 8-9 hours a day and take a lot of time to rest and recover. And people would find out that this is really key to their well-being and it’s going to improve their lives at many levels.
Dr. Sohaib Imtiaz: That’s very important because I think yet first you get on top of the simple things first and then if you have some performance metrics to measure, then you can kind of work on that. But generally speaking, so with athletes, there are interesting points. Because there are even certain things like in the mainstream for health, obviously, we’re told increase your fiber intake, you know, 35 to 40 grams of fiber a day, have, you know, fruit and veg. However, for athletes, if they have a game on that day- a few hours before working out- it’s not advised for them to be consuming things high in fiber or fructose, because that’s going to cause that could cause leaky gut and that cause them discomfort whilst playing low in energy. So a low-fat diet sometimes is advice. So these things, these nuances do change, I guess, for what you are doing. But generally speaking, a healthy, well-balanced lifestyle is what people need. And then the certain intricacies that I guess people performing at the top levels need to know. And that’s why I guess.
Dr. Pierre Fournier: Yeah, I agree with that. And, you know, usually these people like pro athletes, they have teams of counselors, nutritionist, and an exercise scientist that can work with them. They’re very fortunate to have that. But what most people don’t have access to that. I don’t think it’s a problem to do not have access to like 10 people helping you with your health. But I do believe that education is the basis of good health and that the more people who seek education and advice, the better it is for them. And I think one of the things that these new tools to track your own health can give you is access to knowledge about yourself that you didn’t use to have, even 10 years ago. So today, if you want to answer questions about your health, you can buy devices. You can track it using a specialized software and that’s pretty affordable for most consumers. So you have access to education that you didn’t have before. Consumers have access to scientific publications like they never had before. So if they have a specific disease that requires specific attention, they have access to the latest medical research if they want to. And if they’re driven to access it, they can have access to it. And I think that’s great. And when I look at our mission at Hexoskin, I think a lot of what we do is give people access to knowledge, education, and enable better communication between people and the health professionals they deal with, which may be a physical trainer, it can be a doctor, can be a nurse. All these professionals have access to better information about your health if you use different types of devices that track the things that are important to your care.
Dr. Sohaib Imtiaz: Are there any doctors you’re aware of, all health coaches that are almost prescribing Hexoskin skin for people?
Dr. Pierre Fournier: Well, it’s like being… I’m not sure. I cannot name any names. So this year we’re going through the FDA process in the US to get the medical certification for our next generation of existing products. So when we get the FDA clearance, doctors would be able to prescribe the Hexoskin smart shirts for vital signs monitoring in the US. And it’s going to be reimbursed by various insurance and health insurance programs in the US. So suddenly the potential market for our products becomes really big because suddenly millions of people are eligible to get the product in a way that it’s paid for by insurance companies or Medicare. And the attention they’re going to get from their physician or other health professionals is going to be paid for as well. So they’ll have access to all these services for their well-being or for a major chronic disease that they don’t have access to right now. And I think we’ve been talking about physical activity. We’ve been talking about nutrition and sleep. I think more and more public health programs such as an NHS in the UK, Medicare in the US, and private insurance companies are going to give people access to specialists, who helps them manage these aspects of their lives- So sleep, nutrition, physical activity. Because we now have the scientific literature to support business models where we invest in people’s well-being. And it doesn’t have to be the individual to pay for all these things. There’s a return on investment from the government and from insurance companies to keep people healthy. And we can put a number on it now. So I think that’s great because it’s going to improve education and social programs to improve people’s health, hopefully.
Dr. Sohaib Imtiaz: Which is amazing vision and a good way of health system to save so much costs and for people to gain in their health and live a healthier and happier life. So do you see any Hexoskin ever correlating with the mental health side of things, where you’re measuring these metrics and trying to find as you have more data and more people are using, you know, your wearable? Any correlation with vital signs in these physical health traits, you know, breathing rate and may be symptoms of anxiety and depression? Because that could be a huge, you know, blind spot that we have at the moment that we can’t really figure out how these vital signs change and how it correlates to your mental health.
Dr. Pierre Fournier: Yes. And there’s a lot of literature about that. And there’s some literature published with Hexoskin data about that and given talks and webinars about the subject of stress and sleep. And how do you monitor that? We take Hexoskin smart shirts using, for example, a breathing rate or heart rate variability to track arousal and recovery and fatigue. And so this is something that is being used in clinical research and for elite athlete training as well.
Dr. Sohaib Imtiaz: So do you think in the future everyone could have a maybe a Hexoskin and it could be connected to your Alexa device in some way and you could almost have a virtual code that tells you how to, kind of, you know, either recover more or plan a certain activity, you know, cut back on training, eat a certain diet, adjust your diet, you know, sleep X number of hours. You see that happening in the future?
Dr. Pierre Fournier: Well, I think it’s possible. But I think there are some things that are… Well, I would like to say two things about that is that: I think very often times reading a good book about the subject, let’s say how to train properly or to eat properly, reading a good book can replace a piece of software. Because what you do really is you put the knowledge into your head so you could manage it for you. And the second thing is we see that people are highly motivated by human interaction, meaning that people are way more likely to follow an exercise program or training program, if they are part of a group or if they have a personal trainer. Basically, if they interact with other humans, when they engage in these activities, it’s really, really motivating. And people crave human interaction, especially these days where we’re more isolated than ever before. And it is the paradox. But that’s how it is, I think. We should favor these activities where people develop more social connections and more human interaction.
Dr. Sohaib Imtiaz: Which is also proven to be good for your health. So do you say there’s a massive place for coaching and coaches in the system?
Dr. Pierre Fournier: Yes, absolutely. And the way we see technology like telemedicine and connected health and remote vital signs monitoring and like the things we do with it. These are really tools to put people in contact with each other. When you track your health at home, then when you talk with a health professional, you have good material to talk about. It’s not just how do you feel today? You know, your trainer can look at your data and say, well, I’m looking at your past two months of training and here’s what’s happening. We should improve that aspect. We should work on this or you should recover more now because you’re over-trained. You have this objective material to support the discussion. And that’s how we see technology. The technology is there to support human interaction to generate knowledge and facts. But it’s probably not going to replace human interaction.
Dr. Sohaib Imtiaz: Exactly like even the HBX, Harvard Business School. We were part of the first cohort and it was trailing an online way of teaching, but they were trying. They then after that started the live HBX classroom where you will live on a screen because they realized there needs to be some element of human interaction as well. And that improves the cohort experience for learning. So I think you’re right. That’s, I think, being more and more evident as technology is advancing. And how do you feel with people resorting to technology as you’re going down a very, very much approved medical device route? There are apps like ChARM that have got a lot of traction and people seem to be using those. Do you think with technology, do you think it’s about the entertainment factor that is a separate kind of part of the spectrum to a device that’s validated or both just as effective? Because is it about how many people adopt a device and how much evidence there is behind once?
Dr. Pierre Fournier: Well, it depends on what’s your goal. I think some devices are a little bit like video games or literally video games, like Fitbit. I think Fitbit is a great company. They have a very good product. There are millions of people who use their product. And I know I have some family members who tell me, well, at night, sometimes I go walk for 20 minutes more because I haven’t done my 10000 steps. And so it’s great. Like you can count points on a very specific activity. You can compare your results with friends. You can track it with time. It’s like a video game. If you look at a company like Nintendo, for example, they’ve done so many great things with their fitness games and accessories. And people don’t talk about it enough. But these products were huge successes. When you have 50 million people using a fitness game. You have a pretty good impact on their physical activity. So I think that these things are great. In our case, what we’d like to do… Well, of course, we’re still setting the Hexoskin product for research and sports. But what we’d like to do is have an impact on people with chronic cardiac disease and chronic pulmonary diseases. And for that, you need devices that can be used for diagnosis and for vital signs monitoring. So for accurate, medical-grade data. And for these lines of products, we need to go to the medical certification path.
Dr. Sohaib Imtiaz: Ok, very interesting. And tell me more about the deal. You see recently- congratulation- signed that deal with the Barcelona Innovation Hub and you’ll be studying part of their sleep study on young athletes. Can you tell us more about that?
Dr. Pierre Fournier: Well, yes. So we’ve done many research projects on sleep. So our tools have been very validated with polysomnography systems in sleep clinics for different types of populations, but mostly adults or the adults with chronic diseases. And what we want to do in that study is to first demonstrate how it can be used and how valid it is for a younger population. So we’re talking mostly about teenagers at 12 and 17, who were part of La Masia, the Football Academy of Barcelona. And then the second objective is to learn more about what are the sleep requirements for these younger athletes. Teenagers are very specific sleeping patterns that are different from adults. We want to make scientific progress for these teenagers. So we want to learn more about sleep patterns with teenagers and especially the ones who are training a lot, like these kids train. You know, 20-30 hours a week or more. They have a very intensive schedule. So I think we’re going to learn a lot from this experiment and hopefully, it will set a new standard on how we manage sleep with young athletes that will go beyond the team in Barcelona. And we’ll be able to publish and share with other teams and then share with trainers who are working in the fitness world as well.
Dr. Sohaib Imtiaz: The study sounds so exciting. It has so many facets to it. And looking at the younger population because that’s when a, your habits are formed and that’s when you’re really developing so you can really improve your performance or your skills, you know, by having the right diet and the right exercise regime. Your body’s changing at that point. So I think what you’ll learn, it’ll be very interesting what the insights will be and how you can apply that more universally and it could change the face of training for a long time. If you had actionable insights from it.
Dr. Pierre Fournier: Yes. And if I can add some things about this specific study is that this has been the subject of a lot of preparation. So we’ve taken into account a lot of literature that was existing already to define the protocol. We have many scientists from the Barcelona Football Club involved in the protocol and the science. And we have also a sleep lab in Barcelona called Absolute. That is going to run the study with us and the team at Barcelona. And they have facilities with the sleep clinic, and they are validating everything. So it’s a three-year project that involves a lot of scientists from different specialties. And I think it’s important when you run a project like that to be prepared to do a lot of planning and to do a lot of training the staff to make sure that they know how to use the equipment. They are going to do the data collection in the right way so that we can make the most of it. And then we have all the scientists needed to do the analysis of the data in the end.
Dr. Sohaib Imtiaz: Barcelona seems to have a very comprehensive, new innovation hub, which is looking at technologies in sort of a forward-thinking as a sports institute. Then they also seem to have a lot of scientists looking at sleep by what you’re saying. Nutrition and exercise can tell me more about that. Do they really micromanage that plays to such a very high level?
Dr. Pierre Fournier: Well, I was amazed by how much they invest in these players. So Barça has over a hundred scientists, PHDs working full-time to improve the training programs and to work with the athletes. So basically they have more PHDs and scientists than most exercise science faculty. So I don’t know any university that is as large and comprehensive group of scientists studying these things and supporting athletes that way. It’s pretty amazing. And they take them at a young age. They really invest a lot in these at athletes. It’s not just about doing transactions to build a professional team. It’s a whole community, basically. It’s very, very impressive.
Dr. Sohaib Imtiaz: So they’ve obviously had these highly qualified people who are very knowledgeable about these expertises in these different domains. Now, are they looking at technology as more of a recent thing whereas technologies evolve? Are they looking at things like virtual reality? You know, for training or reaction times, things like that?
Dr. Pierre Fournier: Well, I cannot answer for them about all these things, but they are researching many different technologies and they’re constantly trying new things. So, yeah. So it’s probably virtual reality, but you would have to go ask them.
Dr. Sohaib Imtiaz: Yeah, obviously. But, so the innovation hub, it just seems like a very interesting place for where human performance and human health, which is kind of the optimum side of health. Athletes being some of the fittest, healthiest people living on earth meets, you know, with all this investment, the most cutting edge technologies probably, you know, you can have data scientists, A.I. researchers, so that fusion of the augmented humans is the perfect place for that to happen, almost.
Dr. Pierre Fournier: So, yeah. You know, one thing that I think they’re well aware of and we need to be careful with when we deal with younger athletes, is that most of them are not going to make it pro. Most of them need to, at some point, retire and learn a trade. Go to university and start the career. So we need be very careful to keep some balance when we train these teenagers to make sure we would keep them healthy so that even if they didn’t become professional athletes, they can live a normal and healthy life when they become adults.
Dr. Sohaib Imtiaz: That’s a really good point because when you’re used to such a niche thing- to be an athlete- and then all of a sudden you go into normal life, it must be quite difficult. So they probably have sports psychologist as well? Obviously, they do. Dealing with the mental health side of things and the cognitive psychological development of the players, which also would give a lot of insights into different behavior types and what motivates different people. You know, who trains harder? You can get a lot of insights into just human behavior from that as well.
Dr. Pierre Fournier: Yeah, well, a lot of sports training is about psychology, of course. I used to be a swimming coach, myself. And of course, there’s a lot of technique. But I would say most of the final performance result is about psychology.
Dr. Sohaib Imtiaz: Psychology, yeah. It really separates a lot of people because it’s that drive in the, you know, the kind of being balanced that same time and as many other parts to that as well. Well, it’s been fascinating finding out about that. And can you tell us about how you embody a healthy lifestyle? What is your routine look like being a busy entrepreneur and technologist? Obviously, a lot of the work you’re doing with this Hexoskin.
Dr. Pierre Fournier: Yes. So I read a lot of things about these extreme routines with people are waking up at 4:00 AM and all that. I have three young kids. I don’t have 20 hours a week to meditate or train or things like that. And I fly a lot. I need to deal with jetlag. No, what I tried to focus on is I think it’s pretty boring. Again, it’s trying to sleep enough. Eat good food, three times a day with, ideally, with people I like, people I love. I keep some time for myself every week. And yeah. And stay active. And it doesn’t have to be intense training. It’s just that you need to be active every day and you need to do some intense physical activity a few times a week. But it doesn’t have to be extreme, you know. Most people would benefit from living a normal lifestyle and doing normal things. And it would still be a lot better than what they’re doing today.
Dr. Sohaib Imtiaz: That’s really good advice and something that’s possible by a lot of people. My final question would be what motivates you?
Dr. Pierre Fournier: So what motivates me with Hexoskin, with my job is that we want to have an impact on health research, on medical research, and we want to have an impact on how people deal with chronic diseases. From the patient’s point of view, but also from there, the health system, point of view. We have started a huge shift from the hospital system that was designed for acute care injuries and infections towards a more decentralized health care system that is closer to home where we had to be with aging, with chronic diseases and diseases that are like cancer, that are very like a chronic disease, meaning people are going to be sick for many, many years and you need to care for them on a daily basis. So we need to change our approach and technology is part of the solution. I think most of it is to change the care protocol, the workflows and how people interact with the health care system and professional work. But technology has role in that as well with remote monitoring and tools at home. But more knowledge in the hands of the patients and their families. And basically, we want to keep patients at home. So I think it’s very motivating to see when we start programs, for example, with the health system to improve wellness of patients with chronic diseases, for example, cardiac rehabilitation programs, pulmonary rehabilitation programs or just post-acute care programs, in general. I think it’s great to see everything that we can do and I feel like we’re just starting. So it feels great to wake up every morning knowing that I was to do something more to improve the lives of these people.
Dr. Sohaib Imtiaz: It’s a very noble way of thinking about a society and the world and how we can help. And you think as consumer health increases and people take charge of their health more with boutique gyms and healthy cafes, do you see a role of a clinic as a place that is commercially viable, such as a shopping mall or a supermarket?
Dr. Pierre Fournier: But I think it’s good that you have conversation becomes part of our daily lives and it gets closer to home. It can be a gym or “health café” or can be part of pharmacy or shopping mall. Like you said, I think it’s good. Again, I really believe that the low hanging fruit is education. Yes. Sharing knowledge about how to stay healthy. How to eat properly, you know, good foods, how to cook, how to manage your schedule to make sure you have time to cook every day, hopefully. Do you have time to sleep and do you have time to do some physical activities? You replace some of your activities that are less good with better ones. So we’re going up the stairs and changing your food habits. And really, I really think the low hanging fruit here is education.
Dr. Sohaib Imtiaz: And that’s what we’re trying with Owaves. Smart planning and people realizing where they can save time and where they can repeat healthy activity and where they may be going wrong. So it’s a way of planning in a healthy way. These are such good points. And finally, to finish off with being brilliant, talking to you and obviously you probably go to a lot of the wearable conferences and tech conferences as well. There’s a big buzz around A.I. this year, especially now it’s more the mainstream. Are you one of the opponents of artificial intelligence helping us? As you mentioned, obviously low hanging fruit, helping us really advance human health?
Dr. Pierre Fournier: Well, what we see, you know, when we look at health care, that every human labor is a bottleneck. It’s definitely the biggest cost. I think we can automate a lot of the cognitive processes that are involved in health care that I’ve read today and in a way that will support professionals in delivering better care. So it can be algorithms that help radiologists looking at imaging, critical x-rays, or MRI data and it can be different things. It can be helping hospitals do triage and prioritize the patients were at home with chronic diseases, so that we can work more on the patients who are more at risk. And yeah, so I think that there’s a lot of opportunities for A.I. in healthcare. And we’ve been seeing that. That’s how we’re thinking since 2006.
Dr. Sohaib Imtiaz: Yeah, you’re quite early on. We were very…
Dr. Pierre Fournier: We were way too early. But I think right now we’ve made a lot of progress documenting what was going on with patients, with technology. Now we can collect data. In a way that is way more efficient than before. Because the cost of data is going down. It’s going to be easier and easier to develop A.I., artificial intelligence tools to work with this data to support health professionals working with patients.
Dr. Sohaib Imtiaz: And a question of interest. So some of our listeners are probably interested in having these affiliations with these kind of elite athletes and people, you know, in the military and astronauts, are they tracking… What are these tracking these days? Would someone like say, Messi or Ronaldo, would they track their respiratory rate, their heart rate variability? What kind of metrics are they using? What do you think?
Dr. Pierre Fournier: So it’s going to be different things for different people. And in general, what more people would do is that they were going to learn what is normal for them and then they’re going to find if there is any deviation from normal. For example, if you used to sleep in a certain way and then suddenly your sleep patterns start being different, well, maybe it’s something that is telling you, for example, that you should change something about your training or that is maybe it’s a marker or predictor of a higher risk of injuries. So that’s the general concept. I would save for first responders and the military people are looking a lot at to what he called operational stress injuries like, PTSD. How do you deal with stress when as part of your job, you need to live traumatic events on a regular basis? And if you’re a paramedic, it’s something to change. You know, if something horrible happens somewhere, you’re going to be the first on sight and you have to deal with it with the situation, but you have to deal with it emotionally as well. And, you know, these things affect everybody. But there is a way to train for it. And there is a way to mitigate this negative effect on your health. And that’s what we’ve been studying with paramedics, first responders, with military stuff.
Dr. Sohaib Imtiaz: That’s wonderful that’s been looked at because that’s something we can normally oversee. And that’s something from a population of mental health being such a big thing at the moment. And also rising, that we can really come up with a lot of strategies and ways of mitigating that. So thanks for that. And it’s been amazing talking to you. Thanks for being on the podcast. Where can all listeners find out more about you and Hexoskin?
Dr. Pierre Fournier: Well they can find out more about Hexoskin on the Hexoskin.com. That’s H-E-X-O-S-K-I-N.com and we’re on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn as well. We have videos on YouTube. We have a mailing list. So you can just go on Hexoskin.com and you’ll find more about the product and other projects we were involved with.
Dr. Sohaib Imtiaz: Thanks a lot. A pleasure having you on. Thank you.
Dr. Pierre Fournier: Thanks for having me. Thank you.
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