Cambridge-based Shimmer Research announced that the Open Wearables Initiative (OWEAR) has launched a rich open-source software and validated dataset resource for developers working on wearable sensors and connected health technologies. Clinical researchers who use the validated open-source datasets and algorithms to study or build new products will have the advantage of comparing apples to apples rather than relying on varied or homegrown methods and data. The overall goal is to support “high-quality, sensor-generated health measures that can help streamline drug development and enable digital medicine,” according to the news release.

The OWEAR database is available on the OWEAR website. It contains open algorithms, open datasets, and other resources. The site currently holds 27 algorithms and 86 datasets. OWEAR encourages researchers to submit their open-source algorithms and datasets for inclusion on the site. OWEAR will review all submissions for appropriateness before adding them to the lists.

OWEAR also announced the launch of the public phase of a DREAM Challenge to develop measures of gait. DREAM Challenges present opportunities for individual participants and groups to offer solutions to fundamental biomedical problems or questions. The end vision for such challenges is to harness crowd knowledge and wisdom to forward science and health. The gait measurement DREAM Challenge could result in diagnostic and prognostic tools for neurological conditions such as stroke, cerebral palsy, Parkinson’s disease, and many more conditions for which gait can serve as an indicator. OWEAR is seeking partner-sponsors for the DREAM Challenge. Information about the challenge and the call for sponsors is available here and on the OWEAR website.