Posted on July 4, 2019 by staff

Could your clothes predict a heart attack?


Adam Crofts is thinking big.

While big brands Fitbit, Garmin and Apple sell millions of products each year nobody has successfully managed to make smart clothing mainstream – but the Manchester-based entrepreneur thinks he’s got the answer.

He’s the CEO of Prevayl and believes the combination of weaving graphene into its smart clothes, sensors, biosignal analysis, advanced analytics, blockchain, fast data streaming, 5G and the Cloud will provide more data on the human body’s performance than any other platform in the world.

“The vision is that everyone will have a wardrobe of Prevayl-enabled clothes,” he said, “whether it’s to sleep in, train in or work in.“The idea is that people will know what’s going on in their body ahead of time. For example if someone is in danger of a heart attack they’ll know beforehand.”

What makes Prevayl unusual is the company is not just targeting the fitness market.“The journey started by looking at the fitness industry but why would you limit yourself to that?” asked Crofts. “We think smart clothing can be used in everyday life. For example if your children are at home on their own it would give you real peace of mind to know that their breathing and temperature is okay.”

Prevayl was co-founded by entrepreneur investors David Newns and Chris Lord and their 34-year-old CEO  has spoken publicly of their ambition to become a unicorn.

He knows the acid test will be producing stylish smart clothing that converts huge amounts of data into actionable insights. The garments are expected to cost $300 or less.“There are no plugs and no wires,” he said.

“You need to able to throw it into the wash like a normal piece of clothing. You need to be able to use it with as little thought as possible.“All the components will be incorporated into each garment. You will wear a Prevayl T-shirt like you wear any other classic T-shirt in your wardrobe.”

The plan is that the smart clothing is integrated with virtual assistants like Alexa. “You could be walking around the house when you ask Alexa if you need to be hydrated of why you’re limping,” he explained. “It’s got to be user-friendly.”

The CEO has had a life-long interest in fitness, spending 10 years as a personal trainer before helping grow the Ultimate Performance brand.He said his epiphany was recognising that millennials didn’t want to strap on unsophisticated pieces of wearable tech to monitor their heart beat and vital signs.

“Everything is data-driven,” he said. “There is so much information. People want to know more from their workouts.“At the moment they’re wearing Fitbits, heart rate monitors and clunky devices that are not giving them a lot for the hassle of putting them on.

“Formula 1 cars have hundreds of sensors that generate data that create small but important marginal gains. No-one has applied that principle to a human or to healthcare generally to improve the quality of people’s lives.  That’s where Prevayl comes in.

“Before I figured out how I was going to do it I had to figure out what we needed to do and I travelled around the world getting the answers.

“I wanted to create something that combined lifestyle and fashion which people wanted to wear.”

After meeting Newns and Lord he set about recruiting the right team. Experienced Tahir Mahmood is the director of engineering, Bella Hepworth is the creative director, Sam Bird is the in-house patent attorney, Gurpal Soori is the head of technology while Rhiannon Goswell is the physicist and STEM ambassador.Mahmood has previously worked with companies such as Microsoft, Apple and MediaCom.

“Tahir is a visionary,” said Crofts. “His passion is in changing the world. He completely bought into the vision.”He said a version of the technology would be available to showcase later this year.

“We have the data streaming and we know where the sensors need to be on the body. We have the clothing to a certain extent. We know the algorithms work.

“The biometric data that we are able to receive, through our connected clothing and the real time critical insights we can provide from this data, will truly save lives and give people the ability to live life to the full.”

He said the clothes will be able to monitor everything from skin and core temperatures; stress levels; tiredness and hydration. The data is then transferred into the Cloud, which customers can access.

“We’ve created a web and mobile app to make sure that people can understand the language. We’re also using augmented reality so people can see what muscles they’re using.

“The coming together of technologies such as AI, 5G and nano technology, with graphene and its incredible properties playing a central role, will let you experience brands in a way that has never been done before.”

He said the expansion of the 5G network was crucial to making the technology work.“Another problem we’re looking to solve completely is compression,” he said. “No-one wants to wear a compression suit day-in, day-out so the garments have to be loose-fitting.”

He expects the garments to be launched to the public in the next 15 months and is thinking big.“What we are creating has never been done anywhere else in the world,” he said. “Instead of talking about smart clothing, we are now coining terms such as second skin, and clothing in which every fibre is alive.”