VSP GLOBAL’S INNOVATION LAB INKS WEARABLE TECH RESEARCH PARTNERSHIP WITH USC
RANCHO CORDOVA, Calif., August 31, 2015 – Through the company’s innovation lab, The Shop, VSP Global® is announcing a major collaboration with the University of Southern California Center for Body Computing (CBC), an interdisciplinary think tank specializing in research related to mobile health, wearable technology and the growing intersection of personalized, empowered healthcare.
“As we enter into a new phase in the development of Project Genesis, it’s critical that we have the very best minds at the table to ensure we’re developing a meaningful experience that enhances the wearer’s life,” said Shop co-lead Jay Sales. “Our membership with the USC CBC creates a partnership hub that will allow our team to engineer the next generation of this product with insight from experts outside our own bubble.”
In March, VSP Global announced the development of Project Genesis, the first wearable prototype to seamlessly integrate health-tracking technology into the temple of an optical frame.
The first generation of the device synchs via Bluetooth to a custom app, tracking the wearer’s steps, calories burned, activity time and distance traveled.
As part of VSP Global’s membership with the USC CBC, Shop team members engaged in an intense, two-day think tank earlier this summer to explore commercialization pathways to take Project Genesis from prototype to market-ready product.
“It’s exciting to work with VSP on an unexplored avenue of wearable health technology,” said USC CBC founder and executive director Dr. Leslie Saxon. “Together we’re going beyond the limitations of today’s health and wellness monitoring and giving power to consumers to become the heroes of their own health stories. As the leader in vision services, VSP supports millions of members and we’re thrilled to have them as a USC CBC member where we can collaborate closely on the development of this groundbreaking product.”
Founded in 2007, the CBC functions as an interdisciplinary brain trust and innovation center within Keck School of Medicine of USC. Member organizations are given access to expertise in medicine, business, engineering and entertainment to better navigate the complex and evolving world of wireless healthcare.
“Being at the USC Center for Body Computing is like being at the Knights of the Round Table,” said Shop co-lead Leslie Muller. “With diverse perspectives and the mobile health expertise of the CBC, we can move Genesis into the next phase of development with a holistic approach that fuses design, technology and contextualized healthcare through a platform that we know best—eyewear.”
As an emerging focus area for The Shop, Contextual Health is the idea of enriching and personalizing traditional medical records with context from daily living, allowing VSP Global to explore solutions for a more holistic understanding of an individual's overall health and wellness, which could result in better care.
An example might include harnessing raw biometric data from a wearable device and transforming it into actionable insights that result in increased health and well-being for the wearer.
The Shop continues to explore collaboration opportunities with a number of entities, including other organizations, startups and academic institutions. Interested parties can contact The Shop directly at TalkSHOP@vsp.com.
About VSP Global
VSP Global® unites industry-leading businesses to bring the highest quality eye care and eyewear products and services to help people see across the globe. VSP Global businesses include not-for-profit VSP® Vision Care, the largest vision care company with more than 75 million members and a network of 32,000 eye doctors in the U.S., Australia, United Kingdom, Canada and Ireland; Marchon® Eyewear Inc., one of the three largest global manufacturers, designers and distributors of quality fashion and technologically advanced eyewear and sunwear; Eyefinity®, the largest EHR and premier practice management software company for the eye care industry; VSP Optics Group, industry leaders in new lens technologies, production processes, service and logistics; and VSP Retail, delivering a memorable consumer experience through a variety of channels that meet the diverse needs of VSP customers. VSP Global businesses operate in 100 countries on 6 continents.
About The Shop
VSP Global® has been an innovative company for 60 years. Today, that spirit has a home in The Shop, VSP Global’s innovation lab that focuses on developing technologies for the physical and digital aspects of eyewear and eye care. As disruption continues to change the optical and healthcare industries, The Shop allows VSP Global businesses to stay ahead of the curve and provide forward-thinking solutions for the company’s members worldwide. The Shop is comprised of two locations that work in tandem with one another:
- The Shop West: Located in a former auto showroom in midtown Sacramento, the West Coast Shop stands at the intersection of software and hardware, focusing on the delivery of better eye care and products to patients and better workflow services to doctors. Lead: Jay Sales, Innovation Strategist for VSP Global
- The Shop East: Inside Marchon® Eyewear’s design center in the heart of Manhattan’s Garment District, The East Coast Shop explores how to push the boundaries in industrial design, alternative manufacturing and materials, and other technologies to reinvent the way eyewear is created, utilized and worn. Lead: Leslie Muller, VP of Design for Marchon Eyewear
About the USC Center for Body Computing (CBC)
The USC Center for Body Computing, founded by Leslie Saxon, M.D., a trained cardiologist and digital health guru, is recognized as an international thought leader think tank organization in the emerging world of digital health technology. The CBC works with digital and life sciences executives, sensor and mobile app inventors, strategists, designers, investors and visionaries from health care, entertainment and technology as well as other USC schools including the USC Institute for Creative Technologies (ICT), USC Marshall School of Business, USC School of Cinematic Arts and USC Viterbi School of Engineering, to develop the latest in mobile apps, wearable technology and any concept where technology can empower consumers in their own health. USC CBC projects have included: working with the Institute for Communication Technology Management at the USC Marshall School of Business to study how mobile phones can be used in the prevention of illnesses and epidemics; studying the role of social media in health care; medical research (Dr. Saxon authored a ground-breaking study which followed more than 450,000 patients across the United States and found increased survival rates among remotely monitored patients with wireless-enabled devices); sports (the National Football League Charities has given a grant to the CBC to study the dynamic heart rate in NFL and USC football players); app development (the CBC works with various medical and non-medical companies, to develop wellness and other wireless health applications for disease prevention and wellness as well as for chronic diseases that require continuous management); and conferences and seminars. The CBC will host the 9th annual USC Body Computing Conference on October 9, 2015. Learn more at: uscbodycomputing.org