Health tracking technology is becoming increasingly accessible and aesthetically pleasing. Examples include Teddy the Guardian, a cute teddy bear used to monitor children’s health. It measures a child’s heart rate, blood pressure, oxygen saturation, and body temperature, and sends the data using wireless technologies to a paqrent’s smartphone. Miniature and advanced sensors will continue to enable product designers to discreetly incorporate vital sign sensing technology into commonly used objects. We look forward to more developments in this fast-growing segment of the continuous monitoring industry.
The Angel Health Monitor is an open platform and SDK that senses motion and acceleration, skin temperature, blood oxygen saturation, and heart rate. It was created by Eugene Jorov in Israel and will launch a crowdfunding campaign soon. Developers will be able to use Angel to create apps for iPhone, Android, and other devices that support Bluetooth 4.0. Their SDK, drivers and app templates will be released as open source.
The Foc.us headset is an early player in the wave of non-invasive devices that will enable improved brain function. It passes direct current between the cathode and anode, which are placed over the prefrontal cortex, making neurons more excitable. This helps them to fire more quickly, improving reaction time. When the currents are removed, neurons have additional plasticity.
Early studies have shown that tDCS, which can be used to stimulate regions of the brain other than the prefrontal cortex, such as the motor cortex, can provide therapeutic effects to Parkinson’s and stroke patients. DARPA has used tDCS to improve the training of snipers, and it has also been used to improve gamer performance.
Boston’s Partners HealthCare has launched a system that allows patients to upload information from their medical devices directly to their electronic records in doctors’ offices. Patients can regularly use glucometers, blood pressure cuffs, bathroom scales, and pulse oximeters at home, and send the data to their doctors. Doctors are also becoming increasingly interested in eating habit, movement, and sleep data collected by patients using consumer health-tracking devices.
A recent study by the company showed a significant decrease in diastolic blood pressure among participants who both took their readings and uploaded them to a web interface where they could track and monitor their progress.
The Sensimed Triggerfish combines a non-invasive wireless soft contact lens sensor with an automated system for recording IOP related patterns for up to 24 hours. The ambulatory patient wears the device during normal activity, including sleeping. At the end of the session, the data is transferred from the recorder to an ophthalmologist’s computer for analysis of the circadian IOP-related pattern.
Berkeley professor Ali Javey has developed a user-interactive sensor network on flexible plastic. The “e-skin” lights in response to touch, emitting a brighter light as pressure intensifies. Javey’s lab is now engineering the sensor to also respond to temperature and light.
As they prepare to enter the Wearable Technology market, Apple is hiring hardware and software engineers and medical sensor and fitness experts to build a “fitness-oriented, sensor-laden wearable computer.”
**Above photo based on rumors only
As the explosive growth of Wearable Technology continues, GlassUp of Italy is crowdfunding their “cheaper, sexier” competitor to Google Glass.
Francesco Giartosio, GlassUps’ chief executive, highlights differences between how Google Glass and GlassUp will display data. Instead of projecting information onto the edge of the glass from an offset projector, GlassUp will use a dedicated lens embedded in the glass itself. That will allows GlassUp to overlay monochromatic text directly “ahead” of the user’s eye, which Giartosio said was more ergonomic. GlassUp’s display has a resolution of 320 by 240 pixels.