The fitness and wearable health market has been expanding rapidly over the past year, and in fact according to AARP the global market for biosensors for consumer health will exceed $100 billion annually by 2015. Many of thee products are single-purpose devices that measure a specific activity or metric, but how can we make all these products work together more effectively?
Imagine the possibilities of entire ecosystem of health devices that were constantly in communication to generate deeper insights about our health, and even predict future health problems before they occurred. While this may sound like the stuff of science fiction, mobile health startup Vital Connect is working to enable this future with a disposable wireless health monitor that can connect with user’s smartphone, the cloud, and even remotely to their doctor, nurse, or medical specialist to share critical info around their well-being. The new HealthPatch is a biosensor worn on the chest to measure caloric burn, heart rate and six other vital signs, as well as detect if the wearer takes a severe fall or if they are at risk for a heart attack.
Because the patch is worn on the chest rather than the wrist, it is able to detect signals coming from the body with greater accuracy, and measurements are taken continuously rather than just showing a single snapshot in time. In this way, Vital Connect is aiming to combine affordable wireless technology taken from smartphones with the sort of accuracy one would get in a hospital.
The always-on monitoring also serves as a valuable early warning for at-risk wearers. The browser-based interface allows users to set up alerts when certain measurements like heart-rate rise or fall below a preset point, or if the accelerometer spots what’s likely to be a collapse or fall. The system can also learn the wearer’s stress patterns, giving a percentage level that can be graphed and monitored.
Chairman and CEO of Vital Connect Nersi Nazari spoke of the importance of the fall detection feature:
“The fall detection has proven to be one of the applications for which there is an enormous demand because some of the solutions that are out there, the patient needs to push the button after the fall. Unfortunately, there are occasions where they are either away from their button or it’s a severe fall. Our device automatically recognizes a fall and notifies the authorities or the family members.”
Overall, the technology fits a variety of use cases that push forward the wearable health device as a whole. For example, users could wear the disposable monitor for a few days in advance of their next doctor’s visit, and bypass the usual time-consuming measurements at the beginning of the appointment. In the end, the healthcare experience would be more efficient, and user’s results more accurate and comprehensive. Similarly, since the data can constantly be shared with a medical professional, doctors might be able to notify patients when they detect the early warning signs of a heart attack or other serious medical condition, taking precautionary steps before the real problems manifest. The HealthPatch, along with Vital Connect’s mobile connected platform, is giving wearers a valuable tool in monitoring their health and bringing wearable health tech to the next level.
images via Slashgear
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