John Pugh: Home Hub Syncs Personal Health Devices And Data
The Alere HomeLink creates a universal dashboard for the quantified self marketplace.
As more wearable health devices like fitness trackers, glucose monitors and wi-fi enabled pill caps enter the market, it is getting harder for users to make good use of all the data they are collecting. Whether it is how many steps you have taken, your heart rate, blood pressure, or a variety of other metrics, it is becoming increasingly difficult to keep track of all of those stats and determine what they all mean. Imagine if there was a simple way to not only collect and store that data in one place, but also easily transmit it to your doctor or loved ones. All that health data suddenly becomes a lot more compelling and useful.
One device seeking to do this is the HomeLink, from Alere, which is a wireless home hub for receiving, storing, and transmitting patient-generated healthcare data. The tablet-sized touch screen can capture data from an owners digital scale, fitness trackers, pulse oximeters, blood glucose monitors, or just about any other wearable health device. The HomeLink will even prompt would-be Quanitified Selfers if they are overdue for a measurement.
Data is gathered either via a wire with a USB direct connection, or wirelessly from devices equipped with either Bluetooth or Low-Energy Bluetooth communications capabilities. The Homelink empowers patients to take control of their health at home, offering a seamless way to store and access necessary data, and even send it to doctors for professional analysis.
The platform recently received FDA clearance and is aimed at the 15 percent of the patient population that makes up about 80 percent of healthcare costs in the US, in other words, patients who require high levels of daily testing. In its current form, the platform fills a niche place in a growing marketplace, but it’s not hard to envision a point where it syncs more broadly to the other Wi-Fi enabled devices in a person’s home to enable a more connected set of experiences with health at the center. Whether that means personalized recipes displayed on your fridge or a well-placed reminder on your bathroom mirror to take your vitamins, the scenarios where the HomeLink could become a key player are seemingly endless. The device is currently in the $350 range, and future models are planned to expand to more casual audiences.
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