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The advent of the smartphone has inexplicably changed the way we live – including how we take care of our physical selves at home. Such technology is making a number of traditionally hospital-only services and extended their availability to the general public at an affordable cost. Smartphones, combined with a peripheral sensor and mobile application, are capable of measuring temperature, heart rate, blood pressure, and other vital parameters. Such solutions make the smartphone a chief contributor to the rising adoption of telehealth systems and away-from-hospital services.
Scandu, a relatively new personalized health electronics company, has developed a product targeted towards fitness enthusiasts, dieters, and data lovers that measures six physiological parameters in about 10 seconds. The Scandu Scout, available in late 2013 and selling for less than $150, takes readings with one small sensor-studded device that transmits data to the smartphone app via Bluetooth. This device is part of a new generation of consumer health tools that enable users to make informed decisions about their health and whether they should see a doctor – further decentralizing medical services.
Another health electronics manufacturer, Zeo Inc., provides consumers with a sleep management solution that records and graphs users’ sleep patterns throughout the night. The Zeo Sleep Manager transmits data via Bluetooth to a nearby iPhone or Android smartphone through three sensors on a headband detecting electrical activity in the skin of the forehead. By knowing how much restorative REM and deep sleep users actually get, they can better manage their health and overall wellness without conducting a professional sleep study.
The smartphone is a flexible medium in which consumers are familiar with and comfortable using. With different connectivity options, growing computing power, and extensive developer communities, smartphone devices will continue to be ideal for consumer health manufacturers in centralizing their solutions. It’s a win-win for end users and manufacturers alike – manufacturers have a steady platform to work off of and end users live healthier lives.And with our last blog for 2012, VDC would like to wish everyone a safe and happy New Years!