Wearable technology is gaining traction as more people start to focus on their health and well-being. Popular fitness and health products today come in forms of smartbands, smartwatches or clip-ons that often stand out or don’t really blend well with everyday clothes. Some companies have revealed fashionable and elegant styles of wearable technology, but others are still looking for something that’s more inconspicuous as well as capable of delivering more accurate readings.
Vital Connect, a company that specializes in biomedical and sensor technology, has just announced a new kind of wearable tech that has the potential to revolutionize the healthcare industry, as well as give everyday consumers a seamless way of monitoring their health via their iDevices.
The HealthPatch is a small, ban aid-like device worn directly on a person’s chest and is designed to be invisible under clothing. It can be worn 24/7 for continuous monitoring and, because of its design, daily activities will not be hindered.
The patch comes loaded with cutting edge sensory technology which lets it monitor core health metrics such as your heart rate, heart rate variability, respiratory rate, skin temperature, body posture, steps and fall detection/severity, stress, and sleep staging (hypnogram)/quality. It works over Bluetooth 4.0 too, and so all the data can easily be accessed and seen on the user’s iPhone or iPad. HealthPatch also utilizes Vital Connect’s proprietary algorithms to acquire clinical-grade readings.
The HealthPatch can replace existing health and fitness devices such as chest straps, bracelets, arm bands, clip-on pedometers and sport watches, but more importantly, it can substitute for bulky medical equipment like Holter monitors (heart rate monitors).
Aside from this, the device can also be used by emergency responders, allowing important patient data to be captured while patients are en-route to the hospital. The HealthPatch could also be used for patients who need constant monitoring by their physicians as the data can be accessed remotely, and it can even be used to monitor elderly patients. In the case of the latter, the HealthPatch is able to detect falls and send a real-time alert to the wearer’s physician or family. Alternatively, it can send out alerts if the wearer’s vital signs show any unusual readings.
The HealthPatch is apparently on the verge of being approved by the FDA, and once it is we can expect it to transform people’s lives and the health industry in general.
It was recently revealed that Apple is working on a dedicated health and fitness app dubbed the Healthbook. The app will utilize the power of Apple’s M7 chip, which manages the iPhone 5s’ motion sensors. The app keeps track of a user’s health and fitness information such as bloodwork, heart rate, hydration, blood pressure, physical activity, nutrition, blood sugar, sleep, respiratory rate, oxygen saturation, and weight.
With the Healthbook revelation, rumors about the iWatch were fueled, stating that we could be months away from finally seeing Apple’s wearable tech device and the launch of the HealthPatch gives us a vision of what the iWatch might bring to consumers.
In January, Apple hired Ravi Narasimhan from Vital Connect, who was the VP of research and development in the HealthPatch project. The company also hired other people from Vital Connect, like its algorithms architect Nima Ferdosi and biomedical engineer Alexander Chan. There’s a possibility that we could be seeing a technology similar to the HealthPatch incorporated in Apple’s iWatch, something that would work seamlessly with the Healthbook app. Not only will this provide a better way for users to monitor their health, fitness, and activities, but just like the HealthPatch, the iWatch could be used in the medical field.
Apple has been bulking up its team of experts for its health and fitness project, and its most recent hires include Dr. Roy J.E.M Raymann, a scientist described as an “Expert on Sleep Research, Ambulatory Monitoring, Psychophysiology, Performance Measures, Thermoregulation, Circadian Physiology and Sleep Enhancement.”