Wear Your Heart On Your Sleeve

Racepoint Global

Five companies that are looking to revolutionise healthcare with wearable technology

The mantra of ‘new year, new me’ has been side-lined. With winter bringing darker and perceptually shorter days, it comes as no surprise that there are dwindling attitudes towards staying fit and active during the early stages of 2017.

Public Health England claim that 90% of men aged 40 to 60 are not doing enough exercise and UK Active maintain that over five million deaths globally are linked to being physically inactive, a figure that parallels the number of lives lost from smoking related illness.

Technophobes initially dismissed wearable technology as a gimmick and a consumer novelty that has no purpose in fully enhancing mundane life. Yet technological advances and upgrades in aesthetics have produced a swarm of new fitness and health wearables with invaluable attributes that may have long-term medical benefits.

A recent case study involving a Stanford University School of Medicine professor tells the story of how he noticed fluctuant changes in his vital levels. He subsequently fell ill with a fever and was diagnosed with Lyme disease. The professor sees a world where, “lights go off when things are not quite right, like elevated heart rate or skin temperature.” His experience suggests that the development of wearable technology for health and fitness purposes can re-energise the sector and transform society.

Below is by no means a definitive list, but a snapshot of global companies who are looking to change the wearable technology industry, for the health and safety of consumers…

Health Care Originals – ADAMM

US-based Health Care Originals are one brand finding a niche in the market with the development of ADAMM. The 3-D printed adhesive patch can be stuck to asthma sufferers, alerting the users to any changes in their breathing that may indicate potential irritants and signs of an asthma attack.

With full integration over smartphone application and online, ADAMM demonstrates how innovative companies are looking to not only produce what consumers want, but also what they may need to lead sensible and sustainable lifestyles.

Milo Sensors – PROOF

It has been reported that nine million people in England consume alcohol levels above the recommended daily limit. In addition, statistics gathered by the NHS have indicated a 4% increase in alcohol related deaths in the country from 2013 to 2015. Milo Sensors have developed Proof in an attempt to reverse these figures. Showcased at CES 2017 in Las Vegas, the wearable wristband compiles vital readings from alcohol molecules in the user’s skin. Paired with a smartphone device, alcohol levels are monitored in real time.

BLOOMLIFE

Bloomlife are determined to ignite ‘a prenatal health revolution’ and leverage technological advances to improve the health of mothers and babies worldwide. Their unique product, a sensor, is placed below the pregnant stomach and can be worn during the day and night. Lasting up to seven days, it can be synchronised via Bluetooth and users can monitor their data via the complementary smartphone application. The data illustrates each contraction that pregnant women incur and educates them on which sensations should be associated with the experience, as well as when there should be a cause for concern. Calculating the frequency, duration, time between contractions, it is hoped that this technology will help predict and manage any pregnancy complications, while also giving peace of mind to the carrier of the baby.

Leti – RELAX

Mindfulness is trending amongst wellness and health fanatics and Leti are looking to capitalise on the popularity by unveiling their lightweight headgear named RELAX. The wearable device uses electroencephalography to measure the level of alpha waves in the brain. With no sensors needed to attach the headgear to the scalp, the company claim it can be used in a range of scenarios, including when at work, studying, exercising or for leisurely activities. The device will help the everyday consumer to be aware of their live attention span and it is hoped that it will enhance the level of mindfulness in its users.

Quell

According to the British Pain Society, almost 10 million people in the UK suffer from recurring daily pain. With chronic pain issues a problem worldwide, Quell have set out to help those in need recover physically and psychologically. The American-based company’s electronic wearable is completely drug free and can be attached onto the user’s leg with a simple strapping motion. Regardless of the area of pain, the product stimulates sensory nerves in the body which carry pulses to the brain. These pulses trigger a natural response in the body to block pain. Its unique selling point is that it can be worn all day and all night, the 24/7 product coming with a tracking application for smartphones. Quell have cited many case studies in their promotional features and the product promises potential to give those suffering with long-term conditions, such as arthritis, some short and long-term relief.