Last year's "smart fork" introduction at the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show showed that consumers are driving the mHealth technology discussion. This year, vendors continued their aggressive rollout of health devices at the show, often a revealing showcase for the next generation of devices and technologies being developed based on research, technology advancement and market demand.
As manufacturers introduce creative ways to capture sensory data that is health related, they can shed light on possible treatments and monitoring of certain conditions.
This year, wearables in general were the hot product category, and some of the mHealth technology wearables included devices for tracking heart rate, respiratory rate, energy expenditure, metabolic rate and calories burned. Sensoria, marketed by Heapsylon LLC, introduced a smart fitness sock that helps its users with feedback on their running technique and has the ability to monitor heart rate through a T-shirt or bra.
Neurofeedback devices were also added to the mix during the show. The brain-sensing InteraXon Muse headband uses seven electroencephalograph sensors to detect and measure brain activities. Once the information is collected, an application that interacts with the device via Bluetooth provides details as well as feedback on the data being captured.
Sen.se's Mother, something of a digital life coach, comes in the form of peanut-sized trackers called "cookies" that wirelessly communicate with a base station and can track usage of objects like medication bottles, backpacks, toothbrushes and other items. They can remind users to do things they forget. In a healthcare context, Mother could be used to track medication adherence.
The vendors at 2014 CES unveiled many new innovations and mHealth technology that will be used by patients and could also be prescribed by providers. As manufacturers introduce creative and effective ways to capture sensory data that is health related, they can shed light on possible treatments and monitoring of certain conditions. CIOs should keep an eye on the direction these technologies are headed; they may end up being used both by patients and by clinicians trying to improve workflows.
Reda Chouffani is vice president of development with Biz Technology Solutions Inc., which provides software design, development and deployment services for the healthcare industry. Let us know what you think about the story; email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact @SearchHealthITon Twitter.