by Gary M. Kaye, Chief Content Officer
While big screen televisions, hoverboards, and enough drones to make you groan have captured many of the headlines here at CES in Las Vegas, we’ve also seen a slew of new developments related to health and fitness. And thank goodness it’s more than just a few dozen more fitness trackers, though we’ve seen plenty of those as well. Here are just a handful of the companies and products making news on the digital health and fitness front.
Sensoria, which makes fabrics embedded with sensors, is introducing a new system of sensor to measure running and walking. In addition to helping athletes, the new system can be beneficial to those with stride or gait issues and can help predict and prevent falls. Sensoria also makes shirts and sports bras with embedded sensors to measure heart rate. Their socks measure impact and stride. According to the company:
“The new version of the web dashboard and mobile app are able to collect data for users on two, new valuable metrics—foot impact score and average stride length—as well as provide advanced cardio training through heart rate zone and heart rate variability tracking. The updated web dashboard provides users easy access to more meaningful insights and trends analysis—comparing shoes, impact forces, and running form together with more traditional performance metrics across segments within a session, as well as trends over time.”
There were several announcements from the life sciences division of the communications chip maker Qualcomm Life. Qualcomm Life has largely focused on connected health and fitness and especially telemedicine. It has teamed up with Novartis to create a connected inhaler that will monitor medication to COPD Patients. The company announced the creation of a healthcare app with United HealthCare, significant because major insurers have been slow to embrace the benefits of remote healthcare monitoring. And finally, Qualcomm Life showed off an $18 disposable, Bluetooth connected, home pregnancy test. It was developed for “First Response.” Not exactly front and center for the 50+ crowd, unless you are anticipating grand-parenthood.
A company called BioTrak Health announced “Halo,” a band you’ll be able to wear around your head that the company says will enable someone who suffers from tension headaches or migraines to help reduce or eliminate them by using biofeedback.
Omron, which is one of the oldest brands of blood pressure monitors for the consumer market, is coming out with a wrist wearable that does blood pressure with a tiny inflatable cuff. The company is awaiting FDA clearance, but hopes to start shipping the device this Spring.
GreatCall, maker of the market leading Jitterbug phones for seniors, is coming out with a new health and fitness wearable. Under the Lively brand name, the new device will couple GreatCall’s 24/7 monitoring service with a small falls detection device. The Lively Wearable can be worn either on the wristband or around the neck with the lanyard and pairs with a smartphone via Bluetooth. CEO David Inns explains:According to the company:
“What makes the Lively Wearable unique is that it is designed to fit the needs of both the older adult and the family caregiver, something we have found to be critical to adoption. This announcement comes on the heels of GreatCall’s acquisition of Lively Inc. We’ve taken the energy of the Lively name and, building on a decade of research and consumer insight, applied it to this innovative new wearable that truly makes a difference in living a safer, more active life.”
OrCam, the Israeli company we told you about several months ago, has released a new version of its remarkable technology for people who are visually impaired. The OrCam MyMe system dramatically improves on its machine vision and facial recognition abilities to create a library of more than 100,000 recognizable objects. It allows the user to also create libraries of faces and comes in more compact form factor than the original version.
Stay tuned for more of our coverage from CES 2016.