Beyond Fitness: The Future of Wearable Devices in Healthcare

Wearable Devices in HealthcareWearable Technology is the new bon mot (literally “good word”) in the healthcare market, with high growth potential and endless opportunities for high tech solutions. Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center has started a pilot program in their emergency department that equips the doctors with Google Glass, allowing them to sort through medical records without ever leaving the patient’s side.  In another hospital, a surgeon used Google Glass to consult with another surgeon during an ACL surgery.

Aside from creative uses of existing hardware, a number of innovative devices have been introduced in recent years in the fields of wearable fitness technology, sports, healthcare, and wellness. In recent years, consumer devices have increased the impact of technology on healthcare. We have put together a list of some of the latest wearable devices in healthcare.

VSM 1: This wearable tech device from Biovotion monitors vital signs, providing accurate and real-time health information similar to devices in hospitals. Simple to use, the wireless vital sign monitor syncs data with the cloud to be accessed on a PC or mobile device. It allows for the continuous monitoring of patients with chronic health conditions, both at home and out in the world. Biovotion’s entry of the VSM 1 was selected as one of five finalists in the Healthcare & Wellness category of the Wearable Technologies Innovation World Cup in January 2014.

Digital Health Feedback System: You can now eat technology – on purpose. An ingestible sensor by Proteus Digital Health sends a unique identifying number to a patch worn on the outside of the body, which in turn relays information to a mobile device. The sensor, just 1mm square, is completely powered by stomach fluids and designed to be digested like any other pill. The system records heart rate, temperature, activity, and rest patterns.

TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation): A TENS machine is wearable health care device that sends small electric currents to areas of the body experiencing chronic pain. Electrodes are attached to the skin with adhesive pads. Some portable models feature Bluetooth connectivity and can be linked to a smartphone app for tracking and managing pain.

Wireless Blood Pressure Wrist Monitor: iHealth has developed a wrist-based wearable device in healthcare, playing off the popularity of smartwatches. It is designed to monitor blood pressure, with motion sensor technology that makes the data more accurate. It can be connected with iHealth’s My Vitals app, which allows real-time tracking of your systolic or diastolic blood pressure numbers, heart rate, pulse wave, and measurement time. It can even create charts to track changes over the course of the day and historical data.

The new wave of wearable devices is transforming the healthcare community by putting data directly into the hands of patients, as well as creating new diagnostic and monitoring opportunities for healthcare practitioners. What medical information would you like to see integrated with mobile technology?
 


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Augmented Reality Glasses on the Horizon Now

The term Augmented Reality (AR) describes digitally enhancing a view of a physical, real-world environment. Elements such as text, graphics, and video are overlaid on what a user sees. One way to view these enhanced images is through AR glasses. Check out some of the current AR glasses that have hit the market.
 
To begin, we start with Google Glass. Hacks are plentiful for using Glass with Google’s own AR game, Ingress, and speculation abounds that official support might be coming. Other big-name apps with officialvuzix-m2000ar Glass extensions include Twitter, Evernote, and Facebook. Lots of unofficial apps can be found at sites like glassappsource.com and glass-apps.org.
 
Next we have the Vuzix M2000AR. This see-through AR system design offers hands-free access to information for industrial users, training personnel, heavy equipment operators, and assembly workers. It acts as a mobile display system with a built-in camera to provide augmented content to the operator. The screen goes over one eye and displays a 720p, full-color image. Because it’s intended for the work site, the M2000AR doesn’t even try to blend in or be fashionable – in fact, it comes complete with a hard hat.

meta-proThe Meta Pro starts shipping in September, but already boasts more than 500 augmented reality apps. Resembling thick sunglasses, this unique eyepiece is designed with a much larger screen area than Google Glass and possesses greater computing capabilities. It allows the user to interact in 3D space with their hands through the use of its sensors. The bulk of the computing power is housed in an attached pocket computer, feeding the holographic display in front of your eyes.

Finally we have Optinvent’s ORA-S. The ORA-S smart glasses can display directly in the user’s line of sign or a bit lower with the flip of its projection hardware. Its Bluetooth interface enables eight hours of battery life for mapping, messaging, photo, aora-s-smart-glassesnd other applications. Pre-orders ship in May.

Augmented Reality is becoming more prevalent in business, education, entertainment, sports, navigation, and medical science, providing for an authentic learning experience for workers, educators, healthcare professionals, the military, the tech-savvy individual, and gamers and game developers. Undoubtedly the technology will become more refined as time goes on. What kind of apps can you envision for wearable augmented reality displays right now?


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Matt Cestone Presents Beermont Stakes, the Game of Playing Cards, Horse Racing, and Drinks

The mobile app deals out drinks, suits, and scores
 
A new mobile app called Beermont Stakes combines horse racing, enjoying drinks, and playing cards. The animated game was developed for iPhone, iPad, and Android devices. A simulated race decides the number of drinks that gets passed out upon completion of the game. Beermont Stakes is now available on the iTunes App Store and Google Play.

beermont-stakes-horse-racing-game
 

Beermont Stakes can be played by any number of people on a single phone or tablet. Players or teams can attach their names to their chosen card suit (diamond, heart, club, or spade). A bet can be set between 1 and 24 by each player or team.
 
An initial deal sets cards adjacent to the seven markers alongside the racetrack. The number of cards shown for each suit multiplies the player’s or team’s bet. Cards are distributed one at a time to decide which horse gets to advance. The first horse to reach the seventh marker wins the game. The amount of the bet is then converted into the number of drinks to be handed out for all players to consume.
 
The progress of each horse is narrated in the style of trackside commentary during the course of the race. The victory is celebrated with a burst of confetti and a roaring crowd.
 
The animation provides detailed 2D graphics of the horses, cards, track, scoreboard, and crowd. The game’s playful attitude encourages friendly competition and easygoing good times.
 
Matt Cestone, the creator of the app, said, “It's long been my favorite drinking game and I thought it would be fun to make it into an app.”
 
Beermont Stakes is priced at $0.99 in the iTunes App Store and Google Play.


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NiteHawk, the Hybrid App from NiteOWL, Announced for iPhone, iPad, and Android

Rate and share leisure spots with mobile social networking app

NiteHawk, a new app for iPhone, iPad, and Android, helps users to find and rank the leisure spots close to them. It is available for free in the iTunes App Store and Google Play.

The app provides listings of hotels, restaurants, bars, clubs, and lounges in the United States.  Once registered with the nitehawk.jpegapp, the user can rank and comment about each leisure spot. Users can connect with each other and see new ranks and comments from their friends. With the help of the Ranking feature, each spot can be filtered and their ranks can be viewed based on the crowd, music, and drink type.

NiteHawk gives two types of ranking: General and Detailed. Once a user ranks a spot as “Frozen – Dead and Done,” “Chill,” “Heating Up,” or “On Fire,” the Detailed Ranking screen is then available. The user can then rate the capacity and ambiance of the crowd, estimate the gender balance, tick off the types of music played, rate the strength and pricing of the drinks, evaluate the service, and record the cover charge and time spent waiting to get in.

The users can also post comments and upload photos of each spot. Comments and pictures can be shared within the NiteHawk network and to social media networks like Facebook and Twitter.

To enable the search based on location, the app also offers a Map and List feature. The Where Are You feature allows the user to view or rank leisure spots in the nearby areas based on the current location of the user. Users can also search major metropolitan areas or for specific spots.

The NiteHawk app was developed by Zco Corporation, one of the largest mobile app developers in the world, for Andrew Boston.


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How To Get Your Mobile App Noticed (After Release)

Last week, we talked about generating buzz for an app before it hits the market. What about the app that’s almobile-adsready out there? Post-release marketing takes you from the initial launch through updates and, ideally, growing success.

Keep advertising. Web and mobile ads can still be used to promote your now running app. In print, QR codes can be implemented into magazines, press releases, onto your website etc. for people to scan and download your app directly.

Encourage talking. As stated before, word of mouth truly is one of the best ways to get free advertising. The big, inviting tweet button in Flappy Bird helped that app become the talk of Twitter. Engage people in discussion about your app through the use of social media, in-person conversation, or on other relevant websites. If people like your app they will talk about it, and if they talk about it others might too.

Get linked. Compose blog entries for your own company’s site and also offer guest blog entries to sites whose readers might be interested in your app. Review sites and forums are also a great place to get discussion going about your mobile app, as long as you’re not simply blasting out pleas for downloads. The more credible sites link to your own, the higher your app ranks in web searches.newsletters.jpg

Distribute the news. Newsletters are another great way to keep your app in people’s minds. Not only can you let consumers know what is going on within your company but you can also promote your app and share information that they might share themselves – with your name attached.

Enter contests. For example, www.bestmobileappawards.com has a contest where companies can submit their apps to be considered for various awards. If a company wins it will be mentioned in a press release, which will be shown on at least 40 different news sites. Even if a company does not win it still provides for increased app downloads and traffic to their site.

Staying up to date and constantly looking for new ways to promote your app will be your biggest help in creating mobile app popularity. To get started on development or speak to a mobile app expert, call (603) 881-9200 or email us.


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