The hype from CES 2014 has faded, but wearable tech has not lost any of its momentum. So far this year, we’ve learned that 1.5 million trackers have shipped in six months and that Apple is becoming a heart doctor.
If the four sensor experts I spoke to at the end of January are right, we can expect even more and even better advances in wearable and sensor products this year, including:
- Using sleek devices to track blood pressure, instead of miles run.
- Bringing tracking data together in one, easy-to-understand place.
- Introducing sensors to oncologists to personalize cancer care.
In MedCity News’ first Google Hangout, I talked with four entrepreneurs about what 2014 looks like to them. We covered the possibilities for tracking everything from heart health and stress to medication adherence and dental habits. We talked about what the industry has accomplished as well as what still needs to happen.
These four sensor experts helped me launch this new monthly feature on MedCity News:
- Adam Lin, president of iHealth Labs
- Alex Frommeyer, CEO of Beam Brush
- Catherine Calarco, chief marketing officer of HeartMath
- Jon Guida, co-founder of GEMA Touch
Here are a few highlights from our conversation.
Alex started shipping Beam Brushes last year and now is working on the Tile. His new idea is to make consolidating sensor data as easy as stepping on a scale. He sees this as the logical next for the industry:
“We are going to see a lot more data partnerships, a lot of device makers and some of our great pieces of software are going to start marrying off their data sets to one another. Consumers are demanding one-stop shopping for health data, so we will see more of that integration happen.”
Adam also sees this evolution in consumer expectations:
“People are looking for a personal solution. When they think about a solution, they do not separate the device from the data. For a customer, the thinking is, ‘I bought a device and the data comes from that trusted device. My demand to you now is: Make sense of it for me.’
This is where we see the opportunity.”
Jon has seen similar requests from doctors. GEMA Touch is working with oncologists to improve medication adherence and to help personalize cancer care on a patient-by-patient basis.
“We have heard from providers that they like the ability to track each patient’s symptoms over time, so each patient has their own trend line.
Right now the nurses pick up a phone and call the patients on their list. They have to call x many per day, so a patient could be fine and still receive a phone call. That’s one thing they’d like to see, is a red flag for patients who are having trouble.”
Catherine named the industry’s big challenge for 2014:
“People are still trying to figure out the design and presentation of the data. I’d like to see more user customization.
Enabling the patient is profound but it requires an intelligent system to support that.
The design right now is just trying to get the information presented and it hasn’t built in the intelligence yet but we’re headed there, it’s not too far away.”
I want to thank everyone for joining me. We had some technical difficulties with this first session, but the February conversation will be smoother. We’ll send out an invite next week so you can listen in to the conversation.
This article was written by Veronica Combs from MedCity News and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.