Why Smart Health Solutions May Be the Best Medicine | Cypress Semiconductor
Why Smart Health Solutions May Be the Best Medicine
With the arrival of a New Year, expect the annual flood of self-improvement resolutions and the bumper crop of new devices to help keep the reformed on track. This year, there’s a new generation of smart health devices available – and they’ve come a long way from the days of calorie-counters and pedometers.
Today’s wearables and other sophisticated, sensor-laden gadgets can be used to track sleep, glucose levels, oxygen intake, blood pressure, weight – and even your mood.
The vast amount of personalized health and wellness metrics collected and crunched by such devices has even picked up a futuristic-sounding name: the “quantified self.”
“This shift from simple pedometers and digital scales to connected devices that address health and wellness is what makes the digital health sector such an important area to watch going forward,” Mark Chisolm, a research analyst at the Consumer Electronics Association, said in a report.
Poised to be among the top five trends at January’s International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, industry watchers are predicting an explosion in “smart health” products that connect to the Internet and allow us to track, measure and analyze our bodies.
Of course, hospitals have had sophisticated machinery to do this for years, but the emergence of the Internet of Things (IoT) means this data can be gathered and reported back to doctors via smartphones, tablets and specialized apps.
Broadcom’s WICED™ platform offers the connectivity building blocks for such devices upon which a wide range of these smart health products are being developed. Using standards-based connectivity technologies such as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth® Smart, the WICED platform is leading the way.
Consider the following examples of how WICED technology is bringing new products to the market, devices that could become the ounce of prevention that beats a pound of cures.
The Diagnosis: You haven’t slept well in days.
The Prescription: The Withings Aura sleep system. By tucking a sensor under a mattress that even Her Royal Highness from “The Princess and The Pea” couldn’t detect the sleep system syncs with a Bluetooth device that sits next to your bed and connects to a smartphone app. The app tracks when you sleep and uses a combination of lights and sounds to induce the best rest (and smoothest wake-up) possible.
The Diagnosis: Your kids are feeling a little warm and possibly feverish.
The Prescription: Swaive, an ear thermometer that can sync with an app to collect and save temperature readings via Bluetooth. You could even send the data directly to the pediatrician.
The Diagnosis: You had a couple of drinks and may be too tipsy to drive.
The Prescription: The Breathometer uses Bluetooth to turn smartphones into wireless breathalyzers. By connecting to the app, the device not only tracks alcohol consumption levels but estimates when you’ll be sober enough to drive.
Smart health solutions, of course, can’t replace a diagnosis from a trained medical professional but they can empower individuals to be more proactive about their well-being than they ever have before.
That’s the power of the technology behind the Internet of Things, a new concept that’s yet to realize its full potential — but is off to a healthy, running start.