Our body is quite mysterious. Sometimes you gain weight, other times you lose it, some days you have had a good night’s sleep and are in a great mood, other days you haven’t had enough sleep and your mood is terrible. And after hitting 30 you are secretly afraid of diseases that start to develop.
Most physicians who are treating us now studied in the times when getting insight into our health was very hard. If you look at publicly available scientific papers, you will see that they are based on single studies on a certain topic with 30-50 patients. That’s because medical equipment was complex, expensive and analog and medical examinations could be carried out only in hospitals.
Domestic devices of professional medical quality
When we get the amount of information about people we never thought was possible
The company has analysed DNA of more than a million people. The cost of the test is $99. When you order it, you get a saliva collection kit which after doing the test you send back by mail. As simple as that.
Lot’s of advantages. Our health depends on two things – genes and lifestyle. Our genes is the only thing we can not change. So it’s better just to know that information about yourself.
Muse is a small domestic EEG device that tracks the full spectrum of brainwaves. Theta waves are linked to sleep, deep relaxation and visualization. Delta waves are also linked to sleep. Alpha waves appear at rest while beta waves — when you are, for example, working on a problem. Gamma waves are recorded during intense mental work and maximum concentration.
The brain sensing headband allows you to study your brain and train it taking into account what state it is in.
AliveCor records professional medical quality ECGs. The device is so small you can put it on your smartphone.
AliveCor can record in only two ECG leads. It’s not considered correct in medicine, however, the developers have proven the high quality of their measurements and have received FDA approval.
What about fitness trackers? And why the world hasn’t changed yet?
Fitness trackers and smart watches abound on the market. They are great for non-stop monitoring of your body, but most of them don’t know how to collect truly useful data from a medical point of view.
The biggest stumbling block is heart rate variability data, namely, precise heart beat measurements. Pulse is an average index that shows approximate number of heart beats per minute. It gives some information, but that information is not precise.
Heart rate variability is the information about heart beats with millisecond precision, which allows you to study a lot of different factors, from heart health to stress and parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous system balance.
The moment when smart watches or wristbands are able to record and transmit such data in real time will be pivotal in the history of wearable devices.
What do we have on the market now?
Chest straps (Polar)
The sensors attach to your chest and are the most precise among wearable HRV recording devices. The most popular and the cheapest is Polar which you can get for $50. It is usually used by professional athletes.
Other similar wearables are smart bras and t-shirts with sensors.
Sony, Samsung, Xiaomi, Apple and others produce smart watches competing with each other.
Many of them, including Sony Smartband, claim, that they record heart rate variability.
However, none of them are sharing the data through their APIs and platforms. They essentially collect the data for themselves. If they collect it at all.
The thing is, they haven’t yet made up their minds about what their policy should be.
How profitable would it be for them to keep owning these data and share them with insurance companies? Another reason for that is that HRV data blur the line between fitness data and medical information which is subject to many limiting laws.
But that is not a convincing argument, because nothing stops sports chest straps from transmitting data to their device owners.
Smart watches are the most likely candidates for revealing such data.
Most fitness wristbands that we know about are unable to track HRV.
However, there is Mio Pulse, a sports wristband which lasts for two weeks, shows your pulse in real time and can transmit HRV data. Its quality is a bit worse than Polar’s, but it is nevertheless better than nothing.
That’s why wristbands are also in this race.
What should a game-changer device look like? It should be able to record HRV data 24/7, have all the necessory sensors built-in (the more the better) and support the BLE standard. This will create conditions in which developers will be able to create high-quality health and fitness apps.
As digital technology develops, at Welltory we have started working out lifestyle analysis methods using the opportunities we already have now. If you want to know more about what your body reacts to, how to sleep better, be more productive and stay healthy, join our study. Together, we will create a correlation model for wellbeing and various factors that affect it and recommend you what you could quickly improve in order to get the most out of your life.