When we talk about wearable technology we often think of a wristband, wristwatch or some other prominent part-metal, part-plastic device or fashion item. Increasingly this isn’t the case and new wearables are becoming less visible, less intrusive on the wearer and more comprehensive in the data they produce.
An example of this is the newly announced HealthPatch, a biometric skin sensor developed by Vital Connect which fits on to a user’s chest and tracks a range of health indicators including heart rate, heart rate variability, respiratory rate, skin temperature, body posture, steps and fall detection/severity. This is the first product launched by Vital Connect and according to the company the HealthPatch is capable of capturing clincial-grade biometric measurements continuously.
According to the company’s news release, “HealthPatch can replace devices like chest straps, bracelets, arm bands, clip-on pedometers and sport watches currently being used to track fitness and wellness. Instead, athletes training for a major competition or average people simply trying improve overall health can wear the HealthPatch day and night for continuous readings and evaluations. Also, because the HealthPatch is worn on the chest and nearly invisible under most clothing, it can be worn outside the gym to the office, a party or other event without apprehension.”
The patch can be used in numerous situations and is suited to a range of different people from the dedicated athlete to the quantified selfer to remote monitoring the elderly. Apple blog 9to5Mac believes a patch like this would work with Apple’s long-rumored fitness and health tracking app, Healthbook, which according to reports will analyze a range of health metrics including some of those that HealthPatch currently does.
The Future is a Monitor-All Patch
The HealthPatch is one of the first patch-like sensors that analyzes multiple health indicators but increasingly consumers will demand more variables to give a more holistic view of their health. This could be in the form of blood biomarkers, muscle fatigue, sleep quality and glucose levels. The ‘monitor-all’ patch is not quite with us yet but the technology is currently being developed to service an increasing demanding health-conscious consumer.