New generation's Medical Wearables: How reliable are they?
I tried one for six months. Its name is Everion and it's a product being still tested. It connects to the smartphone with an app. Here is my opinion on its utility.
Commercial activity trackers for fitness are increasingly popular, with an estimated growth of 17% in 2017 and 310M “connected wearables” (Gartner). Fitness tracking and wearable applications collect a broad range of data such as levels and quality of movement, sleep, steps taken, heartbeat, breath quality, water consumption, and even meditation and mood monitoring.
At the same time, some reports point out that approximately 30% of devices are abandoned within 6–12 months, mainly due to lack of trust in the data, inconvenience in the use and reliability (Ernst & Young),
Nowadays one can buy a health wearable even at the local supermarket. But how reliable are monitored information to help you make changes regarding your health?
For the last three months, I had the opportunity to live with a next-generation "medical wearable” which has the ability to record precise, validated, and trusted data. In Simple words, it delivers the end user with "decision-relevant" information.
The wearable, Everion, is built by Biovotion, a Swiss startup which has raised circa $17M in funding to date. Everion is currently available to a select group of early-stage partners and not sold directly to the general public. About 1.000 pieces have been produced and are distributed amongst Olympic athletes, C-suite directors, and military applications.
The most promising part is that they are currently being used in Clinical Health Studies. Patients in the USA, Europe, Africa and Asia with cardiac, kidney, bariatric, neurological, behavioural or sleep disorders all get to use these devices under carefully crafted studies that monitor and collect data and provide precise, continuous monitoring of vital signs and behavioural insights. Both healthcare professionals and users can now get real-time accurate information that was not readily available before.
Everion, the medical wearable
The device in itself is still in evolution. You strap it on your arm with a high-tech sports textile band. It charges effortlessly with the state-of-the-art Qi-standard charging dock, and its battery can last a full day. It has no buttons and is waterproof. You get all your feedback from an iOS app and soon an Android app that provides a smart way of communicating all the complex data in one color-coded 24-hour spiral graph that practically tells you all you need to know to make educated decisions, you can analyse this information and make lifestyle changes.
So in simple terms, how did Everion optimise my health style?
On a personal level, the most actionable things I learned and integrated into my life might sound simple but did have a significant effect.
1) Sleep: anything that impacts sleep will have an impact on next day concentration, confidence and motivation. This might be common knowledge, but now I had personal, actionable proof. When eating anything with gluten, exercising or drinking alcohol hours before going to sleep impacted my quality of my sleep. Of course, looking at a bright screen whether for work or pleasure before going to bed is no longer part of my routine.
2) Noticing Heart Rate: only after two-three weeks of getting feedback I received biofeedback in real-time and understood which situations intrinsically increased my heart rates and stress levels that otherwise I would have ignored. With difference to regular heart rate monitors This was a game-changer for me because it helped me acknowledge stressful situations by seeing the direct impact on my body
3) Exercise: Some sort of exercise every day is recommended by health professionals, but the best time to do it varies. After some weeks I realized that early morning exercise works out best for me. I also realized the drawbacks of heavy cardio activity, especially in the evening, impacted my sleep, diet, and long-term energy levels.
In conclusion, by wearing the medical wearable during the whole day regardless of activity, it soon reveals the impact of one health decision on many other aspects of my life.
There is no doubt of the impact of medical wearables on our community and the healthcare, and insurance sector. Technological innovations that push the boundaries and give us a new outlook on ourselves. If we are to enter a new era of preventative and predictive decentralized healthcare, we must capture and analyse data continuously and remotely. The data we as users reveal every day will not only change the way health professionals interact with patients, but it will also allow us to learn more about our body and the daily signals it provides in order to empower us to make educated and lifestyle changing decisions to improve our health.