wearable

Sensors, artificial intelligence and big data are not only changing healthcare, they are transforming the workplace and may even reinvent the insurance sector. Stress takes its toll on all of us. It affects our mental health and is linked to increased risk of cardiovascular disease and obesity. It also costs employers tens of thousands of euro per year while the healthcare costs for governments and private insurers run into the billions. My start-up company, BioBeats, began with a mission to reduce people’s stress. We use biometric sensor technologies to understand stress and offer proven interventions that can reduce its impact. Wearables and smartphones can collect a wealth of data which are fed into artificial intelligence algorithms to anticipate moments of stress and deliver targeting interventions. By collecting biometric data for a couple of weeks, we can predict how you’ll sleep tonight or how you will perform at work next week. Opportunities in occupational health At first, we developed this product for the general public. The app, Hear and Now , is in the app store and teaches powerful deep-breathing exercises. These interventions are based on evidence-based techniques backed up by robust science. It soon became clear to us that the market for a tool like this is much bigger than stressed-out individuals keen on avoiding burnout. Employers have much to gain by understanding and reducing the burden of stress. Not only do companies want to curb avoidable absenteeism, they face a daily battle with presenteeism – people who turn up for work but are unproductive due to stress and worry. So, we built a dashboard for employers. The system collects information on employees which individuals can use to better understand when stress occurs and what causes it. They can then learn valuable stress-control techniques that improve their health. But for...
Health consumerism
Mobile health solutions for collecting patient data via communicating medical devices are opening new possibilities for remote monitoring and management of individuals suffering from chronic illnesses. At the same time, the ‘quantified self’ has gained increasing mass market appeal through the availability of personal, connected devices that can track human physical activity. These are resulting in new behaviours and attitudes around exercise and well-being and represent a promising future for a truly preventive approach to healthcare, considered a key solution to rising public health issues such as obesity and diabetes. However, if this future is to become a reality, we must overcome the hurdles that today are standing in the way of true consumer e-health/m-health adoption. Public healthcare authorities around the world are striving to address the increasing cost burden of remedial healthcare; the number of preventable deaths continues to increase in most countries around the world, which are now counted in the tens of millions each year. In this context, preventive healthcare is not just a business opportunity but a pressing national public healthcare priority. The rise of the health consumer and patient empowerment through digital healthcare innovations provides new hope that public healthcare systems can face, and ultimately overcome, these mounting pressures. In an effort to capitalize on the potential of digital healthcare and the rise of the proactive “health consumer”, medical device manufacturers are moving from one-shot medical device product strategies toward ‘connected medical device’ service strategies. As the digital healthcare market continues to develop, the need to address the barriers to its expansion becomes increasingly significant These new service strategies represent considerable new opportunities for the medtech industry. Yet, as the digital healthcare market continues to develop, the need to address the barriers to its expansion becomes increasingly significant. The list includes the typical challenges that...