In our latest installment about wearable technology, we’ll go over a few devices that may be able to improve your health in regards to both back pain and living with diabetes.
One of the biggest health complaints that Americans deal with on a daily basis is back pain. This especially plagues office workers that sit for eight hours a day. Designated back stretches and ergonomic desks can help, but the FDA has just approved a wearable device that may work even better. Valedo is a wearable for anyone who has issues with back pain, or is looking to simply strengthen their back muscles without having to hit the gym. Valedo’s claim is that it can stabilize your spine, which in turn may help reduce back pain in the long term. Valedo comes with two sensors that attach to your lower back and chest using provided medical tape. When used in conjunction with Valedo’s app can walk you through a series of exercises that you can do while you are sitting or standing.
The app that works with Valedo has a video game style interface, to make tracking the device fun while still being user-friendly. Valedo is compatible with Android and iOS, as long as it is an iPhone 5 or 6 model, and at least a 3rd generation iPad or iPad Mini.
Google’s Smart Contact Lens Project
Diabetes has been on the rise in the U.S over the last ten years, so naturally there have been endless innovations to help manage the condition and to make life easier for diabetics. In terms of innovation, no one comes close to Google. So it makes sense that they have come out with a potential fix to one of the most painful and annoying aspects of having diabetes – checking blood sugar levels. To date, the most popular method of checking blood sugar (otherwise known as glucose) levels has been by pricking a finger with a needle and analyzing the blood. It’s recommended that a diabetic’s glucose be checked regularly, depending on the severity of a person’s condition. Some diabetics check their glucose levels weekly, others must check hourly. Although it’s a small amount of blood that is needed to check glucose levels, anyone who has had their finger pricked knows that it stings. This is where Google steps in.
Google introduced the concept of its smart contact lens project last year, which may change the lives of diabetics everywhere. This smart contact lens has a wireless chip that can detect and measure the glucose levels in your body by the tears in your eyes, via a tiny antenna that can detect blood sugar levels. Although the contact lenses are still in development and are not in production as of yet, diabetics around the world are eagerly awaiting a release date.
For our next wearable tech installment, we will focus on one of the granddaddies of all wearable technology, the Fitbit.
Chances are that you have heard of Fitbit by now. These “lifestyle bracelets” have been taking over wrists all over the Silicon Valley for the last few years, and now the trend has caught on with the rest of country. This wearable device has the ability to track all of your physical movement, and keep track of how many steps and calories you have burned throughout the day. The Fitbit syncs wirelessly to your phone where you can view your stats on their app.
The Fitbit features a waterproof wristband that allows you to wear your bracelet everywhere, including the shower. You even wear it to bed where it will monitor your sleep patterns as well as the quality of sleep that you are getting.
The Fitbit comes in a variety of colors and styles. If you aren’t really into the whole bracelet look, you might consider the Zip version that clips directly to your clothing. A more advanced model, the Charge HR, keeps track of your heart rate and the Surge has built-in GPS. These styles vary in price depending on their functionality. If you are really serious about your weight loss, you can pick up a Fitbit Aria scale to accompany your tracker. This scale not only tracks your weight, but your body mass index and body fat percentage as well. If you are the competitive type and you have some friends that are into the Fitbit craze as well, you can track their progress and compete with them to see who can burn the most calories per week.
The Fitbit price range varies from $60-$250, check them out for yourself. www.fitbit.com
One of the biggest topics this year has been technology that you can wear on your body, otherwise known as “wearable tech.” We’ll have a few installments over the next few weeks combing through the different types of wearable tech that are fresh on the market today.
Today we’ll start off with a new device that comes in the form of interactive workout gear you can wear to the gym. Athos is a new bodysuit of sorts that you can wear during your workout to track your movement. Athos uses electromyography (otherwise known as EMG), a process which utilizes electrode sensors to monitor your muscles and collect data. This suit will not only track your muscle fatigue during your workout, but also monitor which muscles are being worked and how hard. The Athos body suit will track vitals as well, including breathing patterns and heartbeats. Both your heartbeat and your breath can indicate whether you are over-or-under exerting yourself. The bodysuit comes as two separate pieces, both a top and a bottom; shorts for men, yoga pants for the ladies.
Another new product on the horizon is one that you don’t necessarily wear, but one that you can certainly sleep in. The product is called the Luna Sleep Tracker, and it will turn any bed into a “smart bed” by tracking your sleep habits and regulating your bed’s temperature. You can even set it to warm up your bed while you are still on your way home.
The sleep tracker comes in the form of a mattress cover that contains a sensor to monitor your sleep habits. The sensor can be controlled from your smart phone, and will find the right moment in your sleep cycle to wake you when you will feel most refreshed, and your energy levels will be the highest.
The sleep tracker fits like any other mattress cover, and comes in a few different sizes. The San Francisco-based company has already reached over a million dollars in pre-orders, and is expected to start shipping to investors later on this year.