The Week in Wearables April 3

Consumer Wearables

The hardware makers in Shenzhen, once accused of copycatting wearables makers in the West, are feeling the competitive heat from the Shenzhen ecosystem that created them. Here.

Microsoft withdrew from the hardware side of the wearables market in 2016, but showed they’re still involved in the wearables market by licensing their smartwatch patent portfolio to Casio this week. The agreement includes “broad coverage for smartwatch technologies.” Casio’s smartwatches to date have used a customized version of Android Wear, but too early to tell if this represents a change in that strategy. Here.

Elon Musk is backing Neuralink aimed at building an implantable device in the brain aimed at “a closer merger of biological intelligence and digital intelligence.” The company is still very early stage with no public presence of any kind at this point. Here.

Blackberry announced they are expanding their licensing strategy to other endpoints that “could include tablets, wearables, medical devices, appliances, point-of-sale terminals and other smartphones.” Here.

NTT is trying to create a wearable that estimates calories consumed with a wearable. I’m skeptical this will ever work with any meaningful accuracy. Here.

Sweat analysis is becoming a big area of development in high-performance wearables, but it’s still early and we need to see much more validation of the technology for specific use cases. Here.

Medical Wearables

Perfectly healthy people are using continuous glucose monitors for biohacking. Here.

Can “digital therapeutics” be as good as drugs? Unclear at this point, but it’s good to see companies pursuing clinical validation of digital therapies whether they need FDA clearance or not. Here.

“Digital therapeutics” may not (currently) require FDA clearance, but the state courts are stepping in where digital health app makers are making claims they can’t support. Here.

Wearable medical device has been shown to significantly extended survival in patients with newly diagnosed glioblastoma when given in combination with standard chemotherapy. Noteworthy because its the first time in 10 years any form of treatment has shown the ability to improve survival rates for this disease. Here.

Driven by new incentives in value-based care, “virtual physical therapy” is growing using wearables to track adherence and progress in post-acute care following joint replacement. Here.

Data

Low cost fitness trackers from GOQII and Xiaomi dominate the India market. Here.

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