The Week in Wearables April 10

Consumer Wearables

Fitbit’s smartwatch is apparently delayed due to design and production issues, particularly waterproofing and GPS antennae location. Another reminder how challenging that accurate wearables are to design and get to production. Here.

GoPro has started a trade-in program for older GoPro cameras in exchange for a discount on a new device. I wouldn’t be surprised to see wearables makers to do something similar. Tag Heuer has already done this with their Connected Watch. Here.

A study from the Annals of Internal Medicine showing mixed results on the accuracy of heart rate tracking in some fitness watches got a large amount of media coverage this week. However, the study was only 40-people and used devices that are several years old, including one that has since been recalled (Basis Peak). Here.

Another example of a consumer wearable device “saving a person’s life” by indicating a serious health condition. Imagine how many lives we’ll save when your average wearable can measure biometrics with medical-grade accuracy. Here.

Medical Wearables

Google’s Verily announced an “investigational device” for health tracking they call the Study Watch, which looks very much like a traditional watch. The device will be used in clinical research to collect “heart rate, electrocardiograms, movement data, as well as a measure of the electrical conductance of the skin.” One sign it’s clearly a research tool and not a traditional wearable – the device will not show the user any of the health and biometric data collected. Here.

Apple is working on non-invasive glucose monitoring. Huge opportunity; even bigger technical challenges to do truly non-invasive glucose monitoring with enough accuracy for guidance on insulin dosing. Here.

Garmin and Medtronic announced that activity tracking data from specific Garmin devices would be integrated with Medtronic’s remote patient monitoring platform. Here.

However, while patient generated data has great potential to positively impact healthcare delivery, but there are still a lot of work to do in getting the right data to the right place at the right time. Here.

Following more than 5 years of competition, the Tricorder X prize was awarded this week. Not surprisingly the winner and runner-up devices rely heavily on biometrics sensors and AI. Here.

Data

Forrester predicts 189M wearables sold per year by 2022. Here.

Here’s a fun one from the UK: wearable tech helps fuel 42% rise in exam cheating by university students. Here.

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