The Week in Wearables May 15

Consumer Wearables

Google was relatively quiet about wearables and Android Wear at I/O this week, except for some intentions to improving battery life with better communications between devices and reducing background processes. Google also claimed 72% YOY growth in activations and double the number of brands running Android Wear. Here.

However, reports indicate ASUS is killing the ZenWatch line of Android Wear watches, although not terribly surprising if the volume numbers are anywhere near correct (5-6K units per month). Here.

More indications this week of Apple testing continuous glucose monitoring this week. One thing missing in the media attention around this is the fact that there is a massive difference between estimating high-level glucose changes based on blood flow (which has been proven) and getting to a level of accuracy that can be used for dosing insulin (unproven to date). Here.

Bragi launched another version of the Dash hearables and partnership with the translation app, iTranslate, for “real-time” translation. Users can let a person speak into their phone’s microphone, and then the app will send the translated speech to the earbuds and vice versa. Not sure how well this works, but shows the potential for hearables to advance user experiences in new dimensions. Here.

Medical Wearables

Interesting look at how music is being used to treat everything from Parkinson’s to Alzheimer’s to substance abuse. Look for companies incorporating hearables into this mix – listening to music while tracking biometrics, motion/activity, etc. Here.

In a recent study more than 80 percent of healthcare industry executives in the U.S. and Europe said nontraditional competitors including Apple Inc. and Fitbit Inc. will have an impact on the industry. About a quarter said the change will be “transformative” within three to five years. Here.

Using wearable thermometers has been shown to predict flu outbreaks one month faster than traditional methods in China, according to an American Journal of Public Health study. Here.

Another example of VR penetrating healthcare delivery – a VR system for treating stroke and traumatic injury victims gets FDA clearance. The system uses 3D motion tracking cameras to coordinate movement and brain function and then analyzes that data to tailor therapy that stimulates movement in non-functioning limbs. Here.

Cedars-Sinai in LA is implementing a system that pulls patient-generated health data (PGHD) into EHR’s. Physicians can order PGHD for a patient from inside the electronic health record, and can select from a menu of vital signs such as blood pressure, blood glucose level and weight, as well as behavioral metrics like medication adherence, mood and activity. Smart approach. Here.

Medical Wearables: Five Scenarios Driving Growth. Here.

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