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Smart Watch That Remotely Monitors Real-Time Health Status Of Older Adults

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Tue, Feb 10, 2015 @ 09:49 AM

1 braceletthat resized 600

The trend of wearable devices (smart accessories) like bracelets, sunglasses and watches, is rarely focused on the elderly population. However, Mexican Francisco Lopez-Lira Fennel, who lives in Spain, wants these devices to be used by older adults benefiting them with the first smart watch that remotely monitors real-time health status.

The aim of the bracelet is to constantly supervise seniors who live alone and could not get help in case of a medical emergency from a fall caused by an accident to a heart attack or an anxiety attack, explained the Mexican, who is also the founder of the company "Cualli Software".

The idea was to design a simple and practical device to offer seniors the assurance that someone is on the lookout for them 24 hours a day, even without living in the same house. Everyday situation in Spain, since according to data from the National Statistics Institute, in that country about 10 percent of Spanish households is inhabited by adults over 64 who live alone.

The smart watch, or bracelet, is a specialized health system, designed for remote monitoring of vital signs of the elderly. Using three sensors; it measures the pulse, temperature and movement, also has an audio channel, small speakers and a microphone to communicate with a call center or via smartphone with a relative who can assist them by pressing the only button on the appliance.

Thanks to wireless internet (wi-fi), or the implementation of a cellular chip to provide 3G data network, it can make an emergency call and contact a doctor. Also, it is complemented with an app for smartphones and tablets with Android and iOS systems that can be downloaded by the remote caregiver for the elderly, and thus get the data of vital signs just by checking the mobile device, because measurements are automatically uploaded to the cloud.

López -Lira Fennel, who is also a member of the Mexican Talent Network, Chapter Spain, adds other features to the bracelet, like the accelerometer and screen orientation, which serve to accommodate it to movement.

Despite the innovative device, its creator stresses that "it doesn't seek to be a smart watch, because it lacks a touchscreen, nor promotes interaction through e-mail or social networks, so it is configured for the elder adult to just put it on and not worry about knowing how to handle it, having a permanent link to the call center to check his vitals or to relatives via smartphone".

The bracelet will facilitate the work of nurses and doctors who work in nursing homes or hospitals, with its help they will be able to monitor the patient remotely, instead of requiring a person to be physically there. This is because every 30 seconds it uploads information to the cloud (blood pressure, pulse, or accidentes) for it to be seen by the doctor as well as a history of the last three months, thus giving the opportunity to prevent health complications.

In order to obtain more funds to achieve a sustainable commercial product, the employer participated in the contest, "I am an entrepreneur, I am of the Mutua", where he was among the 12 projects finalists from a total of 500 participants and also in the "passion> IE "Accenture and IE Business School, being selected among the 4 finalists in the category "Health of the future". The plan, once with a commercial product, is to promote it in Europe and migrate to the US market. (Agencia ID)

Source: www.news-medical.net

Topics: adults, gadgets, wearable, smart, monitor, smart accessories, devices, technology, health, health care, medical, patients, elderly, seniors

Are wearable activity monitors equivalent to professional health advice?

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Mon, Sep 22, 2014 @ 01:31 PM

By David McNamee

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Wearable tech is all the rage right now, with Google Glass and now the Apple Watch being gadget fiends' latest must-have items. Electronic activity monitors may be the most popular example of health-monitoring wearable technology. A new analysis from researchers at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston - published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research - compared 13 of these devices.

"Despite their rising popularity, little is known about how these monitors differ from one another, what options they provide in their applications and how these options may impact their effectiveness," says Elizabeth Lyons, senior author of the new study and assistant professor at the Institute for Translational Sciences at the university.

"The feedback provided by these devices can be as, if not more, comprehensive than that provided by health care professionals," she adds.

Lyons and her colleagues assessed 13 wearable activity monitors available on the consumer market. The team wanted to see how the devices may promote healthy and fit behaviors and determine how closely they match successful interventions.

The researchers also compared the functionality of the devices and their apps with clinical recommendations from health care professionals.

In their analysis, the researchers write that most of the goal-setting, self-monitoring and feedback tools in the apps bundled with the devices were consistent with the recommendations health care professionals make for their patients when promoting increase in physical activity.

Despite this, the analysis also finds that some proven successful strategies for increasing physical activity were absent from the monitors. These included:

  • Action planning
  • Instruction on how to do the behavior
  • Commitment and problem solving.

Interestingly, though, the authors suggest that the apps with the most features may not be as useful as apps with fewer - but more effective - tools.

The researchers also consider that how successful any monitor is largely depends on matching individual preferences and needs to the functionality of the device. For instance, someone who gets most of their exercise from swimming will benefit the most from having a waterproof monitor.

Applications for activity monitors beyond aiding weight loss?

The report also contains suggestions on applications for these monitors outside of their typical role as weight loss aids.

For instance, the researchers suggest the wearable activity monitors could be useful for patients who have been released from the hospital. These patients could use the monitors to measure their recovery and quality of life.

Also, health care professionals could use data from the monitors to identify at-risk patients for secondary prevention and rehabilitation purposes.

Lyons says:

"This content analysis provides preliminary information as to what these devices are capable of, laying a foundation for clinical, public health and rehabilitation applications. Future studies are needed to further investigate new types of electronic activity monitors and to test their feasibility, acceptability and ultimately their public health impact."

The study only looked at devices compatible with personal computers and iOS mobile devices, and the researchers admit it is possible "the experiences of Android users may differ from our experiences."

Source: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com

Topics: advice, gadgets, wearable, monitors, apps, technology, health, healthcare, research

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