Wearable technology is evolving rapidly as the field draws attention not only from deep-pocketed major players like Apple, Google and Facebook but also from niche Kickstarter funded startups pushing the boundaries of both the form and functionality of wearables.
It is fair to say that the first generation of wearables created widespread excitement but merely scratched the surface of their true potential. Casual users and enthusiasts alike found the first-generation devices falling short on form factor, functionality, personalization, energy efficiency and in fostering sustained use. Common user complaints ranged from accuracy of readings to the very limited data availability. For example, a physician requires both heart rate and body temperature to make an assessment of a patient’s health or fitness level but most wearable devices cannot provide both of these vital readings.
New devices are now eliminating the need for multiple wearables to track various biological metrics. While the wearables market is dominated by smart watches and fitness trackers, there is a significant market for healthcare devices that go beyond rudimentary tracking to determine vital signs of the human body. While many products have focused on the user’s wrist, a novel innovation from cosinuss° has created a new in-ear device – cosinuss° One – that tracks body temperature and heart rate.
The core idea is that just one vital sign is insufficient to assess a person general health or fitness level. Heart rate when combined with body temperature gives a better indication of a patient’s health than any one of these readings. Further, adding more information like blood oxygen levels helps to provide vital information on how to improve fitness level and general health along with indicating early warning signals for potential health issues.
As wearables make deriving information about our vital signs easy, healthcare entrepreneurs are focused on getting more information using all-in-one wearables and applying information for providing recommendations for fitness programs or rapid diagnosis of problems. Creating such devices is complicated by the small size, limited power budget, the need for embedding multiple sensors and the added complexity of software integrations. Additionally, combining medical insights with technical expertise is non-trivial.
EBV recently helped cosinuss° bring the cosinuss° One device to market. The technical teams collaborated to solve challenging aspects of taking the product from prototype to production. Key was making the right tradeoffs. The project was particularly exciting as it also involved developing a strategy and identifying the best target market. Needless to say, healthcare related domain expertise from EBV was crucial in interpreting the requirements and identifying the best fit technology choices. Development of wearable technology is not a single-domain endeavour. From aesthetic design, to technical component choices and then physical interfaces to software interfaces – the entire development process requires a tightly integrated approach.
Click here to learn more about the cosinuss° One device and the development process.