Friday, November 21, 2014

If Wearables For Health Tracking Are Going To Take Off This Might Be A Good One.

This appeared a little while ago.

Microsoft Band review: Unlike any other wearable and uniquely yours

Summary: The Microsoft Band is a data collection machine and with the ability to select your tile interface, it can do as much or as little as you want it to.
By Matthew Miller for The Mobile Gadgeteer | November 13, 2014 -- 15:00 GMT (02:00 AEST)
Daily activity tracker, multi-platform smartwatch, GPS sport watch, heart rate monitor, and fitness coach. The Microsoft Band can be whatever you want and that is the real power of the Band.
I've now spent nearly two weeks with the Microsoft Band — read my first impressions — and it has secured a place on my wrist for the foreseeable future.
As a guy who covers the mobile space, I use smartphones running every mobile operating system; the Microsoft Band is currently the only wearable to work across Windows Phone, iOS, and Android. Come to think of it, I will have to test it with my BlackBerry Passport and the Android Microsoft Health app since my Pebble works through this approach.


  • Band material: Thermal plastic elastomer with adjustable-fit clasp
  • Processor: ARM Cortex M4
  • Display: 11mm x 33mm, 320 x 106 pixels, 1.4-inch TFT full-color display
  • Sensors: Optical heart rate, three-axis accelerometer, gyrometer, GPS receiver, ambient light sensor, skin temperature sensor, UV sensor, capacitive sensor, galvanic skin response
  • Other features: Bluetooth 4.0 LE, microphone, haptic vibration motor, dust and splash resistant
  • Battery capacity: Dual 100 mAh lithium-ion polymer batteries. Normal use rating of 48 hours
  • Dimensions: 19mm wide and 8.7 mm thick, weight of 60 grams
One specification that concerns me is the dust and splash resistance. I sweat a lot when I work out and I regularly run in the rain in Washington State. I hope that the Band doesn't fail during these typical conditions and that it's practically rainproof.
You won't find many wearables with this much tech crammed into it and I just hope that long-term usage doesn't end up causing failures like I have seen a number of times on advanced wristbands like the Jawbone UP.
Lots more here:
There are presently a large number of options in the US. You can see a useful slide show here:

Smart band options heating up

Much the way that Apple shone a light on the entire smartwatch category by unveiling Watch in September, Microsoft unwrapped a new device aptly christened Band.
On the heels of Microsoft’s Band, Jawbone released two new options, the Up Move and UP3, while Fitbit pre-announced its Surge. Those stalwarts join an increasingly crowded space wherein the likes of household names such as Fitbit, LG, Nike and Sony reside alongside upstarts Amiigo, Misfit and Nabu.
What the bands all have in common: they track health data across varying points including calories, heart rate, movement, sleep and temperature.  Each one, of course, is slight different than the others.
Today’s smart bands, in fact, appear decidedly prescriptive and focused on vitals-tracking abilities and the wellness crux.
Lots more here:
Interestingly the various apps and bands seem to be increasingly used.

mHealth Apps Linked to Well-Being

November 7, 2014
People are increasingly using mobile health technology to improve their well-being, according to new Gallup research.
About half of smartphone users have downloaded at least one app that is meant to support healthy living, and 19 percent of all adults have downloaded and routinely used at least one such app. This means that one out of every five people are regularly using mobile technology to improve their chances of a life well-lived. Among full-time workers, this percentage climbs to 23 percent, according to the researchers.
Out of 11 popular types of apps on the market, usage varies. Across all adults, the most common use is for calorie counting: 18 percent report having downloaded an app for that purpose. Of these, one-third -—or 6 percent—routinely use the app. Health recipes and food/exercise diaries are the next most common type of apps used.
More here:
That this much on health wearables and apps is now appearing shows we have an interesting and exciting domain. I am sure these things will be close to the top of the Gartner Hype Cycle!
The key issues we need to now need to follow are:
1. Consolidation of the market with winners and losers emerging commercially over time.

2. The emergence, over time, of evidence that the apps and wearables actually can make a difference - this being the purpose of the whole exercise.

3. Just how data aggregation from patient to a more permanent and useful record can be managed and how the visualisation of this information will be made as useful as possible. 
Clearly an area we will need to follow over time. In the meantime the MS Band looks to be pretty well thought out.

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