Magid: Health, fitness and a ‘smart bra’ at CES

There are enormous number of products on display at CES, ranging from the wacky to the fun to the useful to the essential. And some are potentially life saving.

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So, in between looking at big screen TVs, cool concept cars, robots, home appliances and all the other products on display, I spent my time at the health and fitness-and-wearables area at the Sands Convention Center and spoke with some of the speakers at the 10th annual Digital Health Summit, sponsored by Living in Digital Times. At a post-summit dinner, Pamela Spence, the global health sciences and wellness industry leader at the consulting firm Ey, described the health technology world as the coming together of “behavioral science, medical science and data science.” She’s right, but at least for some players, I’d add a bit of sorcery, wishful thinking and, of course, hype.

Apple didn’t have a presence at the show but I saw a lot of people wearing the Apple Watch, including the latest version with fall detection and electrocardiogram and AFib monitoring. Withings, which has long been a CES staple with its line of scales, blood pressure monitors and smart watches, showed off the Move ECG, an analog smartwatch, which “gives you the opportunity to take an ECG anytime and anywhere,” along with letting you know if you have an AFib episode.” Unlike the Apple Watch, which needs to be charged nearly every night, the Withings Move has a 12-month battery life and is slated to cost $130, a third of the starting price for an Apple Watch.

Omron, the company that makes blood pressure monitors sold in drug stores, has been at CES for at least two years, showing off prototypes of is blood pressure watch. But now it’s real. The FDA approved Heartguard, which costs $499, looks like a typical smartwatch with the ability to track movement, monitor sleep patterns and deliver notifications. But when you lift it up, you see a blood pressure cup that can inflate around your wrist to measure your blood pressure. An Omron employee admitted that it’s not for everyone but for people who have been diagnosed with hypertension who need to monitor their blood pressure on a regular basis.

Omron was also showing off its own version of the Kardia Mobile ECG monitor that I recently reviewed. Like Kardia Mobile’s own monitor, it’s marketed to people who have been diagnosed with a higher risk of heart problems, which is a different approach from Apple’s approach to put this technology on the wrists of everyone, …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Lifestyle


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