I want to know it all. I want to understand whether what I’m doing is making a difference. I want to know when to speed up, slow down, take a break or keep on going. Currently the ability to know what’s going on in our bodies is limited to using obscure apps, understanding how we feel and waiting for our monthly check up with the GP. Samsung is attempting to change this and ‘give your body a voice’.
The ability to monitor your body’s reaction to everyday activity provides significant opportunity for individuals to understand what is right or wrong in order to improve how they feel and perform. By increasing an individual’s ability to understand whether something is right or wrong within their body they have the opportunity to reduce the risk of negative health events through early identification and intervention.
The analysis of blood pressure, heart rate and electrocardiogram (ECG) is vital in the analysis of health and wellbeing, especially in individuals with cardiovascular diseases such as atrial fibrillation and coronary artery disease. So imagine the capabilities of a technology that could be worn on your wrist and informs you of these statistics using a simple touch screen display similar to that of conventional smart phone technology. Imagine you have atrial fibrillation (a condition which leads to abnormal beating of the heart) and your wrist beeps, it informs you that your ECG (the electrical activity causing the heart to beat) is abnormal and you may need to seek medical attention. Whereas before you’d have to wait for something terrible to happen, you now have the ability to avert the problem all thanks to your clever little watch.
Samsung’s Simband technology attempts to do just that. Through utilising a variety of sensors, the tech innovators have incorporated real time monitoring into an attractive wrist display. The really interesting aspect though is the fact that individual consumers won’t be able to buy the technology direct from Samsung. They are encouraging developers to take their device and build on it, adapting the software of inputting their own sensor technology in order to take the capabilities of the band even further. It seems only a matter of time until we are all walking round with devices keeping us in check, helping us to improve our health and avoid sticky situations.
The tracker will also allow conventional tracking, providing data on activity, nutrition and sleep. I can see how developers can take this concept further and release it for everyone to benefit from. I’ll try to monitor developments and keep everyone up to date. Heck, I’m going to keep myself up to date so I can get one.
Jack Barton (Researcher, Rescon Ltd)