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Health 2.0: eHealth Needs Hardware, Too

Gienna Shaw, for HealthLeaders Media, October 3, 2011
The price point impressed the judges.

The team used inexpensive and commercially available materials to do something that would have cost $5,000 to deliver two or three years ago, code-a-thon judge Jan Gurley, MD, a San Francisco public health physician and administrator, told Health 2.0 News. "The notion that you could put together a box whose ultimate cost was under $500 and could do all the things that it’s advertising it can do means that you could have a huge splash and that commercialization might actually work." she said.

Wear your heart on your wrist (or your arm)

Basis Science launched a heart and health monitor wrist strap that was voted an audience favorite.

The $199 tracker has multiple sensors, including an optical blood flow sensor that measures heart rate and a 3D accelerometer that records movement, including while the wearer is asleep. It also tracks body heat levels to measure calorie burn rate and sweat levels to track the intensity of a workout from warm-up to recovery, according to the maker, which is based in Vancouver but has an office in San Francisco.

Connect the device to the computer and a Web-based dashboard show the stats in graphic format and makes personalized wellness recommendations. Users can share their stats on social network sites and share results with their doctors.

Another health tracker device featured at the show: an armband that automatically captures more than 5,000 data points per minute on sweat, body temperature, heat flux, motion and steps, and sleep activity. The BodyMedia Fit Core armband includes an optional display device that can be worn as a wristband or clipped on clothing and provides updates throughout the day.

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