SAN FRANCISCO — Health wearables may seem clunky right now (a huge proportion of users end up ditching them after a couple of wears) but they are getting smarter and better integrated into our spaces, and they’ll soon simply be ignored.
That’s what a group of mobile health device and app makers said during a panel discussion at the Mobile First conference today.
“We are going to see health wearables start to move off of the wrist to lots of other places around our bodies,” said Nadeem Kassam of BioBeats. BioBeats makes an app that creates and curates music based on the user’s heartbeat, which is detected by the phone.
Kassam said that health sensors in the near future may learn so much about you that they can show something like “empathy” toward you.
Satish Movva of Care Predict agreed that health sensors will not only live on people’s bodies, but will move into the environment — on walls and in the refrigerator, for example. The sensor in the refrigerator may interact with a fitness band to suggest to the user what she should eat after a workout, Movva said.
Care Predict makes a line of connected, sensor-based devices for monitoring elderly and at-risk people at home.
Basis product manager Tejash Unadkat also said that health sensors are in their early stages, and that they’ll soon begin to move off our wrists.
“They’re in your shirt, over your chest, to listen to your heart. They’re in your shoes, they’re in your trousers, they’re everywhere,” Unadkat said.
The Basis Band is one of the first health wearables to deliver biometrics measurements with clinical-grade accuracy.
Unadkat went further, saying that health sensors will become so ubiquitous that they’ll begin to “disappear into the background,” he said. “We’ll begin to take them for granted and forget that they’re there.”
“You saw that in the software revolution,” Unadkat said. “We don’t really think about software any more. With the software revolution it became invisible to us, and the same thing will happen with sensors.”
The comments of the panelist come as Samsung is laying out the details of its SAMI consumer health data platform, which proposes to integrate with many health apps and devices.
Kassam and Movva agreed that such platforms from big-name technology companies will provide a place where data from millions of health devices and apps can be aggregated, analyzed, and made useful to people in the health care system.