Looking around us it’s easy to miss how significantly the personal devices we take for granted have evolved to keep track of our health. The activity trackers are in our phones, my Apple Watch can measure heart beats, ECG, blood oxygen levels, sudden falls and the list keeps growing. The toilets have evolved to be smarter trackers of our downstream health and then there are the pro-active devices like health alarm clocks, sleep enhancers for athletes and smart fridges suggesting healthy recipes.
These are the consumer devices we notice around us but there’s more. Chronic disease management has been a part of life for diabetics measuring glucose levels and there are implanted pacemakers. That has now expanded to cancer tests at home and smart scales at the gym measuring body fat or muscle mass. At home pregnancy kits have evolved from detection to personal fetal monitoring in between visits to the doctor to managing pregnancies at home.
As more of us have access to smartphones their cameras have evolved from taking pictures to monitoring. Repurposing devices for disease detection has helped in increasing reach with the benefit of recycling. Going from static images to biometrics from video with the help of AI further accelerates into monitoring vital signs like, “measure their blood pressure, heart rate, heart-rate variability, oxygen saturation, respiration rate, sympathetic stress, parasympathetic activity and pulse-respiration“, wow! Healthcare technology has helped us evolve from IoT, the Internet of Things to what some have called IoB, the “Internet of Bodies” which are, “connected devices that collect data on the human body are evolving into an ecosystem“. I’m looking forward to the evolution of this IoB that helps make healthcare more accessible.