The CES of Health preview

International CES in Las Vegas will be the annual ten-ring circus it always is, but this year even the tech watchers are concentrating on health. There appears to be no blockbuster consumer electronics debuts this year, so what you will see in the rinse-and-repeat cycle are the connected categories of Wearables and The Internet of Things. Basically everything will be connected, automated…and gathering lots of data on you (what ZDNet’s Jason Hiner in his CES preview article has dubbed Contextual Computing, and he likes it). Lisa Suennen of Psilos Group, writing in MedCityNews, coins her own slightly dismissive term, ‘The Internet of Wearable Things’, and makes the entirely sensible point that sensing your fitness is one thing, doing something about it another. But the critical health app that soars over her goal posts is the Surf Life Saving WA Twitter account. If you’re in Western Australia and hitting the water, you want to know where the sharks are. This gives it to you. This Editor also sees that Samsung received FDA 510(k) approval for their heavily hyped S Health app built into the US-released Galaxy S4 smartphone. While the UK enjoyed third party device connectivity back to the S3, the US version of S Health, according to Mobihealthnews, only connected to three unreleased Samsung peripherals and relied on manual entries. This undoubtedly will change–expect there to be buzz about where Samsung will now take this at CES. And there’s always hay to be made with sleep analysis tracking–high-end multi-sensor fitness watch Basis Science has now added advanced sleep tracking to its BodyIQ analysis of running, walking and biking, as well as upgrading its looks (VentureBeat).

Certainly more to come out of CES and conferences within CES this coming week!

Body computing, sensors and all that data

This past week’s Body Computing Conference at University of Southern California (USC) had three sessions focusing on wearable sensors and the big names such as the well-financed Fitbit, Jawbone, BodyMedia, the ingestible sensor Proteus and Zephyr. The panels were split between the medical-grade and the consumer oriented with this report indicating some friction between the two. The notion of the Quantified Self died hard, even with Basis Science’s Marco Della Torre noting that 80% of health app users abandon them within two weeks, so the discussion moved to form factor and the ‘holy grail’ of getting the 90% of never-ever QSers to pay some attention. Of course, it’s the flood of data that has to somehow be processed (one of the FBQs) even though the doctors appear to be unconvinced of the evidence…but the ‘big data’ may be proving it after the fact. The future of wearable sensors in healthcare (iMedicalApps)