Mobile health products are very specific. Firstly, since they’re dealing with human health, they require a sky-high quality threshold, otherwise people won’t trust them. Secondly, as they’re processing a lot of intimate information, they must be extra secure to protect all the personal data.
From a technical perspective, mobile health solutions are also quite unique – they often require external hardware to function. Yet, simply possessing even the most groundbreaking sensors or modules usually isn’t enough – the key is proficient integration.
In this entry, we’re going to concentrate on the technical side and take a closer look at a few companies that excelled at combining their mHealth software ideas with capable hardware.
Take a medical-grade EKG anytime, anywhere. In just 30 seconds, KardiaMobile detects atrial fibrillation, bradycardia or tachycardia.
AliveCor’s flagship solution is easy to use, relatively cheap and portable. To function, it only needs a tiny, external sensor. The sensor doesn’t require any wires, patches or gels – all it take to get a heart test is placing four fingers on the sensor.
From a technical perspective, KardiaMobile is a leading example of a successful wearable. Obviously, the quality of hardware integration was one of the main reasons for its success. As a result of its reliability, it is recommended by leading cardiologists and has been used extensively by people around the world.
Excitingly, studies confirm the high reliability. When used properly, clinical data supports a 95% accuracy.
Athos is a smart clothing system which uses the science of electromyography to measure how hard muscles are working. Combined with a powerful AI and a smartphone app, it gives the wearer insights to comprehensively understand how his body is performing.
This futuristic wearable is an embodiment of the future, relying heavily on hardware. To function, Athos’ t-shirts, shorts and leggings use internally installed muscle tracking sensors which send the collected data to a mobile device.
When reading this, it’s hard not to think about a sci-fi action movie.
Another example of a flagship wearable, Hinge Health tackles the problem of musculoskeletal injuries. With use of cutting-edge sensors and a mobile app, the technology delivers remote physical therapy as well as behavioral health to patients suffering from chronic MSK conditions.
The hardware consists of a pair of straps and a few additional sensors. Operated by a mobile app, the solution guides the users through 15-minute sessions, increasing the level of difficulty when necessary.
This solution is especially popular among businesses that employ people for physical work. Back conditions are somewhat of a standard factor at certain professions. For example, working at a warehouse is considered a high-risk job for the spine. With hinge health, employers can try to ease these problems.
The mission of this mobile app is to transform chronic disease management. Oxitone sends constant medical follow-ups to the healthcare system, providing an effortless flow of information and medical care.
Oxitone is run by an AI-powered RPM solution that includes patented innovations: an FDA-cleared wrist sensor wearable (medical monitor) and an SaaS clinician’s portal powered by AI medical intelligence tools.
This solution is especially useful for high risk patients. It provides a supportive supervision for primary care and enhanced sleep/stress monitoring services. From the perspective of healthcare providers, Oxitone reduces costs and enables swift reactions to upcoming emergencies. As a result, patients can avoid permanent hospitalizations and can stay at home instead, maintaining a peace of mind regarding their health situation.
Lastly, an app that isn’t technically speaking related to medical issues, but to lifestyle and sport. New York Times called this solution the most future-forward app on the slopes.
Carv gives users the tools of an Olympic-level skiing instructor with 35 real-time metrics recorded every turn. It allows anybody to track their skiing, diagnose issues, and improve their technique on their own terms and in their own time.
Hardware-wise, the device that enables the tracking of ski runs is an ultra-thin, portable module, which fits all custom and stock ski boots. With it, the app performs a pressure and motion analysis that uncovers new insights about one’s technique. Moreover, depending on the skiing performance, a real-time AI audio coach tells the user how to improve – and it all happens through a single earpiece.
Hardware is Key
Clearly, none of the listed solutions could be successful without hardware support. As mentioned at the beginning, simply possessing relevant sensors also wouldn’t be of much use – the crucial part is proficient integration.
As this entry shows, the importance of good-working sensors applies to a wide range of solutions – from deeply specialized cardiac tools to casual smart sport assistants. In all these examples, reliability is one of the main factors of success. After all, how could anyone trust even the best muscle analyzer, if the results wouldn’t be transferred to the device properly?
Considering all of the above, it’s save to say that a precise communication between hardware and software is one of the keys to success for mobile health solutions that utilize sensors.
Thank you to our mobile expert, Kamil Szwaba, for sharing his extensive knowledge and providing professional guidance!