Much of what patient’s are asked to do, healthcare providers would have a tough time doing themselves. One reason that many of these tasks – from blood glucose monitoring to a low fat diet – are so hard is that they are generally inconvenient and unpleasant.
However, as healthcare continues its move to mobile, one hope is that we can integrate many of these tasks into our patient’s daily routine. A new cardiac monitor, set to be unveiled at the CTIA Enterprise & Applications 2011 Conference in San Diego, does precisely that.
At this upcoming conference, Valencell will be showcasing V-LINC, a heart rate monitor that is integrated into a simple pair of headphones. While this technology certainly won’t be able to provide continuous cardiac monitoring necessary for diagnosing an arrhythmia, it could have some pretty interesting applications in improving health.
According to the press release,
“Valencell’s V-LINC® solution integrates next generation heart rate monitoring technology directly into music earbuds and headsets that millions of people already wear, helping consumers achieve their fitness goals while exercising or just going about everyday activities.”
Valencell is a health related company that was founded in 2006 with a headquarters in Raleigh, North Carolina. According to Bloomberg, the company primarly creates vital signs and activity monitoring solutions for mobile communications, gaming, consumer electronics, fitness, wellness, military, medical, clinical, and first responders markets.
V-LINC is certainly not the only cardiac monitor that integrates well into a patient’s life. At the Health 2.0 conference, we noted the presentation of a similar monitor integrated into a wristwatch.
“Valencell’s proprietary Healthset technology turns mobile devices into health and fitness devices, addressing the growing demand for seamless monitoring of physical performance, fitness, and health status. The company’s first product, the Healthset audio headset, measures real-time heart rate, calories burned, and aerobic fitness level using audio earbuds. Data is collected from the earbuds and streamed wirelessly to mobile devices (such as handsets and digital media players) and to the web for viewing.”
While curious, the device itself would likely not find much use aside from the more hardcore fitness enthusiasts. However, if it were integrated with an app that say monitored a patient’s weekly aerobic exercise. Going beyond just monitoring, it could also provide a fun, interactive way to help patients not only perform the exercise, but also to ensure they reach adequate heart rates. Incentive programs, using the heart rate to verify that the exercise was done, could also be designed.
“The mobile health industry is quickly emerging, creating a need to bridge the gap between consumer devices, fitness and health,” said Steven LeBoeuf, CEO and co-founder of Valencell. “We’re excited to showcase ways in which companies can easily integrate our technology into their products to connect consumers with their personalized health and fitness goals.”
This upcoming conference reflects the evolution and expansion of mobile technology in the business sector with a new focus on the healthcare industry. As the mobile health industry is in its infancy, it will be interesting to see what innovative ideas are in our future.