It appears that the gamification of health and mobile activity trackers has captured the attention of more than just iMedicalApps. In the future, personal fitness devices such as the Nike FuelBand and Fitbit Ultra will be used by doctors to monitor important vital signs and move closer towards personalised medicine. This highly competitive market has seen significant growth recently with the latest device being the recently announced smartwatch Pebble.
The innovative Pebble is a battery-sparing e-ink watch that utilizes Bluetooth 2.1 to sync, control, and display alerts from iOS or Android devices. In addition to a vibration motor for silent alerts, it incorporates a 3-axis accelerometer with gesture detection that allows for activity tracking.
The previous record for Kickstarter funding was set by a video game development project with $3.3 million raised over 60 days. However, just last week, the Pebble Smartwatch caught fire, decimating the previous record with $4.1 million committed in just 7 days. This mind-numbing success can be explained by several factors.
The crowd-sourced nature of Kickstarter is ideal for rapid publicity across social networks. Furthermore, the makers of the Pebble (ALLERTA) have proven track records, as they are the same team that first brought the original inPulse smartwatch for the Blackberry to market in 2010.
Most pertinent to medical professionals, however, is the fact that the Pebble’s popularity demonstrates the booming popularity of the gamification of health, first with a prevalence of smartphone apps and now with fitness trackers. While the FuelBand, Jawbone UP, and Fitbit Ultra are still trying to successfully capture the attention of the mainstream, successful projects like the fledgling Pebble only serve to further raise the public awareness of the mobile health arena.
Price: $99-$129 (Estimated Shipping Date: September 2012)