Clearly, the fitness market is driving wearable technology, but it’s easy to see how developments in this segment will lead to important gains for health and medical applications as well. One company that is a good example of this trend is Valencell, a technology development company that is focused on creating high quality sensors for biometric data.
At CES 2016, I had the opportunity to meet with company president co-founder, Dr. Steven LeBoeuf, and I got some hands-on time with some devices that use their technology. We’ve covered the basics of their approach, which relies on optical devices and micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS) to measure blood flow, heart beat, motion, and other biometric data. Their software can also infer other data, such as calories burned and maximum oxygen consumption. Their technology is already available in many commercial products, including Jabra’s Sport Pulse Wireless ear buds. The company is also developing technology to measure blood pressure using their sensor technology. According to LeBoeuf, their readings are not yet as good as a traditional pressure cuff, but they are making rapid progress.
The company is dedicated to creating devices that are extremely accurate, performing extensive testing and publishing many research papers describing their projects (which are available for free on their website). While they have focused on the fitness market initially, it is easy to connect the dots and see how this technology can be applied to health and medical applications as well.