On the classic Star Trek TV series, the Enterprise crew carried “tricorders” that were multipurpose scanner and analysis devices. Dr. McCoy had a special version that could diagnose injuries and disease. Now a Chinese company has released a multi-function health monitor that comes close to rivaling the Star Trek’s gear. The Checkme from Viatom Technology is a Swiss Army knife of home diagnostic tools; it may not be a wearable device but it is small enough to carry in a pocket.
The list of biometric measures is impressive. It provides a single lead ECG readout, pulse oximeter, blood pressure, thermometer, pedometer, and sleep monitor. Oh, and it has a clock and reminders. Note that some of these functions are a bit less than they might appear at first. For example, the blood pressure only measures systolic blood pressure, and only provides a relative measure at that. You need to calibrate the results with a standard cuff monitor in order to know the actual measurements. And the sleep monitor relies on the pulse oximeter to track blood-oxygen levels to record episodes where it is low, presumably due to sleep apnea or some other interruption of normal breathing.
Having said all that, it does provide a wide range of data from a single, simple device. It syncs wirelessly to apps on iOS and Android devices, and has a touch screen for simple operation. The device is only available in a few countries at this point, as is it does not have regulatory approval in most areas (including China). The device is reportedly available for sale in the United Kingdom; it will be interesting to see how the device performs once it is available more broadly for review. (Note that Viatom Technology will be exhibiting at International CES 2015 in Las Vegas the first week of January, and you can be sure that I’ll be looking to get some hands-on time with the Checkme while I’m there. So stay tuned….)