Monthly Archives: September 2014

Myontec: Professional Level Intelligent Sportswear With Real-Time Audio-Coaching

Myontec launched its Kickstarter campaign last week to bring Mbody, intelligent sports shorts, to consumers. The shorts are packed with embedded sensors that monitor muscle load, balance ratio, heart rate and cadence. Mbody is currently used by professional athletes (institutions including the LA Lakers, Redbull North America and the National Olympic Committee) to better understand how to maximize athletic performance without putting the body at risk of injury. The campaign will help bring the price down to less than half of what professional athletes pay – for the exact same hardware and software.

Additionally, Myontec is raising awareness for Mbody’s newest feature, the Mbody Coach. The Mbody Coach is a real-time audio-coaching system that analyzes the data from the shorts and gives body function and training insights directly to users through their earbuds. Insights include performance updates, warnings, problem detection signals, and training instructions.

Myontec was established six years ago, and since then has poured time and research into the material and placement of its sensors for best accuracy of data. The embedded sensors in the shorts measure EMG for both the hamstrings and the quadriceps, and relay that information to the MCell that transmits it to the app. The MCell has about 12 hours of charge life, or roughly 8 hours of recording time. The past three years were spent on refining and proving the technology and building relationships with top teams and training centers.

The responsiveness and quickness of the app is startling. Janne Pylväs, sales and marketing lead at Myontec, demoed the shorts. The app reacted in real-time. A tangible example of how Mbody helps with training is in the warm-up period. When you start to run, the app notifies you when your muscles are fully warmed up, which helps prevent injuries.

Myontec has a cloud service where you can analyze and compare data over periods of time. 7% of muscle injuries are because of muscle imbalances. As Janne explains, “The shorts can tell what the ratio of quad to hamstring pressure is. For example, when you are running you should use more hams than quads. For people who are the opposite, it means that they are heel striking. Using Mbody, we can show that you are improving your technique and improving performance.”

Janne mentioned that 1/3 of all their corporate clients have at least one problem. He for one had terrible back pain on his right side. His physiologist gave him painkillers. After wearing the shorts, Janne showed his doctor the data, which prompted his doctor to dig further. Janne was videotaped walking and just as the Mbody data hinted, on one side of his walk, his knee was going in while his hip was going out. The LA Lakers medical trainers found that one of their top players had something similar, which means that the trainers can work with the coaches to better personalize workouts and prevent injuries on an individual level. You might have loose hips, a slightly shorter leg, or a twisted back and not even know it.

Kickstarter folks will get the Mbody kit before it hits general retail in April 2015. If the shorts do well, the Company is thinking of moving towards a sensor-filled shirt for the following year. We are sure to see great things come from Myontec.

Atheer: Truly Interactive, Touch-Free, Augmented Reality Glasses

I sat down with Sina Fateh, Executive Vice President, Ketan Joshi, VP of Marketing and Theo Goguely, Senior Product Manager of Atheer Labs at Health 2.0 to learn more about their immersive augmented reality glasses.

Tell me about the company.

Ketan: “We call it augmented interactive reality – you can reach out and interact with the device very naturally while communicating with your peers.”

Sina: “I’m a medical doctor by background – a tablet is good to have, but when doctors are moving around, they have to bring the tablet with them everywhere. If I have a tablet in my hand, then I’m not being hands-on with my patient any more. We allow doctors to access information at any time, without losing patient interaction.”


What are other problems that this solves?

Sina: “As a surgeon, the time you spend changing gloves and washing your hands, scrubbing in and out, can take hours per day. If you need to access a touch screen, you have to take your gloves off. If you need to check data on a computer outside the operating room, you have to scrub out and back in. We want to reduce all this unnecessarily wasted time. Also, Atheer eliminates health contamination. Contamination is not just viral – when you have many people using the same keyboard to access information, you have a lot of fingers touching shared hospital technology, which is an easy way to pass on germs.”

The system has wide ranging capabilities since annotations can be overlaid on live objects. The system can also display information on top of a video feed.


The device – dual displays, see-through optics, variety of 3-D sensors to capture hand gestures and objects, RGB camera, accelerometer, gyroscope, and more. 


How do you compete with other ‘Glass’ devices?

Ketan: “Google Glass is a monocular device. There is very little surface area to show information. Other wearables are tethered, so you have to physically touch the device or an external trackpad. This is the first glass device where you can communicate your data to others by simply gesturing in the air. It is contamination free and mobile. We have a strong patent portfolio that highlights our specialty in virtual touch and visual ergonomics.”

Sina: “We can personalize content and fit to you. As soon as you wear it, we do a tiny calibration tailored to you. Our brain likes to be focused on one thing rather than many – especially when we are reading – so anything we see in-between is eliminated. That is why we went for two lenses. With one lens there is no depth. With Atheer, I can read a 3D annotation while looking at you at the same time.”

Theo: “You can render objects in 3D and look at one object from all viewpoints.”

Theo Goguely, Senior Product Manager, demoing the device.


Who are your customers?

Kenta: “We are focused on enterprise companies because they understand the utility of the product in making job functions more efficient and safe. Consumer interest will catch up eventually.”

Theo: “We are iterating fast. With each version, the device will be lighter and smaller, which will be more socially acceptable as well.”


When are you aiming to launch to the public?

Atheer is looking to launch in the 2nd half of next year. They are initially concentrating on enterprise clients, with consumers to follow. Their enterprise target market includes industrial applications, healthcare applications (nurses, operating rooms, surgeons), oil and gas (remote field workers), defense and construction. Are you a developer interested in creating 3D applications for Atheer? SDK and docs can be found here: Developer Portal.


A Fitness App Catered to Women: UA Women – I Will What I Want

Chris Glode, VP, Connected Fitness, Under Armour spoke at Health 2.0 about Under Armour’s redoubled efforts to focus specifically on women’s fitness. Their campaign, UA Women – I Will What I Want has two core components – tracking personal fitness, while building the ultimate friendly yet competitive community of friends and favorite athletes (like Lindsey Vonn). Chris mentioned, “We integrate with over 400 devices today. We can use the iPhone motion sensor to track your fitness activities as well. We coalesce all the data into a single view of the truth about your daily activity.” The app works beautifully with the iPhone 6, taking the data from the phone’s dual accelerometers to note daily steps taken and calories burned on a simple and elegant dashboard.

Health 2.0 – Consumer Tech and Wearables: Powering Healthy Lifestyles

Indu Subaiya (CEO of Health 2.0), Rick Valencia (SVP + General Manager, Qualcomm Life), Adam Pellegrini (VP Digital Health, Walgreens), David Ziegler (Mobile Product Management, WebMD)

Here’s a brief update on how these giant companies are focusing on consumer health, at a very personal level.

Rick Valencia (Qualcomm Life)

Qualcomm Life is on a mission to ”Move from synchronous care (a 1:1 relationship) to asynchronous care (especially for patients living with chronic conditions). Today it is a nurse on a phone with a patient. What we are trying to do is give those nurses patient data on a regular basis and have them act on the important data without waiting for the patient to call in,” says Rick. “We are making medical devices interoperable. Letting data flow without having patients register. A kit will show up at a patients home and the data can start flowing. We want to make it as simple as humanly possible.”

Through the acquisition of Healthy Circles, information from the 2net Platform is now managed on a platform/web based app that elegantly and reliably captures and delivers data designed for security and interoperability.

Adam Pellegrini (Walgreens)

Walgreens recently launched a program called Healthy Choices where members can earn Balance Rewards for making healthy decisions. The decisions range from getting an immunization and refilling a prescription to tracking weight changes and linking fitness trackers. Adam describes the program as, ”Omni-channel digital health – we process prescription refills through the app, give points through the app, and are able to reward those online interactions in-store. The app provides and supports simple habits online and offline.” 110 devices are currently integrated into the rewards program, and Walgreens just launched their nationwide marketing campaign this month.

Walgreens is also partnering with Aisle411 to test Google’s 3-D Tango technology to make in-store shopping a more immersive mobile experience. The system can overlay navigation and rewards on a map of the store from the point-of-view of the shopper.

David Ziegler (WebMD)

WebMD updated its app this week. Called Healthy Target, it gives users contextually relevant content by integrating biometric data from activity trackers and monitors. The app was released this past June and has already seen rapid uptake. David says, ”Once this data is inside our app, we are helping people create healthy habits and letting them know what this data means. A lot of apps are focused on fitness enthusiasts, but Healthy Target was designed specifically for people with chronic conditions.” Healthy Target hosts 150 unique habits, educational videos, and content in addition to sending out weekly reviews of progress and tips.

Health 2.0 – 2014 Fall Conference Coverage

This week kicks off Health 2.0’s 8th Annual Fall Conference. We are looking forward to covering the event and seeing what’s in store for this coming year. Some big sectors to watch, as Health 2.0 concisely puts together in the chart below, focuses on connecting patient empowerment tools and provider technologies. We’ll see you at Health 2.0!

PumpUp: A Social Fitness App That Appeals to Millennials

The scope of over-sharing has changed (widened) in-line with the spread of technology. According to eMarketer, “Nearly 35 million people in the US accessed Instagram at least once per month in 2013.” Riding the trend of selfies and humble-bragging, PumpUp has created a workout community that takes the over-sharing culture and refocuses it on something worthwhile – health and fitness.

With over 1.7 million users, the app that started as a workout program has grown into a digital sharing community. Consisting mainly of women (over 90% of users), healthy recipes, tips, and envy inducing photos are posted and shared, with some getting hundreds, nearly thousands of ‘likes.’ Not to be undermined, the workout portion of the app is surprisingly robust and users can build and store their own custom exercise plans. It’s worth checking out – even for just a bit of inspiration.

Beast: Improve Training Performance with Portable Sensor

These past two years, sensors have moved from measuring miles walked and steps taken to collecting data on muscle activity – including force, power, and velocity. These metrics can triangulate just how efficiently you are working out at the gym. Some of these sensors are wrist wearable, like PUSH and LEO, some are built into smart fabrics like Athos, and some are additions to mobile devices like the Skulpt Aim.

Beast Technologies has developed a device that aims to calculate your speed, power and strength via a small magnetic sensor that can be easily attached to gym equipment. Although it can be worn on a chest strap or wrist strap, the sensor primarily affixes to dumbbells, kettlebells, gym machines and the like. All collected data is transmitted to an online portal and companion app.

Beast boasts a wide range of trackable parameters including jump height, stability, explosiveness, posture, and resistance. The device is currently being beta tested (the Italian National Soccer Team used Beast to monitor their athletes leading up the 2014 World Cup), and aims to be released to the public by the end of this year.