Tag Archives: shopping

Withings Pulse: A Small Wearable With Heart Rate Monitoring

The much anticipated Withings Pulse activity and sleep tracker is now taking pre-orders. Much like the Fitbit One, the Pulse has new additional functions including elevation climbed data, running duration information and heart rate measuring capabilities. The Pulse can be worn as a clip or in a sleep wristband. The Pulse is slightly wider (but less long) than the Fitbit One and currently comes in black. For me the deal breaker is not having a daily wrist wearable / bracelet option. Having almost washed the Fitbit One twice and often forgetting it at home in the morning, I know this sleek piece of wearable tech doesn’t fit my style. In time, I hope the Pulse will be more compact and wrist wearable, but for now if you are looking for a small, easily hidden health and activity tracker, this is definitely the one to get.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

Jawbone UP: Finally, One Fitness Platform to Sync Them All

After learning about and testing various wearable devices (including the Nike FuelBand, the Fitbit One, the Basis, etc.) I settled on the Jawbone UP band for myself.

Today, Jawbone announced that it will acquire BodyMedia (which had a large presence at CES this year), as well as open the UP platform so that developers can create apps and tools to integrate with the current Jawbone software. The approximate $100 million acquisition of BodyMedia will give Jawbone access to their wireless wearables and VUE Patch technology, further cementing Jawbone’s place in the health and wellness space. The UP platform opened today with ten partners, including Withings and RunKeeper. The open API will soon follow. This new integration will sync your data from various applications onto the UP platform where everything (your weight, blood pressure, running distance, etc.) can be viewed in one place. I’m very pleased with this type of application management system and I know that I made the right choice in using Jawbone as my main health tracker.

Jawbone UP 1

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Nike+ Accelerator: 10 Companies Bringing Health and Fitness to a New Level

NIKE announced this week that they’ve chosen 10 companies to participate in its Nike+ Accelerator program, co-facilitated with startup accelerator, TechStars. Nike filtered through hundreds of applications to create the following list:

  • FitDeck: Digital decks of exercise playing cards that deliver ever-changing workouts for fitness and sports.
  • GoRecess: Helps users find, book and review fitness activities.
  • Chroma.io: An indie game studio that creates virtual worlds tied to real-world activity.
  • CoachBase: Provides a digital sports coaching platform.
  • FitCause: Leverages fitness data as a means of raising money for charities.
  • HighFive: Ad network for health and fitness apps that helps people achieve their goals by rewarding them along their journey.
  • Sprout At Work: Provider of corporate wellness solutions leveraging social and gamification tools to inspire employees and empower employers.
  • GeoPalz: An interactive gaming and rewards platform for kids and families.
  • Incomparable Things: Creates activity-driven fantasy sports leagues.
  • RecBob: Offers a platform that makes recreational sports easy by organizing play.

These companies will present their businesses at two investor Demo Days in June (one at the Nike World Headquarters and one in Silicon Valley) and I look forward to seeing their progress these next three months.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Zeel: Book a Massage Therapist for a Same Day Home Visit

With services becoming more on-demand (i.e. telehealth, same-day doctor appointments), it makes sense for there to be an interruption in the massage industry as well. Zeel is a “Massage On Demand” service where you can book a same-day, in-home massage online or through the Zeel app (coming soon). The Zeel Massage Therapist can go to your home, hotel or office and you pay one set price that includes tax and tip. The massage therapist brings their own supplies and table, and you just have to provide the linens, a towel, a pillow and some space. Right now the service is offered in parts of New York City and the company has indicated that it will start to roll out to other places in the United States soon.

Tagged , , , ,

Interview: Alex Frommeyer, Beam Technologies CEO – Using Sensors to Add Consistency to Brushing

Beam Technologies has created a tech enabled toothbrush to engage people with their oral health and wellness routine. The Beam Brush and app sync together to capture the length and start time of each brush.

Alex Frommeyer, Beam CEO, describes the product as “taking the most fundamental data on brushing and oral care compliance and using that data to help users with their consistency, connect users to their dentist / hygienist and to also engage users with an incentives model.” The app rewards good, consistent, daily brushing with incentives including movie tickets and shopping deals.

Later in the year, Alex and his team will begin to talk more publicly about using the toothbrush as a platform. He makes an excellent point in saying “Brushing your teeth regularly makes the toothbrush a daily touch point. If you brush twice a day for 2 minutes each, roughly every 12 hours you have 2 minutes of unforced interaction with a product. The next thing for us to do (by early 2014) is to introduce additional sensors into the toothbrush to observe other physical metrics.”

Focused mostly on the hardware piece last year, for 2013 Beam will also work on building out a more intensive version of the Beam Brush mobile app, enabling push notifications and reminders for oral health, including flossing.

So what inspired this idea? Fascinated by building devices, Alex and his team wanted to develop something that would create real value while making sensors more mainstream. As Alex puts it, “The most important piece about Beam is that we want to make everyday activities part of improving your health. We don’t want to ask our customers to do brand new things to improve their health – we want to improve their current routines.”

You can purchase the Beam Brush online through the website and on Amazon.com.

Tagged , , , , , , ,

Fjord Kitchen Event: Making Wearable Technology Mainstream

Last night I attended Fjord’s When Will Wearables Go Mainstream? event at the Catharine Clark Gallery in San Francisco.

Fjord is a premier digital service design consulting firm focused on the entire design workflow from smart management to concept development and branding. Creatively, the firm hosts Fjord Kitchen events where they pick an inspiring venue and introduce great food, people and topics together to establish entertaining and insightful discussions.

Hot topics throughout the night centered on the emergence of wearable trackers and how to balance simplicity vs. usability vs. actionability when creating a wearable device. For more insight from last night, check out Fjord’s Conversations blog.

Adam, Sarah, Bill, Sonny, Olof

Adam Gazzaley – Director, Neuroscience Imaging Center, UCSF
Sarah Rotman – Epps Senior Analyst, Forrester Research
Bill Geiser – CEO, MetaWatch
Sonny Vu – CEO, Misfit Wearables
Olof Schybergson – CEO, FJORD

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

UP: Jawbone’s Wearable Activity and Sleep Tracker

I’ve seen a few people around the office with Jawbone’s UP activity bracelet recently. The device is sleek, comes in eight striking colors, and tracks both activity and sleep. UP is water resistant, has a vibrating smart alarm, and lasts up to ten days without a recharge. To upload data, simply remove the end cap and plug the band into your smart phone’s headphone jack and open up the UP app. If you are looking for a wrist-wearable activity tracker with wireless upload capabilities, waiting for the Fitbit Flex to debut this spring might be worth it. Personally, while I love how beautiful the UP design is, I know that I need instant gratification – whether it is hitting one button on the Nike + Fuelband or FitBit One and seeing my daily progress, or having the data sync quickly and wirelessly to my iPhone app. Ideally I would also want a smaller band – I do a lot of typing and usually take my watch off because of how much I dislike my wrist resting on it while typing. But regardless of my personal preferences, the UP is still a very attractive activity tracker that seems to get the job done.

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Tradeshow: International Consumer Electronics Show (CES)

CES 2013 had a greatly expanded health and fitness related consumer device section of the tradeshow. I navigated my way through the massive exhibit floor along with over 150,000 other attendees from around the world. There will be a number of exciting devices of various price points aimed at physical and mental fitness coming to market this year and I will be sure to cover them in more detail as they are released. As for now, here are a few teaser photos from CES.

CES 2013

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Predictions for 2013

“Never make predictions, especially about the future.” – Casey Stengel, Major League Baseball outfielder and manager

“I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.” – Thomas Watson (1874-1956), Chairman of IBM, 1943

“A cookie store is a bad idea. Besides, the market research reports say America likes crispy cookies, not soft and chewy cookies like you make.” – Response to Debbi Fields’ idea of starting Mrs. Fields’ Cookies

“We don’t like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out.” – Decca Recording Co. rejecting the Beatles, 1962

“But what … is it good for?” – Engineer at the Advanced Computing Systems Division of IBM, 1968, commenting on the microchip

And with those quotes in mind, my healthcare predictions for 2013:

  1. New entrants into the telehealth space, encouraged by healthcare reform; more hospitals will start to partner with telehealth companies.
  2. Tangible shift in quantified-self device marketing and design changes to accommodate and focus on elderly and aging population.
  3. Rise in number of people with sequenced genes; predictive data used to help drive lifestyle changes and increased use in personalized medicine.
  4. Increase in number of companies providing wellness tools to employees, including using mobile gaming along with meaningful incentives.
  5. Adidas miCoach and other traditional sportswear and clothing companies will introduce their own version of Nike’s FuelBand + GPS. Lululemon perhaps? We can only wish.
Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

2012 was an exciting year for healthcare with the fierce growth in mobile health technologies and the preservation of the Affordable Care Act.

I have highlighted below some of my favorite companies I’ve posted about this year, and if you haven’t checked these products out, you certainly should. Perhaps one or more will help jump start a New Year’s Resolution.

A big thank you to my followers for an amazing year and here’s to health and happiness in 2013!

– Alexis


Best Body Monitor and Activity Tracker:

Fitbit – Self-tracking device

Lumoback – Posture sensor and app

Misfit Shine – Self-tracking device. Not on the market yet, but the size and sleek design makes it one of my favorite

Best Self Tracking and Reminder App:

SkinVision  – Mobile app that tracks changes over time for various skin conditions

PillBoxie – Simple and effective medication management app

Cardiio  – iPhone heart rate sensor

Best Medical Answer:

Healthtap – Health questions answered by doctors and doctor locator

iTriage – Self-triage and doctor finder

iCouch – Tele-therapy website

Best Exercise Motivator:

 – Monetary workout incentivizing app

StickK – Monetary goal incentivizing website

Skinnyo  – Health challenge creator, using social media to incentivize

Best Insurance and Payment Management:

Cakehealth – Streamline health insurance billing and payments onto one platform

Simplee – Compile healthcare records and bills into one easy to understand online dashboard

GoHealth – Quotes for purchasing individual health insurance

Best Up and Coming:

Proteus – Ingestible sensors, embedded in medications to capture information regarding the foods you eat and how your body reacts to them

GeckoCap – Inhaler usage tracker for kids with asthma

Vitality Glowcaps  – Prescription reminder pill cap tops that transmit data about your medication adherence

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,