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Biometric health devices driving cost-effective healthcare delivery: report

Fitbit biometric ring patent published
Biometric health devices driving cost-effective healthcare delivery: report

IoT consulting firm Parks Associates hosted a virtual session about personalization in connected health devices after sharing results of the company’s Q2 2021 survey revealing 55 percent of broadband households own a biometric health or fitness device.

“Overall familiarity with telehealth has helped drive the connected health device market. There is a strong correlation between familiarity with telehealth and wanting the benefits that connected health brings in terms of remote diagnostics and remote monitoring,” says Kristen Hanich, Sr. Analyst, Parks Associates.

The virtual session was part of the eighth annual Connected Health Summit: Consumer Engagement and Innovation, which focuses on the impact of connected devices and IoT healthcare solutions on consumers at home.

Understanding patient vulnerability is key to the design of technology that brings all factors together to drive better health outcomes, says John Showalter (a speaker at the virtual session) Chief Product Officer, JVION.

Other major corporations are recognizing the impact biometric medical focused wearables could have. In January, Biogen announced a collaboration with Apple on a remote research study to see if the biometric and other sensing capabilities of the Apple Watch and iPhone can help with screening cognitive health and monitoring cognitive performance. Meanwhile Facebook is considering an innovative design for its upcoming smartwatch with a biometric heart rate monitor and two detachable cameras to capture and share footage and photos directly on social media.

“AI and machine learning, combined with advanced biometric sensor technology, are accelerating new capabilities that are bringing us closer to truly personalized, cost-effective, healthcare delivery,” says Dr. Steven LeBoeuf, President & Co-founder, Valencell. Innovations like personal health devices using AI enable clinicians to create personalized baselines for patients within just a short time frame of wearing.

Using AI-based algorithms to remotely collected data, clinicians are able to better predict disease before it happens, ultimately reducing healthcare costs, says Jaydev Thakkar, COO of Biofourmis.

Fitbit biometric ring patent

A newly registered patent by Fitbit could suggest the development of a biometric smart ring, to be used for measuring blood oxygen saturation (SpO2), potentially in a more accurate way than measurements taken from a watch, reports Tech Radar.

Measuring SpO2 works by passing a light through your skin and blood vessels to a photodetector on the other side; therefore smaller body parts allow this process to work better whilst a device worn on the wrist must use reflected light instead. Oxygenated and deoxygenated red blood cells absorb light differently so the properties of the light that passes through your finger can reveal how much oxygen is in your blood.

In 2018, wearable technology developers Motiv released a smart ring that featured connecting secure users’ digital identity, biometric identification and token authentication. Proxy acquired Motiv in 2020 in its mission to create a wireless digital identity signal technology.

Data from the ring could then be sent to the Fitbit app on a mobile device, or to a Fitbit watch. The patent suggests that this could be done via Bluetooth or NFC.

Fitbit’s smart ring would have competition in the Oura Ring, which measures heart rate, heart rate variability, respiration rate and body temperature at night. Though according to the patent, Fitbit’s ring could be more useful during the day via a motion sensor to enhance data collection.

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