10 Ways to Put Wearables to Work

Kenzen was started to help people avoid preventable injuries and health complications. We intended to collect and analyze the best physiological signals we could find, preferably from today’s most popular devices. But in looking closer, we quickly realized the need for something different. The right signals weren't there, the methods were flawed, accuracy poor, and everyone's wearables were left, well, unworn. No bueno.

This got us thinking: what would the ideal solution look like, and what must be absolutely required of these next-generation devices? Further, how might the personal health monitoring experience be elevated? To crystallize our perspective, Kenzen is proud to present the following top 10 list:

#10. Combine multiple sensors

It’s time to move beyond single-function devices. Step tracking is just one component of your day, but hardly an indicator of proper health. Let’s combine multiple signals, and reveal a broader, more complete picture.  

#9. New materials

The smooth feel of the Apple Watch band is truly remarkable. We believe advances in smart textiles and flexible substrates will lead to never-before-seen form factors that are comfortable and non-intrusive.

#8. Reports tailored to your lifestyle

Canned reports and the “one-size-fits-all” fitness approach just doesn’t work anymore. Only by giving users control over the reports they want presented can health monitoring become truly personalized.    

#7. Take privacy seriously

With all the health information being collected these days, the right security measures must be in place. Users must be ensured their personal data is properly encrypted, and out of harm’s way.

#6. Open data access

Some manufacturers have imposed monthly fees on users to gain access to their own data. That’s right: their own data. If your customer makes the choice to wear your device, we believe they have the right to the raw data being collected.

#5. Better predictions

With cutting-edge technology, and more sensors in place, time must be spent to develop advanced algorithms and predictive models. Users need actionable feedback and insights to better their health.

#4. More affordable

When new wearables are released, customers are often forced to discard their hardware to secure the latest model – sometimes for only one new feature. We should instead be looking at free firmware updates, printed technology and disposable sensors to enhance the gear users already own.

#3. Last longer

We demand better battery life. A mobile phone is one thing, but asking users to recharge their wearable devices daily is asking far too much – and one of the leading reasons people abandon use after just a few months.

#2. Better accuracy

Ask your doctor if s/he trusts the heart rate monitor in your smartwatch. For personal health monitoring to be reliable, it needs to be clinically validated against laboratory standards. No excuses.

#1. Leave the wrist behind

Don’t get us wrong: the wrist is a fantastic location to present information to users. Unfortunately, it’s not the best place to take a reliable measurement. New locations on the body should be considered, including areas more closely aligned with the axis of the heart. We’re thinking torso, ear, and legs, to start.

 

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Take a look at the device you’re wearing, or think about the dusty one in your desk drawer. Is it “good enough” from a health monitoring perspective, or is your device falling short? Have you given up on wearables, or do you have your own vision for what will be coming next? Whatever it may be, we at Kenzen are confident a better solution is just around the corner.