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Wearing good health

Jul 15 2014, 01:33 IST
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SummaryActivity trackers will soon be able to do more than count calories burnt

Management Services, is another device that is hoping to tap into the corporate wellness programmes. It is a great opportunity with conservative estimates pegging the wearables market in India at a million units adding up to Rs 25 crore just in 2014. This is certainly achievable with the Sony SmartBand and other such devices being priced around the $100 mark.

But what the new trend shows is that activity trackers might have a big market as standalone, off-the-shelf devices, but will see growth when they start getting packaged as an integral part of larger wellness programmes. So, don’t be surprised if, in a few months, your gym asks you to buy one of these so that they can keep a better eye on your activities and suggest changes as needed. While that is fine, you might not be all that happy if an insurance firm asks you to carry one around so that they can understand if you are taking good care of your life, and thus protecting their interests.

The positive side is when these devices start paying a role in healthcare, transmitting real-time data to you doctor or care provider. I am a diabetic and it would be a great help if my doctor can pull me up from time to time because I am skipping morning walks or not being active enough. The next stage would be when these trackers can start collecting other parameters like blood sugar and blood pressure levels, pulse rates and other vital signs. The current set of wearables are not capable of doing this, but I have already seen prototypes of phones that can directly read from sugar strip and send the reading to a doctor. What if a band on your watch could do that without pricking your skin? What if instead of a band you had an embedded chip that was collecting and transmitting data to your doctor sitting in a hospital in some other city? No, this is not science fiction… this is your future and it is not that far away.

nandagopal.rajan@expressindia.com

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