Tech Beat: Health care devices use Bluetooth to link to smartphones
Why would certain health care devices, like a toothbrush, need to link wirelessly to your mobile phone? Adam Balkin filed the following report.
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Speakers maybe come to mind when you hear the word Bluetooth, possibly even a watch. But a toothbrush?
There are actually a growing number of devices, perhaps unexpected devices, aimed at your health that take advantage of the technology to link wirelessly to your smartphone. So why would the Beam Brush want to link to your mobile device? Because it monitors and tracks how well you brush your teeth.
"It's going to tell us everything from your totals," says Alex Frommeyer of Beam Technologies. "How many times you brushed, how many times you forgot, etc., to being able to map, even on an individual time-by-time event, so we can see why trends may be going in the wrong direction or not improving to the extent that you want. That also allows us to set up goals."
Your smartphone itself is certainly a great device for tracking your workout, but what if sticking it on your bike's handlebars seems like just too much of a risk? Well, that's what the upcoming Wahoo Fitness RFLKT is for. It acts as a stunt double, so to speak, while your phone is safe in your pocket, and reflects what's happening on its screen.
"It can send information from cycling sensors like speed and cadence sensors, heart rate monitors, power monitors," says Molly Andruszkiewicz of Wahoo Fitness. "Anything that's connected to the phone, it can send that data, as well as anything from the phone. So if you want turn-by-turn navigation, weather, Facebook updates, any of that can be sent directly to your handlebars."
Finally, Asthmapolis is a system that includes a wireless sensor you stick onto an inhaler to help people with asthma better deal with the condition by tracking inhaler usage.
"There's just a lot more that could be done by guiding patients, teaching them to do a better job of managing it day by day and giving physicians a view of what's happening with their patients between visits so they can identify who's worsening and needs help," says David Van Sickle of Asthmapolis.
Since the app can anonymously track lots of users, it can offer up maps that show unusually high inhaler usage throughout the community, helping to show asthma sufferers places they should probably avoid.