Hot Health Gadgets

Hot Health Gadgets from CES 2012 (Consumer Electronics Show). PC World picked the first 8 on the list as ones to keep your eye on. I chime in.  Let’s take a look:

BodyMedia Armband ($149)

It uses four sensors to capture more than 5000 data points per minute and measures things like Galvanic Skin Response (an indication of your stress level), calories burned, amount of activity and quality of your sleep. To support her partnership with the company, Jillian Michaels, the fitness guru known for her drill sergeant-like antics on the TV show The Biggest Loser, turned out at CES to tout the BodyMedia device and platform.

“At this price it would have to be tested in order for me to give it two thumbs up. I give it one thumbs up based on the concept, but I’m not a big fan of the armband.  I prefer wearing something  on my wrist.  Then again, I have noodle arms. So, armbands tend not to stay in place on me.”

Basis Band ($199)

It is similar in that it also monitors Galvanic Skin Response, caloric burn and sleep, but it throws heart rate into the mix, which some fitness enthusiasts will appreciate. Not only that, but what makes Basis different is you can wear it 24/7 on your wrist, as opposed to the many arm bands, chest and head straps on the market for body monitoring. The battery lasts for a week and it looks stylish. It becomes available in a few months.

“Ah, one for the wrist.  Two hundred bucks and the battery only lasts one week? They’ll have to improve that or lower the price. It’s stylish enough. I’d wear it.  Again, testing is important before purchasing it.”

Zeo Sleep Graph
Image by stevegarfield via Flickr

Zeo ($149, bedside display)

It is the premier way to track your sleep. Other gadgets are available that track the quality of sleep (usually by sensing how much or little your arm thrashes around at night) but what makes Zeo fantastic is that it actually measures your brain waves via a soft headband you wear while snoozing. I’m in the middle of testing this device and love how it shows me exactly how much time I spent in the various stages of sleep: light, REM and deep.

“Me likie.  Although, it’s a little weird that a soft headband can measure your brain waves.  Is it safe?  And once you are armed with this information, then what?  There should be a follow-up plan or support with this gadget. If I find out I’m sleeping, but not deeply enough –I want to know what to do about it. I want to fix it.  One and a half thumbs up.  Otherwise, it’s like a gadget telling someone they are eating too much.  Okay.  Already knew that.”


It just unveiled a new health and wellness cloud platform that integrates not only data from Withings products like its cool Internet-enabled scale, but also other non-Withings fitness tracking apps, sites or connected devices. The platform is one example of what looks like a trend toward companies trying to be central hubs for all things health related.

“I have no idea what that means. People love to toss that word ‘platform’ around. I need more information.”


As another example of a platform trying to converge people’s health data in one place, Careverge is a website that tailors health-related content to a person’s age, interests, and concerns. Not only has it partnered with big organizations such as Autism Speaks and health video site HealthGuru, it has social features that let you interact with others who have similar concerns. It also includes gamification and lets you hook up to its platform self-tracking devices like some of the ones listed here.

“There’s that word again. A ‘platform.’ Converge people’s health data in one place. Did they ask the people? Hmmm…”

Fitbit Aria ($130)

It is a new Wi-Fi Smart Scale similar to the Withings Scale that sends data about your weight, percentage of body fat and BMI to an online platform where you can track your body metrics over time. You can also set weight goals, log food and workouts, earn badges and connect with others using its social features.

“I don’t think people have the patience for this sort of thing. And if they do — my advice is get off the computer and get moving if you want to be fit over time.”


It is a new website for finding health insurance, and is free to view. It partners with the nation’s leading individual and family health insurance providers and provides free health insurance quotes and lets you compare plans and apply online. It was recently named to Forbes’ “Most Promising Companies” list.

“Free health insurance quotes that you can compare. Like.”

Ford Partnerships

And even car manufacturers want you to be healthy. At CES, Ford Motors announced a collaboration with Microsoft, Healthrageous, and BlueMetal Architects to bring health monitoring into cars and showed off a prototype of a future health system. The system will be able to capture biometric data from devices such as pacemakers and glucose monitors, and will also be able to accept voice input from the driver.

“This makes my heart monitor want to skip a beat while driving and I don’t have a heart monitor.”

Forget hospital Matrons – here comes Ava the healthcare robot from iRobot

CES 2012 – Forget hospital Matrons – here comes Ava the healthcare robot from iRobotThe Japanese have been using personal robots to monitor people’s health for many years, but now it seems like we might be about to start catching up. At CES 2012 iRobot,the company that makes the Roomba home-cleaning robots, was parading its Ava bot, a three-to-five-foot tall robot with an Apple iPad for a head. There are a number of potential uses for the bot, an obvious one is facilitating video conversations between people in remote locations, but … Read entire article »


Second generation Striv ‘pedometer on steroids’ on its way

CES 2012 – second generation Striv ‘pedometer on steroids’ on its way

I actually feel a little disingenuous calling the Striiv a pedometer as it really is unlike any other pedometer, but I’ll stick with that label for now. In case you missed its launch a few months back – US only, not anywhere else at the moment – the Striiv is being billed as a personal trainer in your pocket. It … Read entire article »

How happy are you? Apps Mappiness and MoodPanda can tell you

How happy are you? Apps Mappiness and MoodPanda can tell you

Do you ever stop during the day to think about how you feel about everything? Is life good, bad or just exhausting? Are there times of the day when you feel top of the world, but other times when you are in the dumps? There are now several iPhone apps which can help you track your mood and give some information … Read entire article »

“This one will probably be very popular. Like the old mood ring in the ’70’s.”

Qualcomm to champion health, medical and fitness gadgets – AliveCor and Sotera Wireless

CES 2012 – Qualcomm to champion health, medical and fitness gadgets – AliveCor and Sotera Wireless

Qualcomm is one of the world’s leading tech companies and has an enormous business built on manufacturing the chips for mobile phones. It is also highly entrepreneurial and is often at the cutting edge of innovative new applications and features for mobile phones and gadgets. So no surprises then that it is championing medical and health gadgets. At a keynote at … Read entire article »

The Basis, a wrist based rival to the FitBit, Jawbone Up and BodyMedia Fit

CES 2012 – The Basis, a wrist based rival to the FitBit, Jawbone Up and BodyMedia Fit

Out of all the new health gadgets that are being paraded as CES, this is the one that we are most looking forward to getting out mitts on. The Basis is a rival to products like the Fitbit Ultra and Jawbone Up, but I think it looks more stylish and high tech, more like the BodyMedia Fit. You also don’t … Read entire article »

Market for mobile health increased seven fold in 2011, claims research2guidance

Market for mobile health increased seven fold in 2011, claims research2guidance

The smartphone application market for mobile healthcare increased by a factor of 7 to reach $US 718 million in 2011, according to mobile phone reasearch company research2guidance. Nevertheless, the mHealth market is still in an embryonic state. Theoretically the market potential is enormous given the overall worldwide healthcare market size of US$ 6 trillion (WHO estimate) and the potential use cases … Read entire article »

Baby Watch, the first wearable video baby monitor

CES 2012: Baby Watch, the first wearable video baby monitor

One of the big issues with baby monitors is that they have a base in one room, whereas you are mobile flitting from one room to another. Sure you can take the monitor with you, but how many times have you left it in one room and forgotten about it? Hoping to solve this problem is the Baby Watch – which … Read entire article »


CES 2012 – The best health and fitness gadgets so far

FROM PCS: Here’s a quick video overview of what we think might be one of the biggest fitness gadgets of … Read entire article »

Video demo of the Iqua Beat fitness gadget

CES 2012: Video demo of the Iqua Beat fitness gadget

We first heard about the Iqua Beat a few weeks ago in the run up to CES, so we were keen to go find it on the show floor to see if it lived up to the hype. It certainly looks compact, it’s comfortable and easy-to-wear and most importantly its advanced technology means it’s going to give you only the … Read entire article »


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