Development of a wearable device specialized for the nursing care business, leveraging the know-how of smartwatch development to acquire health dataiofit Co.,Ltd.
Latest consumer model “iWOWNfit i6HRC”
Points to remember
- Development of a smartwatch that can acquire various health data such as activity level, heart rate, and sleep data
- Identify new needs at exhibitions
- Development of wearable devices to meet the needs of nursing care providers
iofit Co., Ltd., the company engaged in the development of wearable devices was established in 2017. Apple Watch was launched in 2015, and smartwatches linked to smartphones and computers are now being widely used in society.
The main products of the company are wristwatch-type smart watches and wristbands. They offer a lineup of wearable devices with functions to collect and analyze various health data that help to improve health.
Health data that can be collected are activities such as the number of steps, calories consumed and walking distance. They also have models with a sensor for heart rate that can measure and record the heart rate to evaluate the training load. To monitor sleep which is an essential parameter for health management, they have models with functions to determine sleep onset time, awake time, REM sleep, and non-REM sleep, light sleep, and deep sleep.
Smartwatches to promote health was developed as a product for individual consumers to be sold at retail stores. In 2018, they participated in various exhibitions to promote the product. They were able to identify other needs for the device from the exhibitions.
Nursing care providers visited their booth at the exhibition. At institutions that take care of the elderly, body temperature and blood pressure are measured and recorded every day as part of the health management. At nursing care facilities, there are other kinds of routine work that are labor-intensive, and faced with a shortage of labor, the caregivers working at the facilities are overworked. The question asked by the facilities was, “We want to reduce the responsibilities of the nursing care personnel, is there a wearable device that can measure and record temperature and blood pressure?”
In response to this requirement, the company started to develop devices that collect data such as blood pressure and body temperature, which was necessary for the nursing care service providers, by utilizing the know-how used in the development of devices for acquiring health-related data. The objective was to come up with a system for the comprehensive management of each user by linking with environment temperature and weighing scale that has been used in personal devices and including data such as body weight and BMI, muscle mass, moisture content, and bone components.
Almost all the technical problems associated with the devices have been resolved, preparations to manufacture a test sample of the prototype in 2019 summer are in progress. IOfit H100 and IOfit H200 wristbands specialized for nursing care providers will be released, and they have started preparations to apply for certification of the medical equipment for both models in parallel.
A system to comprehensively manage the data acquired from the wrist bands is almost complete. Measuring devices such as wearable devices and scales are linked to computers using Bluetooth. A cloud-based system provided by Amazon and Google is prepared for service providers who require input from and output to outside the facility, and a LAN network with emphasis on security is offered when the use of the system is limited to within the facility, and users can select either service.
If such a system can be set up, the workload of nursing care providers can be significantly reduced. With centralized management that includes body weight in addition to the measurement of body temperature and blood pressure, the time required for recording work can also be reduced significantly.
Above all, it can be used to manage the health of the users. By measuring vital parameters such as blood pressure and heartbeat over 24 hours, and observing the changes, signs of illness can be recognized, and medical examination can be conducted at an early stage of onset. This helps to not only prevent the onset of illnesses, but also to prevent illnesses from becoming severe.
If parameters such as blood pressure exceed the standard reference value, it is possible to issue a warning to notify a state of emergency.
The company is aware that other companies have not yet started to sell wearable devices specializing in nursing care needs. There are reports that some nursing care providers are using commercially available smartwatches. They are working on developing a product for corporates with companywide efforts.
Interview Date: March 12, 2019
IoT technology is utilized in medical and care facilities to upload user vital data from smartwatches and allowing 24/7 monitoring of user health status. Collective management is finally possible, providing care facilities, senior homes and healthcare sites with a solution to address worker shortages.
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