In 2019 Apple Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook famously said: "If you zoom out into the future, and you look back, and you ask the question, 'What was Apple's greatest contribution to mankind?' It will be about health."
COVID-19 has refocused attention on personal health, mental well-being, and wellness as top priorities, perhaps more than ever.
During the pandemic it seems people have become increasingly focused on tracking their well-being, leading many to consider buying a smartwatch or a fitness tracker, and it’s a trend set to continue far beyond 2021.
A surge in sales of wearable devices is expected
303 million devices (and countless other IOT devices) expected to ship in 2024, almost double the market size today.
It is in the context of this booming health and wellness industry, estimated to be a $4.5bn business, and hot on the heels of our announcement in February around B-Secur gaining US FDA clearance for its HeartKey® software, that we share further exciting news around the role B-Secur plays in the space of consumer wellness - a key collaboration with US technology giant Maxim Integrated.
While features like heart rate monitoring are now becoming standard across all wrist-worn devices, more advanced features, such as our FDA cleared electrocardiogram (ECG) measurements, when put into Maxim’s ultra-low power sensor and integrated into a wearable device, up the ante by generating medical grade wellness and health insights.
The MAX32663A electrocardiogram (ECG) biometric sensor hub is a Maxim MAX32660 ultra-low power microcontroller loaded with B-Secur’s HeartKey® algorithms, which provides seamless communication with Maxim’s low power ECG sensor.
The complete solution simplifies design and eliminates the burden of algorithm licensing.
Design engineers now have a tiny, proven and quick path to integrate powerful ECG analysis features into their next wearable devices.
This is a significant development not only for B-Secur but for heart health innovation worldwide in terms of the way consumers experience technology in the connected world using their unique heartbeat.
For the first time, companies manufacturing consumer wearables – from smart watches to clothing to rings and chest straps - can now generate advanced medical-grade wellness and health data from any device and platform.
The market has certainly come a long way from what was considered the first wearable tech, the calculator wristwatch. The applications now cross many sectors such as health and fitness, lifestyle and fashion and integrate seamlessly with our connected world.
As well as consumer wearables, our software also has an important role to play in telehealth - another emerging trend accelerated by COVID-19 – by facilitating remote patient and clinician contact and heart health monitoring.
Consumer adoption of telehealth soared from 11% in 2019 to 46% in 2020, largely due to the COVID-19 epidemic, with the prediction that more services will become democratized through digitized and affordable models
With social distancing, for now at least, the new world order, remote monitoring of heart health could prove to be life saving for patients and, at the very least, time saving for cardiology care teams.
The virus has also caused irreparable cardiac damage and arrhythmias in people with no underlying heart issues, making heart health and remote monitoring a key priority for patients, clinicians and health service and insurance providers around the world.
The tech enables the wearer to track their heart and respiratory health in real time, with the ECG sensor able to read heart rhythms and detect irregular patterns.
By putting a greater level of control in the hands of consumers and clinicians with the aid of the devices they wear, a digital transformation of global health systems can be rolled out.
We firmly believe technology is the lynchpin in assisting healthcare to adapt to this rapidly changing world and personal devices which allow you to gather medical grade ECG data and sharing that data with your doctor will play a central role.
If there is anything the last year has taught us, is that taking care of your own health is more critical than ever before. B-Secur is determined to play our part in shaping the future of health and wellness – watch this space for more developments!