The past few weeks have been good to digital health projects on crowdfunding platforms Indiegogo and Kickstarter. While some of the nine projects below are the latest in a long line of takes on the wristworn activity tracker, others facilitate the tracking of temperature, blood glucose, sleep, or concussions. And most of these projects have already surpassed their funding goals. Read on to see what the latest digital health entrepreneurs who choose to turn to crowdfunding have up their sleeves.
Diabeto is tackling the same use case Glooko started out pursuing: how to get data from a glucometer into a smartphone and make that data actionable for people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. The Diabeto approach is a small, cutely designed piece of hardware that can plug into the glucometer, and then wirelessly transfer data into a smartphone. The company is also working on an app that will allow users to keep blood glucose logs, and also track insulin, carbohydrates, and mood. An open API will allow developers to create new apps that work with the device. Diabeto is already overfunded, with nearly $15,000 raised out of a $10,000 goal.
Wishbone is a non-invasive, smartphone-connected thermometer designed to help parents check their babies' temperature. Unlike some peel-and-stick thermometers that have targeted this market, Wishbone doesn't need to touch the child's skin at all -- the infrared sensor reads temperature passively from three to five centimeters away. Future use cases for the connected thermometer include environmental temperature sensing and sensing temperature of objects and liquids for cooking. On Kickstarter, Wishbone has raised triple its $20,000 goal.
Not to be confused with the fertility tracker app of the same name (or the similarly named medication adherence technology GlowCaps), this Glow is a set of glowing, fitness-tracking headphones. The connecting wires of these headphones glow with a laser light that pulses to the beat of your music -- or your heart. The heart rate sensor is embedded in the earphones. Whether the user will be able to store or track their heart rate data in addition to using it to put on a light show, is unclear. The Glow headphones have raised $200,000 out of a $100,000 Kickstarter goal.
Luna presents a new twist on sleep tracking: a smart mattress cover with embedded sensors. The cover tracks sleep phases, heart rate, and breathing rate and delivers the data to an app along with recommendations to improve sleep. It also enables mobile-controlled temperature controls that can be adjusted separately for the two sides of the bed. And a smart alarm wakes the user at the optimal point in their sleep cycle. Luna has raised $400,000 out of a $100,000 goal on Indiegogo.
ProjectPOLE is developing Tracky, a full-body smart clothing outfit that includes a number of sports and fitness tracking sensors. It can track activity as well as breathing rate, heart rate, and body temperature, and returns all that information to an app, which has learning, coaching capabilities. The clothing can also capture motion for activities like yoga or stretching exercises, to help users improve their form over time. The Bangalore company is still in early days -- with 43 days of funding left, they've raised just under $7,000 of a $30,000 goal.
HIRIS (Human Interactive Reliable Integrated System) is a smartwatch with a strong focus on fitness tracking, but it offers a few new features. Notably, a gesture control interface lets users interact with the device even while wearing gloves. The device comes in two versions, HIRIS Core and HIRIS Tracker. Both can track steps, calories burned, and heart rate, but the HIRIS Tracker can be used to track movement of a specific object or body part more closely, which could be used for physical therapy or for a tennis player to work on their swing. HIRIS has raised $26,000 out of an $80,000 goal on Indiegogo.
The Uno Noteband is a smartwatch and fitness tracker which differentiates itself by presenting phone notifications in a scroll-free way that the company boasts is 80 percent faster than scrolling through a text or email on a smartwatch screen. Instead, it rapidly displays messages one word at a time, with one letter (the word's "optimal recognition point" highlighted). The speed the words go by can be adjusted to match the user's reading speed. By contrast, the fitness tracking capabilities on the device are fairly standard, though it does supplement the accelerometer with a 6-axis gyroscope. It also syncs with both Apple HealthKit and Google Fit. On Indiegogo, the Uno Noteband has already picked up $125,000 out of an original $50,000 goal.
MOTi is a wearable activity tracker designed specifically for the gym. It tracks activity as well as workout types, reps, intervals, and muscle quality, but it's main selling point is the personalized coaching software. The app includes coaching, the ability to set goals and log workouts, and gamified features. The Taiwanese company has so far raised just $3,483 of a $40,000 goal on Indiegogo.
A few different companies have attempted to develop concussion-sensing headbands for athletes, but the Hiji band is a wearable traumatic brain injury detector designed for kids. The cloth headband has a pocket for the sensor, which wirelessly sends data to a parent or coach's computer. From there, they can review the impact of individual incidents, and also see a lifetime history of a child's head injuries to look for problematic patterns. The Hiji Band has raised more than $5,000 on Kickstarter, closing in on its $7,000 goal.