Consumer

By Jonah Comstock April 13, 2017
After more than five years of designing, building, and testing versatile, portable consumer medical devices, the $10 million Qualcomm Tricorder X Prize has announced a winner. Final Frontier Medical Devices, a small team led by engineer-turned ER doctor Basil Harris and his brother George (also an engineer) won the top prize of $2.6 million. Runner-up Dynamical Biomarkers Group will walk away...
By Jonah Comstock April 12, 2017
Wearables are at something of a crossroads right now. While companies might have previously differentiated new generations of wearables with new sensors and sleeker designs, now consumers are looking for something more: wearables that don’t just track their life, but help them improve it. Garmin’s newest device, the vívosmart 3 activity tracker announced today, boasts a number of new features...
By Heather Mack April 4, 2017
Santa Clara, California-based VivaLnk is officially selling Fever Scout, its FDA-cleared, smartphone-connected wearable thermometer patch for children. The soft, peel-and-stick patch is now available for $59.99 in-store at Best Buy locations across the country as well as online at Amazon, Target and the company’s own website.  The flexible, adhesive Fever Scout patch is designed to be worn under...
By Jonah Comstock March 30, 2017
As it launched its Galaxy S8 and S8+ phones, Samsung also quietly announced the re-invention of its S Health app as "Samsung Health". The added features were rumored back in January. Samsung Health includes the tracking and social features that were in S Health previously, but adds a slew of new features and a new user interface. The app is at least part of the somewhat mysterious partnership...
By Jonah Comstock March 29, 2017
Utah-based Owlet Baby Care, maker of smart socks for infant health monitoring, has announced the second generation of its device as well as a new connected care platform that will roll out with the Owlet Smart Sock 2.  “From day one, our mission at Owlet has been to revolutionize the way we care for our infants, and that starts with understanding their overall health,” Owlet CEO and cofounder...
By Heather Mack March 28, 2017
Consistency and dedication may the hallmarks of success for fitness, but that doesn’t mean the apps to support exercise or diet need to be narrow in their focus. Operating on the idea that consumers want flexibility in how they pursue their health goals, Adidas has released a new app that offers a wide variety of content and tracking for multiple aspects of health.    All Day, which is now...
By Jonah Comstock March 28, 2017
Whatever happened to Samsung's Simband? Fast Company has a deep dive today on the story behind Samsung's Simband wearable and SAMI platform, which were announced in a big way back in 2014 but aren't yet available commercially. The article tells the story of how Samsung rushed the program to launch in an effort to pre-empt the Apple Watch, then largely backed off the project once it became clear...
By Jonah Comstock March 28, 2017
Despite all the convenience features of modern smartwatches, for users it’s still all about fitness, according to recently released data from Parks Associates.  The research firm says that tracking steps is the most popular smartwatch use case, with 60 percent of the United States’ 13.3 million smartwatch users reporting that they track their steps with their device. According to Senior Director...
By Jonah Comstock March 15, 2017
The FDA is considering the creation of an Office of Patient Affairs, focused on soliciting the perspectives of patients and taking those insights into account as it sets regulatory policy. The move grows out of a provision in the Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act (FDASIA), signed into law by President Obama in 2012. FDASIA instructs the HHS secretary to  "develop and...
By Heather Mack March 8, 2017
Apple stores around the world and online are now selling the FDA-cleared smart blood pressure monitor from San Francisco-based wearable maker Qardio, marking the latest development in the digital health company’s ongoing relationship with the tech retail giant. The QardioArm, which received FDA clearance in 2014, was an early integrator with Apple Health, as well as with the Apple Watch. The...