Health and wellbeing: consumers take control


The IFA fitness and activity zone reflected a growth in the desire for personal health monitoring.

Manufacturers of health and wellness products reported good business at IFA. As consumers receive more health information from news outlets and other online sources, so they are increasingly receptive to technology that helps them to keep track of their health – from weight to blood pressure to sleep patterns.

Connectivity is central to many of the new health monitoring products on the market; machines that gather data from the body communicate with apps that can analyse that information – which in turn can be acted upon by the user or transmitted to a physician. Chinese internet health company Picooc is a supplier of body-fat scales.

The Picooc smart digital body scales can give accurate measurement of weight, fat, muscles, BMI, BMR, water, bone mass, protein and biological age – all of which is relayed to the user’s smartphone or tablet via an app.

A body analytics scale, it tracks and measures changes in the body – and general health – from which the user can make appropriate and relevant lifestyle changes.

A feature on Fitbit’s IFA stand was the Fitbit Alta HR, a heart- rate wristband that enables users to track physical activity as well as sleep, and that gives regular smartphone notifications and reminders.

The Alta HR offers continuous heart rate and calorie-burn monitoring, and gauges the intensity of the user’s workout, giving instant access to statistics.

It also tracks how long the user sleeps and time spent in light, deep and REM sleep, and features a silent alarm for a peaceful awakening. The app can be used to set goals and track trends, and there is a social media element too, where users can add friends, share photos and find information specially curated for them according to their workout and health history. Bellabeat launched the Leaf Chakra at IFA, a “blend of nature and technology” that is a combination of hypoallergenic stainless steel and a natural crystal stone, targeted at women and designed to “remind us of our connection to Earth”.

Worn as a piece of jewellery, the Leaf Chakra contains a number of movement sensors and runs 24/7, monitoring a range of health-related issues while the user is both awake and asleep. Wirelessly synced with the Bellabeat app, it helps with breathing and meditation exercises; monitors activity levels and sleep quality; tracks the number of steps taken; shows ovulation, premenstrual and period days; and offers notifications and reminders based on stated goals.

The QardioArm wireless blood pressure monitor measures systolic and diastolic blood pressure, as well as heart rate and heartbeat. It is FDA-approved and is clinically validated to meet both US and European standards.

The monitor works wirelessly with the Qardio app, which can be set up by touching a smart phone or tablet to your monitor. Readings are stored automatically in Qardio’s secure cloud and users can see trends, charts and averages on the smartphone screen.

Other Qardio products at IFA include the QardioBase, a wireless scale and body analyser that includes a pregnancy mode and features auto-recognition for up to eight users.

The QardioCore is a wireless monitor that continuously records EKG data along with heart rate, HRV, skin temperature, respiratory rate and activity readings – all without the need for wires or patches.

All the Qardio products on show at IFA can connect to the Qardio app that gives users access to health data and insights into the health of their heart.

For parents who are struggling to get their children to clean their teeth, the Grush toothbrush makes cleaning teeth fun for children. Connected by Bluetooth to a smartphone or tablet, Grush uses fun and games and clever rewards, to motivate children to brush their teeth.

Grush also generates meaningful data that can be used for analysis and retargeting, giving dentists a clear idea of what has happened to their patients’ teeth between visits. Grush applies patented technology to detect every movement during brushing and knows the exact position of the brush while it is being used. Grush guides children to brush for two minutes, twice a day, covering every surface of every tooth.

Photo: HoMedics @ IFA Fitness & Activity zone