Wearing good health

Jul 15 2014, 08:14 IST
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SummaryActivity trackers will soon be able to do more than count calories burnt

The wearables are here. We have the revolutionary Google Glass and a lot of very functional smart-watches. However, the first wearable devices that a lot of us will get to use, or be able to afford, will be smart-bands and other small activity trackers.

I have been using one, the Sony SmartBand, for the past couple of weeks and the insights this unassuming band on my wrist transmits is impressive to say the least. This band works in tandem with an app called the Lifelog, which tell you what you did during the day in terms of steps taken, calories burnt and hours slept. It is a great feeling to learn that you have burnt more calories passively, doing nothing, than you did with the one-hour brisk walk in the morning. However, not all of us are motivated enough to improve our lifestyle, at least not to impress a small band on your wrist.

This is where the new wearable companies see an opportunity. A host of companies around the world are lining up devices supported by platforms that help people take control of their lives and make them healthier. One interesting concept is being propagated by serial entrepreneur Vishal Gondal. He recently announced a device called GOQii, which does what any activity tracker would do. But it also links the user to experts who try and make sense of this data and coaches who help you make sustainable and incremental changes towards a more healthy and active lifestyle. When launched, GOQii will have a subscription model so that you keep getting your daily dose of health advice.

Another company with a different approach to the same problem is Tupelo Corporation, which will soon launch a small brooch-like 3D activity tracker called the MyMo in India soon. CEO Martyn Molnar says his device and platform will help caregivers intervene and ensure that the user is constantly improving his lifestyle. There is a dropout ratio of 15% among the sedentary population that uses activity trackers. We are building a device, software and platform that will reverse that engagement statistic, he added.

Tupelo wants to sell not just a device, but an entire programme that will be fine-tuned to what a person wants to achieve. Molnar says such a device will also help corporations keep track of the productivity of their employees and intervene if needed. GetActive, from Mohammed Hussains 2mpower Health

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