The wellness products at CES sound engaging - but what about the unintended consequences? The baby temperature monitor is likely to cause irritation of the skin and when it gets wet and comes loose the baby is sure to ingest (perhaps choke) on it. I'd suggest using a remote thermometer like the laser pyrometer that I use at home to check for cold air leaks in the winter. The SenseGiz Star activity monitor supports an admirable objective ... but how are false alarms prevented? I have a hunch that some elderly people are going to be crying wolf so frequently that they'll be ignored when they're in trouble. Maybe the manufacturer should start with something simple - like a pedometer that really works. I finally found one but most people I know find that their pedometers either ignore their walking or give them credit for breathing.
I find it ironic that more technology for wellness we have the less fit we become as society...I just put my shoes on and run...not sure what the technology fitness gadet will change in my running...I am actually thinking that time spend buying the gadget, studing its operation and analyzing the results will actually reduce time spend running ;-)...Kris
DrQuine, you raise excellent points here. In a rush to experiment with wearable devices without FDA approval, a lot if precautions associated with 'clinical' devices are ignored here. I, for one, is not saying the government approval is everything. But I do see that we are treading dangerous territory when we deal with home health/wellness devices.
With my heavy step, the (Yamax Digi-Walker) SW-200 pedometer (about $20) is a great fit. I've been using them for years. I used to wear it on my belt, but the clips break after about 10 months. When I got tired of buying new pedometers, I got the clips replaced. The company that advertised clip replacements did fine for a while and then went out of business keeping my check and my 2 pedometers. Now I strap a clipless pedometer to the top of my wallet in my pocket. It has worked for a few years there quite nicely.
The proper boundary between wellness devices and medical devices is an interesting gray area and I'll admit that I don't know where the FDA draws the line.
Certainly if dangerous voltages or invasive processes are involved, regulations are essential. I would think that a more difficult area is that in which a device provides information (blood pressure, pulse rate, oxygen percentage, temperature) that might cause a person to take medical action. In that case harm might be done based upon incorrect information.
My sense is that sugar testing for diabetes and insulin pumps are regulated but oral thermometers or treadmill pulse monitors might not be. My understanding is that because of the potential for incorrect sugar level readings, operator error, or electronics failure that approvals of closed loop insulin pumps (read sugar and inject insulin) are running very slowly.
Replay available now: A handful of emerging network technologies are competing to be the preferred wide-area connection for the Internet of Things. All claim lower costs and power use than cellular but none have wide deployment yet. Listen in as proponents of leading contenders make their case to be the metro or national IoT network of the future. Rick Merritt, EE Times Silicon Valley Bureau Chief, moderators this discussion. Join in and ask his guests questions.