The most important feature of wearable technology is its ability to connect with the wearer.
As a result, many companies are focusing on the software and hardware that powers the devices, like the heart rate sensor, to provide the user with a sense of self-preservation.
But how does the software make the data that is collected, analyzed and shared with the healthcare community available for use?
The answer to this question has led to some fascinating research.
One such company, Radiant Technologies, has developed a software system that can use a patient’s pulse to make a virtual image of the wearer’s body.
This can then be shared with other medical users via a smartphone.
Rendering data from a user’s pulse can help the medical team determine a patient and identify a problem.
For example, if a patient has a chest pain, a team might be able to use the virtual image to provide feedback about how the pain is progressing, and to determine a course of treatment.
“We are looking at the data from the heart as the primary source for this,” said Adam Coyle, vice president of product management and engineering at Radiant Technologies.
“The heart is the one organ that has the highest level of electrical activity.
When it’s at its peak, it’s really easy to get an idea of the heart.”
The software team has spent a lot of time in the lab testing out how to make the software available for the medical community.
“A lot of the work that we’ve done with this has been looking at things like the interface between the heart and the sensor, and that is the main thing that has made it really easy for the software to integrate into the wearable,” Coyle said.
“It is really easy, it doesn’t require any special programming, it just works.”
The system was developed with the help of an existing sensor network, so Radiant can take data from other devices and combine it with the data generated by the sensor to create a virtual model of the user.
“If you’re using the heart, we’re going to be able, in the future, to do this on any wearable that is coming out,” Coyne said.
“It’s really nice to see the data is coming back to us with the same accuracy that we had in the data being generated from the sensor.”
The data from this analysis can be used to build a virtual reality experience.
A device like a smartphone or computer monitor can provide the same information as a heart monitor, but without the need to be connected to a computer.
“When you’re looking at something like the images, it can give you the feeling of a physical world,” Cody said.
Coyle said Radiant has been testing the system with doctors in a few different hospitals.
He said he has seen doctors start using the system and feel that it is much more comfortable than they were before.
“There’s not a lot you can do to change how it works, but there’s some really interesting things that can be done to it,” Cooley said.
Rantec is also working with the Department of Defense on software that will allow soldiers to wear a device like the Heart Rate Monitor to better monitor their blood pressure and heart rate, which can help soldiers who have severe heart disease.
Cooley, along with the Radiant team, also worked on a prototype that uses software to make medical images from the patient’s body available to other medical teams.
Coyne says Radiant has a number of medical applications in mind for the technology.
“Our goal is to really take the hardware, get it on a device and have it work with the software,” he said.
The team is working on software tools to help the healthcare industry build out their own apps for wearable computing.