Monday, March 10, 2008

SXSW: Bio-Networks: Using Mobile Technology to Impact Healthstyle

This session was presented by Kate Bauer, a graduate of ITP who went to school with our own Vincent Boyce! She explored the potential of using mobile technology and wearable computing to collect health data.

She spoke about Nike and the Accelerometer and how it transfer the information to your IPOD which you then upload to a computer and the data is presented in a visual format. She mentioned GlucoWatch which monitors blood glucose levels for diabetes. And a SmartBra which tracks temperature changes to show if there is a tumor. This used a microwave antennae to pick-up changes. It then had an audio or visual alarm built in to advise a trip to the doctor.

Her prototype was to track ovulation using a wearable fertility tracker, your cell phone and a website ( The ovu, as she calls it, is made up of a lace arm band with a highly sensitive thermistor inside that picks up changes in the Basal Body Temperature of a woman to detect fertility. The measurements are then sent via bluetooth for analysis to the site which interprets the data versus a database. Notifications are then sent to the cell phone of the woman and her partner when it is the optimal timing to try to conceive.

There was a lively discussion about other wearable devices and the opportunity to leverage them for other conditions. There is even a wearable conference in Hawaii. Barbara, do you think that's in the budget! :)

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