I’ve been following the Scanadu Scout since their successful Kickstarter campaign. There were significant delays when they tried to ship the first devices to early backers, but finally a prototype version came out. This is what I tested. According to their website:
Scanadu Scout™ is being designed to provide you with access to valuable data which your body provides every day. Don’t let that precious information get lost; use Scanadu Scout™ to analyze, track, and trend your health data with unprecedented simplicity.
You hold it between your fingers and put it to the forehead. In a few seconds, it is supposed to give the reading of your blood pressure, pulse, blood oxygen level and body temperature.
I struggled with the signal quality. You put it to your forehead and wait for the signal quality which you can see on the smartphone app. While it’s weak, scanning takes a really long time. When it finds the good signal, it is done in seconds. I couldn’t find any correlation between how I hold the device and how good the signal quality is. It seemed to be depending on pure luck or who knows what else. I assume they will solve this by the finalized version.
The readings seem to be accurate as I re-checked them with my other health trackers.
The Scanadu Scout doesn’t deliver what it says to deliver and it is not the Star Trek Tricorder yet, but there is no doubt it will improve by time. Reading and analyzing ECG would be a nice addition and changing the traffic light signs to a more sophisticated assessment of the results would definitely be a good idea.
The more similar devices we have on the market, the better. Giving people a chance to measure important vital signs right away with a simple device is crucial in creating a health-conscious society.
I backed the Kickstarter campaign of the Wishbone a few months ago. It seemed to be a cheap solution for measuring the temperature of anything around us including body, ambient or any objects. I was right and it does what is is supposed to do.
It comes in a very light package which keeps the device safe.
It is attached to the smartphone through a Jack cable.
I can measure my body temperature in seconds. I just have to keep it 2-3 centimeters away from my forehead in the right angle and it does the reading. I can measure the room temperature or the temperature of objects. In the objects menu, I choose from a list of liquid, food, glass, plastic or others.
Based on my experience, it is pretty accurate, the battery time is said to be very long and it’s easy to use. You can even measure the temperature of your pet. Its price is $49.99 + shipping.
This is not a new story but I’m always fascinated when I read it again and again. Doug Kanter measured data about his life, his condition, blood sugar levels and every details that could have been relevant.
Later, he published his findings and what he learnt during the process. Amazing read and a perfect proof for those against measuring health data as patients that this can lead to better health and disease management. After some time, he realized that his average blood sugar levels became lower due to self-management.
Doug released a service, Databetes, to help other patients with diabetes better manage their condition.
I gave a talk at the HQ of Prezi.com in Budapest a few days ago at the Quantified Self Meetup. I was asked to present the future opportunities of health wearables, but I had to realize I’m quite a quantifier myself.
In 1997, I started logging some details about my life and have been doing so without even one exception for 6136 days. I log the times when I go to bed or wake up; projects I worked on and a score between 1 and 10 for my mental, physical and emotional statuses.
Based on these, I could make important decisions about my life and lifestyle many times. Now I use different devices to make this process as smooth as possible backed by data.
- I used genomic services three times (Navigenics, Pathway Genomics and GentleLab) and now have the raw data of my genome sequence.
- AliveCor for ECG.
- Withings Pulse for activity tracking.
- Tinké for determining heart fitness.
- Lumosity for improving my cognitive skills.
- HapiFork to eat more slowly, thus less.
- Withings Blood Pressure for simple blood pressure tracking.
- Focus@Will for music designed for focus and also measuring the effectiveness of my sessions.
- Pebble to replace my smartphone with the smartwatch in many cases.
- InterAxon for EEG measurements (it has been shipped).
Now at the dawn of the wearable revolution, there are too many devices and the hype is too big, but we will get to the period of “meaningful use” soon!
Experimenting with new drugs on people? Giving patients therapies that usually work for people of the same age, sex, and blood markers? The Virtual Physiological Human is meant to solve this issue by developing a system and model that could simulate the future outcomes of therapies for patients.
“What we’re working on here will be vital to the future of healthcare,” commented Keith McCormack, business development leader at the institute. “Pressures are mounting on health and treatment resources worldwide. Candidly, without in silico medicine, organisations like the NHS will be unable to cope with demand. The Virtual Physiological Human will act as a software-based laboratory for experimentation and treatment that will save huge amounts of time and money and lead to vastly superior treatment outcomes.”
An interesting article was published on Business Insider. I’m not saying it’s technically impossible for an algorithm to become better at making diagnoses than a human, but it certainly should not be the ultimate goal in medicine. This is why I’m writing now my new book, The Guide to the Future of Medicine, to underscore this notion with stories and practical examples.
A quote from the article:
“Watson, the supercomputer that is now the world Jeopardy champion, basically went to med school after it won Jeopardy,” MIT’s Andrew McAfee, coauthor of The Second Machine Age, said recently in an interview with Smart Planet. “I’m convinced that if it’s not already the world’s best diagnostician, it will be soon.”
Read similar news on Medicalfuturist.com!
Being a medical futurist means I work on bringing disruptive technologies to medicine & healthcare; assisting medical professionals and students in using these in an efficient and secure way; and educating e-patients about how to become equal partners with their caregivers.
Based on what we see in other industries, this is going to be an exploding series of changes and while redesigning healthcare takes a lot of time and efforts, the best we can do is to prepare all stakeholders for what is coming next. That was the reason behind creating The Guide to the Future of Medicine white paper which you can download for free.
Please use the Twitter hashtag #MedicalFuture for giving feedback.
In the white paper, there is an infographic featuring the main trends that shape the future of medicine visualized from 3 perspectives:
- Which stage of the delivery of healthcare and the practice of medicine is affected by that (Prevent & Prepare; Data Input & Diagnostics; Therapy & Follow-up; and Outcomes & Consequences);
- Whether it affects patients or healthcare professionals;
- The practicability of it (already available – green boxes; in progress – orange boxes; and still needs time – red boxes)
Click here to see the infographic in the original size.
I hope you will find the guide useful in your work or in preparing your company and colleagues for the future of medicine.