2015 may well be the year where the Doctor’s Office comes Home, with connected medical devices eliminating the need for a doctor’s visit, providing doctors with daily virtual check-ups on glucose levels for diabetics, on heart readings for those at risk, or just for general well-being. One of the more interesting companies at CES in the Digital Health area has been BeWell Connect, a brand launched by the French tech company Visiomed.
The product line comes with a suite of 10 products, as well as the promise of an API to allow 3rd party app developers to build on top of their dataset. Smoke Watchers, a mobile app which allows former smokers to track and provide advice to those who smoke in order to encourage them to quit, plugs into BeWell, providing data about nicotine consumption. BeWell, in return, brings all their health data together into a smartphone app, and can provide detailed advice as well as projections with respect to one’s health.
The company’s Medical Director gave me a great demo of the product, showing how his current fitness activity & food intake balance would cause him to gain 15 kilograms over the next 20 years. The app provided him with a few options, including exercise, to improve his health, and even went so far as to recommend that he adjust his commute to & from work to include walking an extra half kilometer to the next bus station to increase his physical activity. Projected out 20 years, he showed how his health would remain more balanced.
While I haven’t seen the BeWell products in action, and I’m a bit worried about the product development cycle which consists of launching 10 products at once without much user feedback, BeWell isn’t new in the medical device industry. Most of these products exist already as Visiomed products, with BeWell Connect simply adding a ‘connected’ quality to them. One product, a patented contactless thermometer which takes heat scans of the body, is being used in Africa by the Red Cross, NATO, the Army, the country of Ghana & more to stop the spread of disease.
Expect more traditional players to catch on to the ease with which a technical difficult product, like a portable EKG reader, can become ‘connected,’ as well as the possibilities that can afford to the company, to users, and to society.