Phone Covers: Now With Heart Protection
Next up for health tracking is Wello, due to ship in the fall. Wello allows you to track your ECG, blood pressure, blood oxygen, temperature and even lung function (Spirometry) "with clinical accuracy", while doubling as an iPhone cover.
In order to take a reading, you need to place your thumbs on two points on the back of the case, triggering hidden sensors to begin testing your vital signs. The goal is to help you manage your life better over time.
I really like this idea because it means I don't need to wear or carry an additional device. My phone is generally the first and last thing on my mind, so I rarely forget to bring it with me. It's also a nice activity to do while waiting for a metro, or a coffee at Starbucks.
It's not going to be so simple for Android users unfortunately, as Android devices come in so many shapes and sizes, but at least iPhone users only need to buy a new case when they get a new size phone - the brain of Wello can be removed from one case and embedded in another.
Currently it's priced at $199, a reasonable amount if you don't already own devices to perform these functions, but expensive if you want to replace devices you already own.
It's rumoured that with the release of iOS8, Apple will be competing with Wello and other health tracking devices with it's iWatch and Healthbook App. I imagine they will only release limited functionality initially. As a medical device, even Apple will have to bow to FDA for approval, and it's not a fast or simple process.
Wello is made by folks at Azoi who have a strict no rip-off policy. They have even developed a referral program so you get $10 every time your friend buys a Wello device. The offer works for up to $100 in referrals, meaning if you have a lot of friends into the health gadgetry stuff, you can get yours for just $99. Pretty awesome. Pre-order yours here.