Inspiring example: Teddy the Guardian

January 31, 2014
teddy the guardianWhat a wonderful idea: a cute teddy bear full of sensors to track vital signs of the kid who is playing with it. Vulnerable babies will be measured and monitored without being bothered. And even better, the data collected will be more accurate than when they are bothered by a nurse or doctor. As well as taking measurements, nurses and parents can also communicate with their children remotely by playing songs and recording bedtime stories through the toy.Two master students from Zagreb, Croatia, Josipa Majic and Ana Burica, came up with the idea and their joint baby, Little Teddy the Guardian, is now for sale at 169 EUR. He keeps an eye on health parameters like heart rate, oxygen saturation, body temperature, and stress levels. The idea behind disguising medical tech in a lovable toy is to provide pediatricians as well as parents with more accurate, consistent and reliable data points that will give a meaningful and complete insight in the child’s health condition. Every time a child takes Teddy The Guardian by the hand or puts Teddy’s paw on his forehead sensors detect the values, capture them and transmit in real-time to a mobile app where data is analyzed, visualized, managed and downloaded by the medical staff and parents.

I can see a lot of applications where sensors embedded in something else could open new possibilities and opportunities.


Quantified Self and Healthcare 2.0

March 13, 2013

4.1.1I had the opportunity to attend a lunch with Kevin Kelly last Thursday. Kevin was co-founder of Wired magazine in January 1993 and served as Executive Editor from September 1992 to January 1999. In 2009 Kevin Launched The Quantified Self movement with Gary Wolf and today there are some 200 QS groups. QS Stockholm was founded in April 2012 and we are 253 members by now. QS is covering all aspects of people’s desire to measure themselves. It’s interesting and fun to explore this area but for me it is more than so: it is a key component of Healthcare 2.0.

People challenge healthcare – There are more of us, we live longer and we have better tools. The results are increasingly constrained healthcare resources and more knowledgable individuals. Our objectives must be drastically improved efficiency and a person-centric healthcare and the way forward is a holistic life-long data-centric approach, leverage of technology and involvement of individuals. Banks were able to outsource many of their tasks to their customers, we shop on the Internet, trade shares and order flight tickets and hotel rooms, so why couldn’t healthcare do something similar?

A person-centric life-long healthcare approach should include wellness, fitness, self-care, healthcare and home care and it is in this context Quantify Self can play a pivotal role. People are already collecting data on themselves, using tools like pen and paper, smartphones, pads and computers. Pew Internet & American Life Project claim 7 in 10 American adults tracks a health indicator like weight, diet, exercise or a symptom. But half say they track “in their heads” and about a fifth use technology. The QS movement can be used as a rich source of innovative self-tracking methods and tools. And it constitutes a great test bench for all kind of real life tests.

Putting easy-to-use tools in the hands of curious people always enable innovation. It is an alternative approach to research which often brings unexpected results. The rewards of progress in the health field are huge regardless if we measure financial savings or increased quality of life. eHealth, mHealth or rather Health is one of the most interesting application areas for M2M solutions.


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