Philips launches wearable for chronic illness, to make the internet of things medical-grade

The people who most need fitness trackers and quantified self gadgets aren’t necessarily the ones using them. People who are chronically ill could benefit from wearable technology and the data those devices provide, but the gap between the consumer and the medical market looms large.

[company]Philips[/company], in partnership with Radboud University Medical Center in the Netherlands, is trying to bridge that gap with a device targeted at people suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The disease affects former smokers and makes it progressively more difficult to breathe. Through a partnership between Philips and [company][/company], the proposed medical-grade device would send data to a certified cloud platform, and caregivers can then pull the data into a variety of apps.

Unlike your [company]Jawbone[/company] data, for example, the data coming from the COPD device would be usable by doctors, because the device would be certified by regulatory bodies and prescribed by doctors. And because the data is going to a compliant cloud, physicians or nurses can check it, while patients will hopefully feel more secure about the information collection and storage.

The proposed COPD device would feed data collected from patients at home to caregivers through the Philips HealthSuite Digital Platform to two FDA-approved clinical applications — eCare Companion and eCare Coordinator. The device would collect data after a patient leaves the hospital, including physical activity, respiratory indicator, sleep apnea, sleep quality, heart rhythm and heart rate variability. That data is fed into the Philips platform where the apps can access it.

Philips has tapped Salesforce to build the APIs that will let people create applications using the data stored in its digital health cloud as part of a wide-ranging partnership the two firms signed earlier this summer. I expect we’ll hear more about it at our Structure Connect event next week, where Salesforce SVP Todd Pierce will discuss how we can bridge the gap between consumer and medical-grade personal tracking.