The U.S. Surgeon General recently challenged mobile device application developers to come up with apps that would “provide tailored health information and empower users to engage in and enjoy healthy behavior.” The first place winner in the Fitness/Physical Activity category was Lose It!, an app designed to help users lose weight. According to the Lose It! website, the average user loses 12.3 pounds with the help of the app, with a 99% success rate (defined as losing any amount of weight) over 4 weeks.
Scientific research and studies that will advance the understanding of medicine often require patients to undergo vital statistic monitoring, including measurement and recording of heart rate, activity level, and respirations. However, monitoring such vital statistics has historically required that study participants agree to frequent office visits, or else wear large and cumbersome monitoring devices.
Researchers at Oregon State University and the University of California at San Diego have designed a miniature vital statistics monitor that is not only small — it’s about two inches wide — and inexpensive to make, but is also capable of monitoring vitals from inside a pocket.
From Oregon State University’s press release:
“When this technology becomes more miniaturized and so low-cost that it could almost be disposable, it will see more widespread adoption,” said Patrick Chiang, an assistant professor of computer engineering at Oregon State University. “It’s already been used in one clinical research study on the effects of micronutrients on aging, and monitoring of this type should have an important future role in medicine.”
Vital statistics monitors like this one may make large-scale medical studies easier on participants and less expensive for labs to run, speeding the pace of health discovery and innovation.
Source: Oregon State University