Healthcare Technology Featured Article

November 29, 2012

Basis Science Introduces Health-Tracking Wrist Band

Can a wrist watch make you healthier? Maybe…if you’re willing to listen to it. Basis Science, Inc. announced this week that it has launched a new wrist-based health tracker and online personal dashboard designed to help people more easily incorporate healthy habits into their daily routines. It’s also intended to make it easier for people to follow health regimens, which tend to start out with a bang, but taper off to non-existence after about six months.

The Basis band is both a multi-sensor wrist unit and free Web service. Priced at $199, the wrist unit was created to provide a “comprehensive picture of health and a simple way to help people adopt and maintain improvements in activity and sleep,” according to Basis.

"Every year, in their quest to become healthier, millions of people join a gym, start a new health program or download a fitness app," said Jef Holove, CEO of Basis, in the announcement of the new wrist band. "Often these approaches are too rigid to accommodate life's ups and downs, require us to log our lives manually, or can be too time-consuming to fit into our busy schedules. Basis solves these problems to help people build lasting healthy habits," said Holove.

So what specifically does the Basis band do?

Users can access more than 10 different habits around getting more activity and better sleep including: "Don't Be a Sitter", "Consistent Bedtime" and "Step It Up". To keep people motivated and engaged, the Basis system automatically adjusts users' habit goals according to real-world progress and rewards achievements along the way, according to the company.

It also has sensors built into its design, including:

  • An optical blood flow monitor that uses proprietary light-based sensing to see blood flow and capture heart rate patterns. The technology is optimized for tracking everyday activities across the day and night, including sleep, rather than specialized uses like athletic training or medical monitoring;
  • A three-axis accelerometer to detect the body's movements and aid in measuring activity levels and sleep quality;
  • Perspiration sensor that helps track the intensity of activity by measuring sweat levels; and
  • Skin and ambient temperature sensors to measure heat dissipation and ambient effects.

In other words, you can lie to yourself and you can lie to your personal trainer, but when it comes to your healthy activities, you won’t be able to lie to your wrist band.

Edited by Brooke Neuman

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