Articles from Inventor Spot this week: Wearables, Magnets, and Apps

I’ve finally found the time to start writing for InventorSpot again.

If you happen to be blind, deaf, suffering from Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, take medication, or likely to get a blood infection, or simply like tracking your health, there’s something for you in this week’s articles:

I discovered a watch that tracks the movement of a patient so that they can assess the efficacy of various Parkinson’s medication on that particular patient. It reminded me of the Durr! watch, in it’s final production phase if anyone wants to pick up one.

pkg-on-hand

I learned about a magnetic device that can clean the blood to cure sepsis. So far it’s only been successful in rats, but results are promising. This invention sparked memories of the shocking abortion case in Ireland that led to death by sepsis. Hopefully in 10 years time those kinds of errors will no longer be a possibility.

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I was inspired by the 15 year old who invented an anti wandering device for Alzheimer’s sufferers, based on his personal experience with his grandfather. His device is called SafeWander.

SafeWander

I covered the iOS8 release of HealthKit, something that makes me feel all at one uncomfortable and excited. As a user, I’m excited to keep all my health tracking info in one place, but as an ex-developer, I feel like they are stealing the thunder, or should I say, data, from the hundreds of medical device app developers already on the app market. I guess it will be a while before it’s obvious what the outcome is.

HealthKitPreview

I learned that your eyesight can be assessed using your smartphone, and that with just a simple, cheap, hardware attachment, most eye diseases can be diagnosed. Amazing stuff by a young ophthalmologist, Andrew Bastawrous. His app is called PEEK Vision.

PeekApp

I relived my painful youth wearing a headbrace when I found out about this chin strap for harvesting energy from chewing. I can’t say I’m a huge fan of the format, but then maybe those people who wear hearing devices will have a different opinion.

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And to finish off the week, I found a cool app, Mango Health, that rewards people for taking the medication on time.

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So that’s all from me. If you have an inventions you’d like me to cover, write it in the comments! Thanks!

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Why I don’t have any health and fitness wearables

fitbit-unveils-a-smaller-pedometer-plus-a-new-item-called-zip-865979699c

I think fitness wearables are cool. For sure. But I don’t actually have any. As a writer about such devices, this concerns me.

I want to say it’s because I’m poor, but I actually, it’s more accurate to say I don’t perceive them as valuable enough to spend money on. Because even though I have a limited budget to spend on things apart from rent and food, I still find money for the occasion purchase of cosmetics, moisturizers, clothing and shoes. I also find ways to buy books, apps, and software for my macbook and my iPhone. And I spend money on classes and events to further my career or just for fun.

Yet I can’t put find the money to spend on a wearable device.

So I have to assume that on my list of priorities, looking good, feeling good, and stimulating my brain are more important than knowing how many steps I have taken today, or what my blood pressure is.

Perhaps the priority would change if I was trying to lose weight, or suddenly worried about my health again, but even still, I’m pretty stingy when it comes to forking out money for the unnecessary, and I guess I see the idea of a fitbit unnecessary. At least with it’s current functionality.

In actual fact, I even believe it would diminish my quality of life because it’s another valuable item to keep away from thieves, and it’s another data point to waste my time browsing. This is why I won’t get one, when I don’t even know what it’s like to own one… Perhaps it’s fantastic and I’m missing out.

But in my opinion, there are only 2 tracking devices that really serve needs for me.

Hello Clue App Cycle Fertility Tracking

The first is an app for my menstrual cycle. I need technology to monitor when my period comes because I find it very difficult to remember – months are not 28 days long, so it’s always on a different date each month.

I’ve tried to do it manually but my method is writing notes in random locations with the date of when my period started – that’s if I remember to write it down.

Jewelry Cuff Safety Tracking

The second is location tracking hardware, which is more attractive to a female audience now it’s embedded in jewellery. Although I still haven’t bought one…

The interesting thing about more women working in technology is seeing more apps and devices that truly speak to our needs, and solving our unique set of problems in a female focused way.

I can’t wait to see what other unmet needs we will be building wearables for next.

Update on the Invention Experiment

I’ve been writing over at InventorSpot for the last month, a financially viable way to fuel my invention experiment. They’ve been patient enough to bear with me as I try to find my voice. As a result, I’ve been able to keep learning about at least one invention each day, and in the process, learn more about what types of inventions interest me the most.

W/me mood tracking bracelet

It’s true that you learn by doing, so although it should have been obvious to me, I’ve been able to narrow down the genre of inventions that naturally spark my interest. Don’t get me wrong, I like thinking about plastic bottles, and I appreciate all types of inventions, but what really fascinates me is the internet of things when you apply it to health, self and happiness.

Mimo Baby Monitor

I’m so excited about tracking. (Seamless) tracking and data capturing of the seemingly banal. There are so many gadgets now that interact and sync data about our temperature, sleep patternsheart ratepatterns and triggers. They give us insight into our bodies, and the bodies of our loved ones, empowering us to make more informed decisions as individuals, invent better solutions as companies and even improve cities so we can live healthier and happier.

I’m also super excited about female reproductive health, and sick of just accepting the current solutions on offer.

origami-female-condom

I’ve still been thinking of a new invention per week, or more like a new complaint each week! But many ideas are stuck in my drafts – writing for InventorSpot has sucked away some of the creative writing time from my days.

I will find the time to edit and post them soon. Thanks for keeping in the invention experiment loop!