Were the technology directions suggested above to become reality, the need for a sturdy wearable with basic health monitoring functions becomes a prerequisite.
What is the current availability in India?
Fitbit is an international brand, widely used by Indians. In recent months, the company has introduced the Fitbit Sense 2 — its most advanced health-focused smartwatch with more than six days of battery life.
You can track your heart health with sensors that can detect signs of atrial fibrillation through an ECG app and PPG algorithm (both FDA cleared, and CE marked), heart rate variability, skin temperature and more.
PPG stands for Photoplethysmography, a promising technique to detect heart rate using non-invasive, wrist-wearable sensors that sense the amount of light reflected by the skin and relate it to the blood flow beneath.
The Fitbit device also includes a new Body Response sensor, which measures CEDA — Continuous ElectroDermal Activity — for all-day stress management. Sense 2 is available for Rs 24,999.
GOQii is a respected Made-in-India brand of health wearables since 2014. Its latest product Smart Vital 2.0, is a HD display smart watch which comes with ECG, blood pressure and body temperature measurement, SpO2 Oximeter and heart rate tracker.
It can record a single lead ECG off the user’s wrist and will make diagnosis reports readily available to the users. The ECG feature also shows promise in Atrial Fibrillation (A-Fib) detection and management. It costs Rs 7,999.
The world’s first medical grade continuous monitoring device in the form of a watch has been developed and made in Israel by CardiacSense. It is marketed in India, by patient monitoring solution provider Xplore Lifestyle.
It can detect fatal Arrhythmia like AFib, and notify doctors and family members of patients instantly. It can also be used for patients suffering from chronic conditions such as BP (hypertension), Chronic Heart Failure (CHF), and other cardiac conditions.
The watch also has the capability to measure breath-by-breath respiratory rate and can track conditions such as COPD and sleep apnea — The watch being able to read respiratory rate, is claimed to be the world’s first.
The CardiacSense watch is capable of differentiating between a normal heart rhythm from an abnormal/irregular heart rhythm (Arrhythmia), especially Atrial Fibrillation. It is priced at Rs 1 lakh.
This is only a small selection of the wearable tools to measure a broad spectrum of health parameters that are available in India — and the price band is also broad, from less than Rs 10,000 to Rs 1 lakh.
The list grows by the day. Which one is appropriate for any of us depends on our chronic state of health — and what technology will offer by way of AI-driven diagnosis in the months to come.