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article imageReview: New health tool changes how we see our bodies

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By Jenna Cyprus     Mar 31, 2014 in Health
With the growth of technology, our bodies don't seem so mysterious and complicated anymore. Take this new health tool, Wello, for example. How can it change our perception of the human body?
A new health accessory company known as Azoi Inc. is bringing high-tech vital sign monitoring to our mobile devices. Their upcoming a smartphone case and app system is called "Wello," and it is currently awaiting FDA approval. This simple phone case will be able to collect health statistics that generally require expensive medical equipment to come by. It's no surprised that this company's technology releases have been compared to the futuristic tricorder in the Star Trek franchise.
The Key Stats
So what will Wello measure? According to Engadget's prototype model, it looks like we'll get to look forward to:
- Blood oxygen level
- Body temperature
- Heart rate
- Blood pressure
- Lung capacity
- Airflow
- Electrocardiography (ECG) waves
Wow, those are quite the workout stats. How exactly does Azoi plan on collecting this information about our vital signs? Well the surface of the case can detect certain input as you passively hold it and your skin comes into contact with special sensors. And they plan on including a small accessory that you puff air into, so that you can check your lung condition. Azoi is taking metrics that we might normally check at the doctor's office, and the collection capabilities into our hands.
Sharing Too Much?
In examining the press photos, it looks like Wello allows multiple people to create profiles within the app, so that you can track the health and wellness for your entire family. This is reminiscent of the health profiles that you can create in the Fitbit app, where weight stats and calories are tied directly to individual profiles. Also included within these photos is the iOS "Share" button. It's not yet known exactly how much users will be able to share, however, it does raise question: How much is too much information? Can you imagine a world where your friends and family are posting their health states on a regular basis?
According to their YouTube video, Azoi will sync your user data to an online account, so that you can sync your data with your devices and monitor your progress. This might bring along a whole new level of consumer and patient data concerns, as some of the more cautious users might worry about their personal data. However, privacy concerns don't seem to be slowing down other health and fitness tech verticals, especially as activity monitors track our current locations and total steps.
Prospective Uses
There are a slew of potential uses for the Wello – without even mentioning the reduced costs of regularly monitoring your vitals from home. However, Azoi absolutely encourages people to continue seeing their doctors, because, "It is designed to support your doctor not replace them," according to the Wello FAQ. People with chronic illnesses can monitor their vitals with far more convenience than other at-home devices, giving them greater control over their health. And of course, this can be the perfect way to gain pure metrics about your health and fitness goals. Check your heart rate to see how effective your cardio workouts are, and avoid fatigue by checking your blood oxygen levels.
The lung function tests are a particularly intriguing aspect, which can give greater health clarity to those who suffer from asthma or pulmonary fibrosis. And the novel ECG feature has the potential to collect life-saving data as patients wait for emergency medical staff to respond to a call regarding chest pains or unusual heart activity. The possibilities here are limitless.
It's hard to say how technologies like Wello will influence our daily lives moving forward. The accessibility of these diagnostic stats can change the way we approach medical issues and our workouts. One thing is for certain – there are some really exciting developments on the horizon when it comes to health and wellness technology.
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