Archive for the ‘population average’ tag
It’s still relatively early in mobile health, although there are glucose monitors that can be tacked onto iPhones, heart rate and sleep monitoring apps and of course, plenty of exercise and diet-tracking products.
Now that many basic product concepts have been laid out, it’s time for iteration. Enter Cardiio, a startup and graduate of the Rock Health incubator. Founded by a team of Ph.Ds out of MIT’s Media Lab, the company has built a $4.99 heart rate monitoring app that doesn’t require you to touch the iPhone’s camera. It actually doesn’t require any contact aside from holding the phone so that the front-facing camera captures your face. From that, Cardiio’s sensors can pick up minute changes in the color of your face that indicate heart rate.
“We can measure the amount of light reflected across your face,” said co-founder Ming-Zher Poh. “The more blood that flows into your face, the more it absorbs light. This is reflected off your face every time your heart beats and the camera is actually good enough to pick it up.”
In a few tests of my own, it matched the resting pulse I was able to pick up by counting my heart beats for one minute. It is in some ways reminiscent of Azumio, the Silicon Valley-based biofeedback startup that’s raised funding from Founders Fund, Accel and Felicis. But the difference is that with Azumio’s heartrate app, you have to touch your finger to the iPhone’s camera. Azumio’s heart rate monitor also picks up heart rate from color changes in your finger.
Like other heart-rate monitoring apps, Cardiio does long-term tracking so you can see how your resting heart rate has changed over the past month or more. It also can compare you to the population average.
Right now, the team behind the company is just two people and they have initial funding from Rock Health. They’re holding off on raising more funding until they can prove traction.
Long-term, the company wants to expand out to measuring other types of biofeedback. “Our long-term vision is a contact-free and software-based approach of measuring information about your body,” Poh said.
Later this week I’ll be sharing some insights at the Australian Retail Symposium 2009 on how specific demographic segments search for retail brands and products. I’ve looked at searches by Australian households in our Hitwise Lifestyle segment, ‘Young Ambition’, who are early adopters of technology and are likely to research products over the Internet. Here’s a sample of their leading electronics search terms during March 2009:
• ‘mobile phones’ was the leading product-related search term, but ‘Young Ambition’ were much more likely to search for ‘mobile phone reviews’ with an index of 485 compared to the online population average (100).
• ‘iphone accessories’ attracted higher volumes of search than ‘iphone,’ suggesting that ‘Young Ambition’ are seasoned iPhone users and are now looking for the latest accessories.
• ‘Omnia’ and the ‘LG Web Slider’ are providing strong competition to the iPhone amongst ‘Young Ambition’ households, with high search volumes compared to the online population.
• ‘navman’ and ‘tomtom’ searches were over-represented amongst ‘Young Ambition’ during Christmas 2008 but were under-represented during March 2009. This suggests that navigation products are becoming less of a fad amongst early adopters.
• ‘headphones’, ‘cameras’ and ‘laptops’ were other leading product search terms. ‘Sennheiser’ related terms also appeared in the long-tail of ‘Young Ambition’ searches.
Retailers can gain an understanding of the products and brands that resound with specific consumer groups by drilling into their search behaviour. Stay tuned for a similar analysis on high-end shoppers and suburban families.