From Idea to M2M Application

7/5/2013
M2M and connected devices provide a seemingly endless amount of opportunities for health and fitness. But just because the opportunities exist, doesn’t mean the journey from idea to application is an easy one. Not everyone realizes the benefits associated with M2M, and it can at times be difficult to generate interest from a business standpoint.

For instance, a recent report from Strategy Analytics, www.strategyanalytics.com, entitled “A Vertical View of Health and Fitness Apps,” reveals even some of the mobile platform providers are having trouble attracting new apps from major sportswear companies. According to the analyst firm, Google, www.google.com, Microsoft, www.microsoft.com, and BlackBerry, www.blackberry.com, are having difficulty in this regard and that Apple, www.apple.com, is the only one able to attract the development of health and fitness apps from global brands (e.g., Mike, Adidas, Reebok, etc.) with abundance.

Strategy Analytics says while Apple’s iPhone has a total of 17 apps that integrate with wearable technologies available from major sportswear companies, the apps available on Google Play, the Windows Phone Store, and BlackBerry World add up to only nine combined.


David MacQueen, executive director of Apps and Media Research at Strategy Analytics, says OEMs outside of Apple need to improve their offerings on wearable fitness technology.

“As wearable technologies continue to mature the apps surrounding them will as well,” MacQueen says. “Making the phone an even more essential part of consumers’ lives will mean working with sport manufacturers on these new devices, and opening up APIs (application programming interfaces) for developers to integrate with new technology via apps.”

Aside from the fitness app market, a new partnership stretching across the Atlantic Ocean seeks to set a new standard in mobile heart-monitoring. Imaxdi, www.imaxdi.com, recently teamed with the SMTC Corp., www.smtc.com, to develop the mBeat. The device allows doctors to monitor their patients’ heart rhythms via their connected device, regardless of where either party is.

mBeat, which currently has a patent application pending in the U.S., provides healthcare professionals with data retrieved from the device’s wireless sensors, allowing them to make a quick diagnosis. Doctors may also send the data to other professionals for a second opinion. The machine comes in both “professional” and “home” models. The professional model provides electrocardiogram and oxygen saturation data via a handheld monitor. The home version is designed to be worn by long term patients, or those under constant observation, so healthcare professionals may provide them with realtime feedback.

More recently, an mBeat stretcher model was developed and integrated at a hospital in Galicia, Spain. The device allows for the elimination of cumbersome wirework, and sounds an alarm if a patient’s heartbeat deviates.

There’s an old saying: “Cream always rises to the top.” If it were easy to make a disruptive contribution to the world of M2M and connected devices, everyone would be doing it. But in an industry where everyone wants to be innovative and ground-breaking, the smart bet is that devices and apps which truly fit the bill will always find their way to consumers, i.e., rise to the top.

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