Medical device vendor Lifewatch has shown off what it claims is the world’s first healthcare smartphone whose features include built-in medical sensors, wellness-related apps and 24/7 call centre support. The vendor says this Android-based handset is targeted at health-conscious consumers who might be suffering from a chronic condition or are in recovery from a serious illness.
Lifewatch says it is in talks with mobile operators in Israel (where Lifewatch is headquartered) and other countries about selling the smartphone, according to Globes Online. The handset has clearance from the relevant authorities to launch in Israel. Elsewhere prospective consumers will have to wait. The company hopes to have EU CE Mark certification by the of 2012 and US FDA approval in 2013.
Lifewatch, whose background is in manufacturing health monitors, is not alone in targeting the health market. Swedish firm Doro is planning to launch an Android-based smartphone targeted at older users in September 2012. Although a slightly different demographic to Lifewatch’s health-focused device, there is a crossover between the two. Where both are the same are in pushing a strategy that suggests consumers will choose a specialist device over customising a standard smartphone with apps and hardware peripherals.
Among the vital signs that the Lifewatch handset can track are ECG, body temperature blood glucose, heart rate, blood oxygen saturation, body fat percentage and stress levels. Storage of such data is cloud-based and handled by Lifewatch.