Hypertension and Cardiovascular disease are global scourges and monitoring essential physiological characteristics like blood pressure and heart rate is one way to help prevent and treat these diseases. Mocacare brings cardio-monitoring to the masses with its pocket-sized Mocaheart device that integrates thumb scans with computer analysis to provide rapid blood pressure, heart rate, and blood oxygen tracking. It translates these measurements by means of a smartphone application into a layman’s index of cardiovascular health called the Moca Index that can be used by anyone. The device itself carries infrared and visible light sensors integrated with electrodes on which the fingers are placed for a reading to be taken which requires around 30 seconds to complete. With a smartphone connected to the device using its Bluetooth connection, the Mocaheart application manages the analysis of the data from the device to provide the user with a final Moca Index number. The app even recognises when it has not been able to get a good reading and then cues the owner before repeating the scan. The Mocaheart algorithms analyse the information from the device and display heart rate, blood oxygen, a time stamp, and even documents environmental factors, like weather conditions as well as geographical position. Based on research studies carried out at MIT and Stanford University, the Moca Index ranging from 1 to 5 provides a simple scale to rank one’s cardiovascular health where 2 is healthy, 1, 3 and 4 are less than optimal, and where 5 indicates a potential clinical concern. The device makes use of a micro USB port for filling its battery, which takes approximately 30 minutes to fully charge and then lasts for up to 5 days. Mocacare highlights that Mocaheart as yet should not be considered a substitute for current clinical cardiovascular monitoring until it obtains FDA authorisation which it hopes to get in the future.
Microsoft has just announced the latest version of its health and fitness wearable, the Band 2. Compared with the 2014 model, the fresh take on the personal gadget is more capable and feels much more comfy on the your forearm than its predecessor, but comes with a higher price tag. The Band 2 is challenging the other major players in the wearables market (Apple, Fitbit and Jawbone) especially when it comes to battery life, claiming that the Band 2 will last 2 days under normal use. As with the previous version, the gadget works with Windows, Android, and iOS operating systems. One of the most noticeable changes to the new model is that it has a much sleeker appearance than that of its predecessor, with a screen that curves around the wrist strengthened with Gorilla Glass 3 and a wristband that is much softer. As for the incorporated tech, whereas the first Band had a decent set of heart rate and step monitors, the new unit also includes an atmospheric pressure and elevation sensor that is useful on hiking treks. In addition, the Band 2 is fitted with a monitor for VO2 Max, which is an advanced metric of fitness that normally requires costly equipment to compute. The Microsoft Band 2 also supports a wider range of smartphone apps when it comes to their alerts and it even has a shot-tracking capability for golf enthusiasts. Speech support for Cortana, Microsoft’s electronic smartphone aide, has been added too. The company says that the Band 2 will be in US shops by the end of October.