Philips launches connected devices, app to take on chronic diseases before they are a problem

Courtesy of Philips

Philips launched a suite of connected wearable tech aimed at helping individuals make lifestyle changes that could in turn reduce the occurrence of chronic disease.

“The Philips personal health programs and range of connected devices are targeted at people who are at risk for chronic, lifestyle-related diseases and who are aware of their higher risk status and are active in managing it,” said Eline de Graaf, director for North America, Philips Personal Health Solutions, in an email. “Philips' new personal health programs have been developed with leading doctors and psychologists to encourage small and sustainable behavior changes that will help these consumers measure, monitor and stay motivated to manage their personal health, make lifestyle changes and reduce the risk of chronic disease.”

Connected health devices--Courtesy of Philips

The devices include a health watch, connected scale, blood pressure monitor and thermometer. These work alongside the HealthSuite Health App, and all are currently available. Users can measure specific data with the connected devices and then monitor that data through the dashboard on the companion app. Philips said the apps can help to keep users motivated.

After the app has the data it needs, “the user will then receive personalized motivational and insightful content in their newsfeed … [found on the app],” de Graaf said in an email. “Designed to educate, inspire and feedback on an individual’s progress, this tailored healthy guidance and relevant advice is provided to the user with state-of-the-art algorithms based on health profile, user-defined targets and usage data.”

De Graaf also noted that the app allows for social sharing, so users can spread the word of their achievements to friends and family.

Mark Aloia, a behavior change expert at Philips, noted that motivation comes from seeing the small steps that make a larger difference. “Changes don’t need to be radical,” he said in a statement. “In fact, small changes sustained over time are a good way to help us reach our health goals. Measuring and tracking helps us take the small steps needed to improve our lifestyle. Our programs support you personally as you take those steps.”

The health watch monitors heart rate, activity, sleep patterns and other health biometrics, which are all tracked on a day-to-day basis. The upper arm blood pressure monitor and wrist blood pressure monitor offer users to ability to measure systolic and diastolic blood pressure and heart rate. The scale measures weight, along with making estimates of body fat (BIA), and helps to calculate BMI. Lastly, the ear thermometer can measure body temperature in two seconds.

The program was built on the Philips HealthSuite digital platform, a cloud-based platform that collects and analyzes health and other data from multiple devices. That platform is made secure based on the Philips Privacy Rules. Those rules ensure that all privacy controls meet U.S. standards, as well as meet a baseline framework based on EU law for data protection, de Graaf explained. The programs meet “the highest privacy and security standards,” de Graaf said, including the EU Privacy Directive and HIPAA laws.

“Plus, when developing product/propositions that involve the collection of personal data, Philips incorporates ‘privacy by design,'” de Graaf said in an email. “This means we follow systematic processes to ensure we evaluate, reveal and manage privacy risk of our consumer’s personal data when they use our products. We embed privacy principles, IT specifications and technologies into our products to prevent privacy risk from materializing. For instance, we always explain what data we collect and how we use it; we ensure an individual is always in control of his or her health data; and we never sell it to third parties to use for other purposes.”

The HealthSuite Health App is free on iOS and Android, and the devices can be purchased on the Philips website or Amazon.

- here's the press release

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