The top five wearable med-tech companies
According to new research released this week by Deloitte, the future of the healthcare industry will be closely tied to and driven by an omnipresent, proactive, and integrated system aimed at health and well-being, where technologies like AI, digital therapeutics, cloud and app-enabled digital health capabilities, augmented and virtual reality will have a leading role in the maintenance and improvement of population and personal health.
Deloitte found that these emerging technologies may result in a sweeping structural changes to “traditional medtech business models”. In the future, they predict, we are going to see enhanced collaboration between consumer technology and digital health companies to transform the delivery of care.
With the consumer technology-driven democratisation of healthcare technology forecast to be a major driver of disruption in the industry, Gigabit Magazine breaks down its top five companies currently producing wearable healthcare technology that improves patient health monitoring and cuts down on costly and time consuming doctor visits.
A digital women’s health company with offices in Zurich, San Francisco, Makati and Belgrade, Ava produces and distributes the Ava Bracelet. First launched in 2016, the bracelet is worn only during sleep and helps women get real time, personalized information about fertility, pregnancy, and general health.
Based in Mountain View, California, AliveCor is an AI-driven healthcare device manufacturer aimed at providing users with screening and diagnostic tools. The company’s flagship product, KardiaMobile allows its users to take a medical-grade EKG anytime, anywhere. The device connects to Android and iOS mobile devices, tracking heart activity and displaying results through an app.
Through its subsidiary brand La Roche-Posay, skincare and cosmetics giant L’Oreal produces and distributes a device called My Skin Track UV. Using a thumbnail-sized sensor that doesn’t require a battery, the device pairs with a mobile app to track the user’s exposure to UV, pollen, humidity and pollution.
Wearable health management and fitness monitors are verging on ubiquitous, with high profile offerings like AppleWatch, FitBit and Garmin all vying for a place in the market. But, for those customers who don’t want a large piece of obtrusive technology dangling from their wrists, San Francisco-based startup Motiv may have the solution. Its flagship product, the Motiv Ring, is simple and understated, allowing wearers to monitor activity, sleep patterns and heart rate through a companion app.
Over 30mn people in Europe are affected by more than 7,000 rare diseases. Welsh med-tech startup Aparito offers a selection of wearable devices that allow wearers to input experiential data relating to drug side-effects and treatment progress. The goal is to both improve routine patient health monitoring and provide new tools to conduct studies efficiently and accurately.
Dark Wolf: accelerating security for USAF
As a small company whose biggest customers are the Department of Defense and the Intelligence Community, Dark Wolf Solutions (Dark Wolf) is a triple-threat, specializing in Cybersecurity, Software and DevOps, and Management Solutions. Dark Wolf secures and tests cloud platforms, develops and deploys applications, and offers consultancy services performing system engineering, system integration, and mission support.
The break for Dark Wolf came when the Department of Defense decided to explore software factories. Rick Tossavainen, Dark Wolf’s CEO, thinks it was an inspired path for the DoD to take. “It was a really great decision,” he says, “Let’s pull our people together as part of this digital transformation and recreate what Silicon Valley startup firms typically have. Let’s get into commercial facilities where we have open windows and big whiteboards and just promote ideation and collaboration. And it creates this collaborative environment where people start creating things much more rapidly than before.”
It has been, Tossavainen says, “amazing to watch” and has energized the Federal Contracting Sector with an influx of new talent and improved working environments that foster creativity and innovative ways of approaching traditional problems.
“We originally started working with the US Air Force about three years ago. The problem was at the time you could develop all the software you wanted but you couldn’t get it into production – you had to go through the traditional assessment and authorization process. I talked to Lauren Knausenberger and she told me about Kessel Run and what eventually came out of this was the DoD’s first continuous ATO [Authority To Operate].”
The secret to Dark Wolf’s success – and its partnerships with USAF and Space Force – lies in a client-first attitude. “We’re not looking to maximise revenue,” Tossavainen explains. “We tell all of our employees, if you’re ever faced with an issue and you don’t know how to resolve it, and one solution is better for the customer and the second is better for Dark Wolf, you always do number one. We’ve just got to take care of our customers, and I look for other partners that want to do that. And let’s work together so that we can bring them the best answer we can.”
Rapid releases and constant evolution of software are common themes among USAF’s partners. Like many firms operating in the commercial and public sector spaces, Dark Wolf leads with a DevSecOps approach.
“Failure is tolerated,” says Tossavainen. “If it’s not going the right way in three months, let’s adjust. Let’s rapidly change course. And you can tell really quickly if something’s going to be successful or not, because they’re doing deployments multiple times a day – to the customer.”