Mobile Health Around the Globe: BioBeats Marches to Your HeartBeat
BioBeats sets your heart to music, literally.
BioBeats and the app, Pulse, use Adaptive Media and want to help the people that use the app live more engaging, healthier lives.
Pulse uses the optical sensor in the iPhone camera to detect the changes in color in your finger as the blood flows through it. All you have to do is hold your finger over that sensor for a minute and the app determines the heart rate and makes music off that tempo.
BioBeats was formed in 2012 when two classically trained musicians met with Nadeem Kassam, an entrepreneur who got interested in heart rate and stress following a burnout that forced him to pay more attention to wellness and healthy living. BioBeats engineers are based at the University of Pisa, Italy and the rest of the team are in Beverly Hills and London. They all connect through Google hangouts.
Kasaam believes that healthcare needs a revolution to make it fun and entertaining so that more people will engage in the idea of lasting wellness.
The app recently teamed up with pop group Far East Movement and invited users to stream their heartbeats in to the studio. 1.5 million fans responded to the invitation and the event was a massive success. Kassam explains,
“In the consumer space it’s really about awareness – the fans hadn’t thought about monitoring their heart, but the app might turn more and more people onto self-monitoring and working towards prevention,”
The entertainment value here is pretty obvious, but is there a health benefit? The BioBeat team says, "Yes!" and that they are a healthcare company as well as an entertainment company. They plan on using more adaptive media techniques to deliver appropriate sounds and messages that would help alleviate stress and promote well-being.
They recently won the IC Tomorrow Digital Innovation Contest for Clinical Excellence award for improving Patient/Consumer Health Behaviors & Understanding. The prize consisted of a grant to work with the University College of London to develop a clinical application for Pulse. They will be working on producing a waveform a bit like an electrocardiograph, or ECG. This can provide clinicians with information about the way the heart is functioning, how much blood is being pumped and the distance between the beats.
From the BioBeats website:
"BioBeats believes everyone should have the opportunity to learn about their health and have access to healthcare. Modern technology is enabling our visions. BioBeats builds technologies that respond not only to heart beats,
breaths and movement, but also to our evolving lifestyles. We will help power the digital health revolution.
We are already developing and testing our technology in a medical setting, propelled by winning a competitive grant from the UK's Innovation Agency. As we learn more from our experiments, trials and consumer products we will continue to research and improve clinical grade programmes to demonstrate positive impacts on quality of care, patient outcomes and costs."
And co-founder David Plans wants to combine the health aspect with social media as well. Plans, whose doctorate is in artificial intelligence as well as music, wants to work on the ethics of looking at your page on Facebook and seeing what your mood is. Maybe there is someone out there who can help, or who is in a similar mood and can empathize. And the music can serve as an appropriate adaptive media platform for a connection. And they plan on moving into gaming and film. Maybe you've had a bad day. It might be nice to come home to an appropriate relaxing film when you get home.
Great plans! And a very cool idea. Watch the following interview with BioBeats Co-Founder David Plans as he tells us more about BioBeats:
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Joan Justice is Executive Director at thePatient Empowerment Network, a global non-for-profit organization dedicated to fortifying the health care consumer with the knowledge and tools to feel more confident playing a central role in decisions that affect their health. Joan has a background in nursing and domestic and international healthcare marketing. Previously, she was the manager of ...