Cape Town based HealthQ Technologies is an eHealth start-up developing a platform to accurately monitor all the vitals of the human body.

In a recent interview with eHealthNews, Christopher Rimmer who is leading the commercial team, discussed their mission to revolutionise wearable technology by developing an all-encompassing wellness tracking platform.

Founded by Dr Riaan Conradie in 2010, HealthQ has emerged as a forerunner in the digital wellness industry due to their unique capabilities to accurately and unobtrusively monitor vital signs such as heart rate. “There is nothing on the market like what we’re developing. Up until now wearable tech has been generic and generated little really useful data; the platform we are developing is different because it generates personalised and high quality data that can even be useful to healthcare professionals,” said Rimmer.

Set to launch next year, Rimmer explained that their system is rooted in Dr Conradie’s interest in developing a digital simulation of the body to help predict changes in health such as heart attacks.

The system will provide the user with information that enables them to personally manage and optimise their health regime. “Optical sensors and non-invasive devices measure key physiological metrics with a high degree of accuracy. Using computational systems biology, the system can model changes that occur in their physiology to help the user understand what’s happening in their body,” said Rimmer.

HealthQ has ultimately industrialised an enabling data platform – not an app or wearable device. ” Partners will use this technology to build their apps and wearables. HealthQ has opened up the ability to measure vitals more accurately and consistently than ever before,” said Rimmer.

The captured data will be stored in a secure cloud based server, which will function as an open platform allowing customers to access their information when and where they want it. “The individual can then give consent to their healthcare professional to access and analyse their data, leading to the creation of medical records out of the continuous data stream,” said Rimmer.

“All personal data is owned by the individual, but in the long term we plan to get permission to use anonymous data for research studies. Through this system, every individual will have a simulation of their physiology, which could then be used by researchers to simulate a population to test the effect of drugs, different diets, etc. It has the potential to become an excellent research tool, however it is still in the early stages,” continued Rimmer.

The system under testing and industrialisation by HealthQ also has the potential to transform the medical healthcare space. “Ideally patients admitted to hospital would have a device attached to their wrist that would allow their vitals to be shown on a screen at the nurses’ station. It could then be used to track patient’s vitals instead of having to rely on expensive machinery,” said Rimmer.

Rimmer believes the system can also be a powerful tool for chronic patient management. “By monitoring patient’s vitals remotely it could reduce the need for nurses to visit the patient at home once a week and for certain COPD related conditions hospital visits could be cut by up to 40%. Even by putting the device on a baby it would allow healthcare workers to have access to continuous data, in the long term potentially making it unnecessary for mothers to travel long distances to visit clinics in developing countries,” said Rimmer.

“The same system can be used for monitoring miners to ensure their heart rates and oxygen levels are acceptable, essentially replacing the canary. The possibilities where the system can be applied are almost endless,” continued Rimmer.

Rimmer believes their system overcomes the restrictions of being too focused, allowing one piece of technology to have a lot of applications. “There’s no need to wear six difference wearable devices anymore, now you only need to wear one,” concluded Rimmer.

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