IBM’s hub for wearables is a step towards personalized medicine

The Cognitive Hypervisor is one of several exciting projects within the IBM Research Frontiers Institute. Developed as a hub for wearables, the device gathers data from multiple fitness trackers and smartwatches and shares it with a doctor. The ultimate goal is to use this information to cut down on time patients spend in hospitals.

Wearables can capture various information such as heart rate, temperature, blood oxygen levels and steps. IBM’s gadget combines this information with data from environmental and social sources. It stores all this in the cloud, analyzes the information and shares the results with the user and their doctor. In a sense, it becomes a virtual health advisor.

This means that should a problem develop, a doctor can be alerted immediately and an ambulance dispatched if necessary. Because patients can be monitored remotely, it also has the potential to allow doctors to send patients home earlier. IBM hopes the model will eventually evolve to accurately detect and predict complex medical, health, or work-safety related issues.

The tech giant demonstrated a prototype in San Francisco earlier this week.

“I am Chiyo, your new companion. During this time, please touch me to start,” the device said after powering up.

“Every time you touch me, I will tell you about your status.”

Fed with data, the orange sized gadget sent out an alert to a low blood oxygen level and a high temperature after it was tapped.

You can also interact with it with voice commands and through a text-to-speech engine. Researchers are hard at work personalizing the experience and making the device smaller.

“I think in about five years, we will be able to have that fit into the ear canal,” said Bruno Michel, manager of smart system integration at the same IBM Research office.

The ability to collect, blend and understand wearables data in real-time promises significant changes to healthcare and related fields.

Source: PC World

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