Your iPhone may be able to play doctor with help from a $199 case.
Made by consumer-electronics company Azoi, a smartphone case called Wello aims to measure a range of vitals, including your blood pressure, electrocardiography (ECG), heart rate, blood oxygen, temperature, and lung function. Azoi claims the measurements will offer a high level of accuracy as part of its goal to make you more aware of your health.
To trigger the built-in sensors, you simply hold the case for a few moments while some of your key bodily functions are recorded. The information then passes over to the Wello app on your smartphone to interpret, measure, and display the results. The case can also talk to pedometers, sleep trackers, and other fitness devices to incorporate additional data.
The case is designed to fit the iPhone 5, 5S, and 4S, and it communicates with the phone via Bluetooth. Wello is also compatible with other iOS devices as well as Android phones running KitKat and equipped with Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE). But Azoi says it will work on non-iPhone devices only through a special attachment. The attachment would adhere to the Wello, giving it the same form and structure as an iPhone.
The case is now available for preorder in the US, Canada, Europe, China, and other regions. Wello is gearing up to ship in the fall of 2014, but it still needs approval in the US from the FDA before the device can hit the market there.
Personal health monitors are one of the latest crazes in the consumer tech market. The Fitbit Force, Jawbone Up, and Nike+ FuelBand are just a few of the wearable gadgets that keep track of your health and fitness and can sync with your smartphone.
The Wello is different since it doesn't require that you buy a separate, dedicated device. But holding a case is not as convenient as wearing a fitness band on your wrist. And the Wello is pricier than the Fitbit and similar gadgets.