Blog Tag: wearables
Class Action Lawsuit Filed Against Fitbit
Fitbit, Inc., a manufacturer of wearable health technology, is involved in a national class action lawsuit filed on January 5, 2016 in the Northern District of California over two of its wristbands, the Charge HR and the Surge, based on their “PurePulse” LED-based technology used for tracking heart rates. Generally, the lawsuit alleges that the heart-rate monitor used in those wristbands, advertised under the now amusing tag line “every beat counts,” does not monitor heart beats correctly. This allegedly especially occurs during times of intensive exercise.
In a statement to ArsTechnica responding to the lawsuit, a Fitbit spokesperson wrote, “We do not believe this case has merit. Fitbit stands behind our heart rate technology… [b]ut it’s also important to note that Fitbit trackers are designed to provide meaningful data to our users to help them reach their health and fitness goals, and are not intended to be scientific or medical devices.” Further, Fitbit released another statement after the lawsuit saying that “PurePulse provides better overall heart rate tracking than cardio machines at the gym.”
Fitbit is also involved in another class action lawsuit filed in May 2015 regarding its sleep tracking data, and is also involved in several suits against rival wearable-device maker Jawbone.
Mayo Clinic and Gentag, Inc. To Develop Wireless Sensors for Treatment of Obesity and Diabetes
Mayo Clinic and Gentag, Inc. have reached a joint intellectual property (IP) agreement to develop wearable biosensors designed to fight obesity and diabetes. According to the press release, the agreement will allow certain patent rights and technologies of both Mayo Clinic and Gentag to be combined and commercialized.
The press release indicates that the two firms will also license third parties to combine Mayo Clinic’s clinical expertise with Gentag’s wearable skin patch technologies, and that more than 50 issued patents and technologies are being offered for licensing under the agreement.
The press release states that wearable patch sensors may be a “game-changer;” the wearable patch sensors are the size of a small bandage, and include a sensor that communicates via a diabetes management system compatible with cell phones; and the system will allow researchers to monitor movement and develop treatments.
Additionally, the press release notes that Mayo’s Micro-Miniature Transceiver chip will be integrated with Gentag’s radar-responsive tag technology and integrated under the new license to develop a new type of communication chip that will combine Near Field Communication (NFC), Body Area Networks (BAN), as well as long-range wireless communication and geolocation.
The press release is available here.