We’re used to seeing people wearing in-ear devices, whether it’s Apple AirPods, other truly wireless earbuds, or hearing aids. But the tiny Stat in-ear wearables very It’s different from all of these and, despite its small size, has the potential to meaningfully change millions of lives.
Digital Trends spoke with Daniel Lee, co-founder and CEO of Stat Health, about this innovative product, who it will benefit, the innovative ways the company has chosen to do it, and how it could pave the way for something bigger. future.
What is a Stat Wearable?
I had a video call with Lee. We first mentioned his previous experience with tiny in-ear wearables, as he was the co-creator of what would later become the Bose Sleepbuds. A quick talker by nature, Lee’s passion for the idiosyncratic Stat wearable was absolute and contagious.
What Exactly Are Stat Wearables? It’s a small wearable that fits over the ear, so it can be worn with other in-ear or over-ear wearables and uses an infrared optical sensor to measure blood flow to help the wearer understand dizziness, fainting, and headaches. , and fatigue that occurs immediately after standing up. The cause is that the body doesn’t automatically constrict the blood vessels in the legs, resulting in an insufficient amount of blood being sent back to the heart, which pumps blood around the body to counteract gravity.
We’ve all probably experienced a brief bout of dizziness after waking up too soon because of this. However, while our bodies recover quickly as if they were functioning, others do not, and the symptoms Stat tracks are much more severe and long lasting. lasting.
Elderly, young, long-term corona patients
“Dizziness has no effect at all. Just stand up and relax for five seconds.” Lee said, confirming what most of us feel at times. “These people are very different,” he continued. “Their autonomic systems aren’t working, so when they stand up, they don’t adjust properly, and they just can’t get up. wake up. Over time, the situation gets worse and some people end up bedridden because the body doesn’t adapt. It varies a lot from day to day due to many factors like how well you slept and how hot it was.”
The severe and debilitating dizziness and fainting described by Lee are symptoms of diseases including Long COVID, Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS), Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME), and other syndromes affected by simply standing up. According to data from Stat Health, these symptoms keep more than 80% of patients away from home for up to two days a week, and the rest keep them out of bed for up to three days a week for fear of passing out. and about.
“But the longer you lie down, the worse it gets because your body has to practice. You have to practice fighting gravity,” he said.
You might think the symptoms mostly affect older people, but according to Lee, it’s much broader than that.
“You wouldn’t expect a 20- to 40-year-old woman to have these problems,” says Lee. But Long COVID disproportionately affects that group.” “We actually think of the elderly population separately. Because their main problem is fainting. They deal with that feeling and then pass out and injure themselves. The younger population, on the other hand, doesn’t actually faint all that often. The reason you don’t fall or get hurt is because you recognize that your emotions are not normal, and you just lie back and lie down.”
How can Stat wearables help?
How do in-ear wearables support all of this? To make sense, you shouldn’t think of Stats as the exact equivalent of fitness tracking on the Apple Watch. Instead, it works on rehabilitation and retrains the body to get back to normal. Sensors track blood flow, heart rate, and blood pressure trends. They are so sensitive that the device has been shown to accurately predict fainting minutes before it actually occurs. For the wearer, the app presents two key indicators gathered from data that will assist in the rehabilitation process.
“There are two main points that most people with these conditions use every day,” said Lee. “The up score is calculated from time sitting upright, standing, and walking. It encourages someone to spend more time fighting gravity and practicing standing upright,” explained Lee.
“Flow Score incorporates heart rate changes, blood pressure trend changes, and blood flow to the head, so someone knows if it’s a good day to push, like a pacing mechanism. It is also a log of how far someone is progressing. We encourage people to try to do a little more each day as part of their rehab, but at the same time we don’t force them on the days when they feel unwell. And that is how we will literally help them on their journey back on their feet.”
The Stat in-ear wearables are designed to help retrain the body to cope with the way gravity affects blood flow to the head, but it must be worn at all times to do so. Removing and recharging the device can disrupt this, so Stat Health has come up with an ingenious and very cool way to use light to power a wearable.
powered by the sun
It requires constant charging to serve as a rehabilitation device for people who first experience symptoms when trying to stand up. So charging your Stat in-ear wearables overnight won’t help much. To solve this problem, solar panels are used to power the batteries. This means you never need to remove or recharge in any situation.
“We’re using solar panel technology that’s very expensive and generally only suited for space applications, but it’s starting to become financially viable because it’s so small,” Lee said. It can harvest energy from weak indoor light, but it needs sunlight to charge its batteries most effectively. “If you put it in the sun for about three hours every two or three days, you don’t need to charge it because it recharges and recharges itself,” said Lee.
There are several variables that can affect this. You won’t go outside if you’re lying in bed, and your long hair will also affect the amount of sun your wearable sees. In this case, Stat Health is working to optimize the battery to last 2-3 days without solar charging, and 3-4 days is theoretically possible. On days when you need to charge, you don’t need to physically connect.
“You don’t actually have to go to a very specific location on the pogo pin, inductive charging, or pad. We have a cradle, and when you put the cradle in and position it in any direction, the infrared light comes on and the light comes in. Then we will also provide a small keychain carrying case for charging on the go.”
When will it arrive and how much will it cost?
Regarding the product launch, CEO Lee said, “We will do the first batch in the first quarter of 2024, almost like an initial beta release.” We can manufacture on a larger scale.”
Pre-orders are expected to begin in late 2023. It’ll be a subscription-based device, but it’s more of a Whoop fitness band than the Oura Ring because there’s no cost for the product itself. As Lee explains, Stat Health is approaching subscription packages in an interesting way.
“We want to scale the price down to match the value delivered and be more sustainable in the long run. Patients live with these symptoms for decades, [a fixed subscription] It’s not sustainable. We’re trying to engineer this by innovatively designing our pricing model,” said Lee. “I want to start with one amount and reduce it for subscribers in the long run.”
According to Lee, the subscription pricing system suits the type of business. Fees help cover everything from data storage to ongoing support for products that are likely to be used for years. The Stat Health website currently lists an upfront cost of $50 per month to join, but has not been finalized at the time of writing.
What will the future be like?
Stat in-ear wearables have the potential to change the lives of people who are virtually confined to their homes. It works all day and all night by integrating solar panels in a very convenient and technologically interesting way and charging them into a wearable that is so small that you can wear it on your ear and not get in the way of anything else.
At the end of our conversation with Lee, he summarized Stat Health’s mission:
“Our goal is to empower people to return to their days of good health. With our wearable 24/7 heart monitor, we will start with a very tailored data experience for a very specific population because everyone has very different needs.”
Before closing, Lee also touched on the next steps for Stat Health and how this technology could help more people. The Stat wearable is a wellness device, but the company is working on other products that need to be approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The stat looks at blood pressure trends, not actual blood pressure, but the combination of the in-ear positioning and infrared sensor can do more. Lee didn’t have much to share at this stage, but what he had to say was very interesting.
“We are actually making a separate product that will be an FDA regulated product because we absolutely have to provide mmHg. [blood pressure] It has very high standards and it is a high standard that needs to be cleared. We are still in the data collection period for this and it is not something we are currently focusing on, but the core technologies we are building can be leveraged here.”
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