New wearable sensors help people track and protect their health

From wearable health trackers to smart apparel and sports equipment, young consumers continue to have an appetite for gear that helps them on their quest for self-improvement. 56% have used or are interested in using a wearable that tracks their athletic performance, and innovations in the space are making their health hacking goals more accessible and convenient.


La Roche-Posay's UV Sense, which launched at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show, is the first battery-free wearable electronic sensor that measures individual UV exposure. Resembling nail art, the Yves Behar-designed wearable is less than two millimeters thick, nine millimeters in diameter and can be worn for up to two weeks on the thumbnail. By putting the sensor on the thumb, which receives the optimal amount of light, consumers can receive status updates on environmental factors beyond UV exposure that may be affecting their skin, such as pollution, humidity, and allergen levels.


Finland's Suunto showcased two fitness and health tech companies using Movesense motion-sensing technology in their fitness and tech products at CES 2018: Ain1, a mobile platform for coaching, rehabilitation, and measuring human performance, and Runteq, a personal coaching platform. While the Movesense toolkit is designed with sports and fitness in mind, it can be used to track motion and analyze data for anything that moves. Companies can use the tech to design their own wearables or make existing gear smart and connected.


Researchers at the UK’s University of Sussex are developing a smart sensor that could be used as an early warning system to protect babies from sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). The device detects changes like the rising and falling of the chest, potentially to lifesaving effect, with the help of graphene, a versatile material that’s being used to pioneer major health advancements. While nearly one-quarter of Gen Y mothers and fathers feel that technology makes it harder for them to be a present parent, this is one case where it could offer critical assistance.