Health has gotten a big push from electronics manufacturers this past year. We've seen the beginning rise of wearables from new smartwatches, to fitness trackers, and even active smart clothing that can all talk to your smartphone and transmit health data to your connected device, viewable through a companion app which also has the ability to sometimes manage a few functions of the wearable. Smartphones are becoming "healthier" too though, it's not just wearables and smart clothing that are taking a health focused approach. Smartphones like Samsung's Galaxy Note 4 have embedded sensors to read you heart rate, as well as track your steps through the pedometer. It also has the ability to read you Blood Oxygen saturation and tell you the strength of the ultra violet light from the sun,(just in case you're either a vampire or just extremely sensitive to sunlight)and all of that information is fed to you through the Samsung S Health app.
Devices like the Sony Xperia Z3 may not have the heart rate sensor or be able to tell you how strong the son's ultraviolet rays are, but it does have a built in pedometer so it can track your steps, and it when paired with one of the Sony Smart devices like the Smart Band or the SmartWatch 3, the heart rate sensor comes back into play, as well as a visual display of your sleep patterns, calories burned, etc. Sony feeds you this data through the Lifelog app, which is basically their version of Samsung's S Health. Google's taking a keen approach to health too, with the newly released Google Fit application, which when paired with a compatible device can also read your heart rate, and feed the information back to you, whether on your Motorola Moto 360, or on the screen of your chosen Android device. Not only that, but it also aims to give a collective place to gather and compile all the health data that's tracked from other apps and devices. Making it easier for you to stay on top of your health.
Health is definitely an important thing, and it's kind of amazing to see how far we've come in being able to interact with our personal health(as well as the personal health of others)through our smartphones and other everyday devices. More manufacturers will surely start to integrate health related software and features into future devices too, and what the OEMs don't bake in, other companies will take care of through fitness bands, and sensor embedded clothing. Think about just a few of years ago how we interacted with health on a digital level. Before many of the fitness trackers and wearables were available some of the Nike+ devices and the Nike Fuel band(as well as others)were among the only things out there, and they weren't compatible with very many devices. These were also companies already focused on active lifestyles with loads of different active wear, because they were active sports brands.
Today, we're breaching a time where you can track your heart rate with the sensor on your phone, which can be synced with the smartwatch or fitness band on your wrist. That smartwatch or fitness band also has the capability to monitor your sleep patterns and help you get a better night's rest, and on top of that wake you up feeling more refreshed, and in turn, more healthy. These are features and devices coming from electronics companies, who we might never have thought would bring us something focused on health. Yet, here we are at the end of 2014 and nearly every major smartphone OEM has something to offer that can help you track pieces of your health in one way or another. As we drive forward into 2015 health will likely become a stronger connection between wearable technology and the smartphones we keep in our pockets. It's certainly a wonderful age of technology to be living in at the moment.