The future of health: smartphone apps

January 3, 2014  //  By:   //  Health & Science, News Briefs  //  No Comment

As wearable tech becomes commonplace, the tech industry scrambles to put out more technology for the health-conscious. Here are three new smartphone apps, two with external hardware, that you should be aware of.

First up is a fork that slows down your eating. HAPIfork, which is being sold for $100 by Hapilabs, vibrates in your mouth if you eat more than one bite in 10 seconds. It feels like an electric toothbrush, and while vibrating it blinks red. You can change the interval at which it vibrates, but this is the suggested setting to make a meal with appropriate portion sizes last 20 minutes. Another cool feature is that it wirelessly reports your habits to your smartphone to help curb overeating and lose weight. [via WSJ.com]

Next is a handheld biotech product called TellSpec, which can deduce ingredients in whatever you point the device at and send the data to a smartphone app. The spectrometer will help users discover if a food has hidden allergens such as gluten, soy, lactose, or aspartame, as well as report nutritional info such as calories per gram. The device is also beneficial for consumers who suffer symptoms of an allergy but are unsure what’s causing it: scan what you’re eating and record your reactions and TellSpec will determine which ingredient might be causing it, especially as you put in more data over time. The device just achieved its Indiegogo goal, and should be ready for sale in August 2014 at a starting price of $350 to $400. If demand is high, the price will hopefully drop over time to $50. [via Mashable.com]

Last up is your newest workout buddy: FitStar. This app uses data about your body to help you optimize your workout. Enter in some information about your age and weight, and it will start creating customized workout routines with videos from NFL star Tony Gonzalez. As you work out, continue entering data so that the app learns and adjusts based on what is too easy, too hard, or just right for your body. It also syncs with wearable tech like Fitbit and Jawbone to better track data and customize to your needs. The app—which is only available on Apple products at the moment—is free to download and costs $5 per month to unlock all the features. [via WSJ.com(Sam Schoenfeld – VNN) (Image: Flickr | David Berkowitz)

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