BodyMedia, the parent company of SenseWear, specializes in devices that monitor the body and provides information about the health and behavior of the person wearing the device. Their devices help patients take a more proactive approach to prevent the onset of health issues like obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and more by tracking a person’s calorie burn, nutrition, sleep, weight, and a host of other health and lifestyle parameters.
The SenseWear products consist of three basic components: a wearable monitor, a personal feedback device, and software that syncs with a website. The wearable monitor in the SenseWear WMS is the armband, which sits comfortably under the patient’s clothing on the back of the right triceps. It uses one AAA battery, which lasts 3-4 days, depending on use. You can wear the armband all day if you choose to but should refrain from wearing it while showering since it is not waterproof. It is recommended that you at least wear it for 16 hours.
The armband contains 4 noninvasive sensors that measure skin temperature, skin moisture, heat dissipation, and motion. These sensors provide the information necessary to provide helpful reports for you and your physician.
The personal feedback device is a watch-like device that can provide real-time information such as calories burned, number of steps, and duration of physical activity for that day or the day before. The armband and the display need to be within 3 feet of each other. Syncing them is relatively easy. The device is very simple, with only 4 buttons for use.
When you are ready to see your cumulative numbers and transmit them so your physician can view them, you will use the final part of the WMS system, the software. You have the choice of using a USB cable or a separate wireless connector. Never sync the device while it is still active on your arm. As soon as the upload finishes, you will be able to see your cumulative numbers. You will also be able to log your meals (up to 6 per day) with this software. The database includes over 22,000 foods but you can also add more to this list as you see fit. Updating your health indicators (weight, body fat, and blood pressure) is also done here. Once you have uploaded all the information you have, you can create reports and export data in 4-time ranges: 7 days, 14 days, 21 days, and 28 days. The reports are saved as a PDF for easy transport or email. The exported data is exported in an Excel spreadsheet. They essentially contain the same information that can be seen in the summary pages in the software/web page.
All of your information is kept in a database that your physician can access online. They are able to view your numbers, create reports, and export data without you visiting them. This makes it easier for the physician to make adjustments or explain occurrences without an actual visit.
The SenseWear systems are made to be bought by physicians. The physician then provides the use of the system to their patients for a predetermined time period. After that time period, the unit is returned to the physician for use with another patient.
The SenseWear WMS seems like it would be a great aid for someone who is at risk of or in the early stages of Type 2 Diabetes. Its easy use and convenience would help encourage them to take the right steps and manage their weight and nutrition.