17 Feb 2018

An ear on your health

From This Way Up, 12:15 pm on 17 February 2018

From a simple pedometer that measures your step count to sleep monitoring, pulse counting thermometers, like the Fitbit, the Samsung Gear or the Apple Watch, wearables are taking off.

With ever smaller, more powerful and cheaper devices on the market, most wearables today are used for self tracking. But in the future how much will they be used to measure your vital signs and provide detailed medical data about your state of health?

That's the plan for the Canaria, a device that's worn behind the ear and looks a bit like the external part of a hearing aid: it can sense and alert the wearer about their state of health. A trial of these devices is about to start in mines in Australian where it will measure for signs of fatigue and send warnings when levels of tiredness reach unsafe levels.

Its potential to measure astronauts' health in real time in space has also been recognised by NASA.

We speak to Alex Moss, the CEO & head designer of Canaria.