Azoi, a technology startup with offices in the US and India, today announced a health tracking iPhone case that can monitor a user’s key vitals that includes body temperature, heart rate, ECG, blood pressure, blood oxygenation and other data. Branded Wello, the case has four sensors – two on the rear and two on one of the sides. Unlike other fitness trackers, Azoi is claiming that its solution tracks the user’s health and can be a quick reference point for those with health issues. India is one of the first few countries where Wello is available for pre-order for Rs 12,350 with deliveries expected in August. BGR India went hands-on with the device and here are our first impressions.
At the moment, Wello is in a prototype stage and comes with a beta companion app that is required for the user interface. The case connects with the phone via Bluetooth LE. It will also work with Android smartphones running KitKat but there won’t be cases for specific handsets. Initially, Wello cases will be available for the iPhone 4S, iPhone 5 and iPhone 5S. However, the same device would work for Android as well and Azoi will provide inserts shaped like the iPhone for users to be able to hold the device properly.
Once the app is opened and the case switched on, users have to ensure their fingers touch the four sensor points. Most of the vitals are recorded immediately but the respiration rate takes additional time. It takes 3o seconds to record all the vitals. Wello comes with an additional accessory that can be plugged in to record lung function. There is a possibility for other accessories to be added later.
BGR India’s take: While Azoi claims that the device is accurate and the readings match those of professional stand-alone vitals monitors, we could not see that for ourselves. So far, none of the fitness trackers have been able to provide consistent results even with pedometers, so it would have been ideal to see the vitals being monitored simultaneously on Wello and stand-alone professional monitors.
In its current form, the data collected is displayed in its raw form. Even if we assume the data is accurate, there is very little a normal person would understand from the graphs and numbers. Azoi asserts that Wello is not a diagnostic tool and is essentially a record of health history, there is very little to make of the data that the device collects. The company says that they are currently in talks with doctors to see how they can better present the data.
Azoi is currently targeting it at normal users who are conscious about their health. This might work in developed countries where health care is expensive and there is greater awareness. If the device is really as accurate as the company claims it is, Wello would be better suited for doctors in the field and health camps in emerging countries like India. However, for that Azoi would need proper certifications and approvals, which would be time consuming.
To conclude, we like the concept but the device is still in early stages of development. Azoi will have to validate their accuracy claims and present data in a form that gives some idea to the user as to what the data means. It is a very fine line that Azoi is treading here as it cannot give an impression to users that they are giving any medical guidance and at the same time provide some value to those who spend Rs 12,350 on it. We would like to see how Azoi develops Wello between now till its launch in August.
Our hands-on video of the Wello follows.