Health Monitoring 

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Describing itself as a health-tech company that focuses on providing real-time affordable and clinical accurate vital monitoring products, Azoi Inc is based in Sunnyvale California. I recently came across Azoi at the Wearable Technology Show 2016 held at London’s Excel Exhibition Centre. The company was there to promote its Kito+ product.

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The Kito+ is a health tracking device that offers to measure heart rate, ECG, blood oxygen levels, skin temperature and respiration rate.  These measurements need to be made while the user is in a relaxed position, maintaining a straight posture in order to get an accurate reading.  While Azoi claim that these readings are accurate and reliable, the Kito+ is meant to be a personal health tracker rather than a diagnostic tool – such matters should be left to a qualified doctor.

Making up this particular product is the Kito+ unit, two mobile phone cases, small power charger adapter, standard to micro USB lead, Quick Start Guide booklet and a Kito+ Instruction card.  There is also an app which will need to be downloaded from the App Store or Play Store depending upon your choice of mobile phone.  You do need to be aware that when I accessed the Play Store that there were two apps with the Kito name.  The correct app is the one with the Azoi tag.

The two mobile phone cases are of the shell type and have been designed for use with the iPhone 6/6S and the iPhone 6/6S Plus.  The sole purpose of these shells is to attach the Kito+ device to the rear of the smartphone for easy transfer of the collected data.  The reason why Azoi has stuck with Apple handsets rather than the popular Android family is because it would have been impractical to support the numerous different types of Android device.

The black Kito+ device is similar in size and shape to a credit card.  It has dimensions of 97 x 53 x 3.4mm (H x W x D) and weighs 20g.  Various electrodes and sensors are arranged on the front face of the Kito+.  On the left side of the Kito+ are two silver, circular electrodes for recording ECG measurements while sensors for recordings recording skin temperature and blood oxygen are on the right side.  Actually the positions of these elements does change as you need to swivel the unit from portrait to landscape orientation when using the product.

Positioned in the lower right corner is a power button that is flush to the unit.  Next to the power button is an LED indicator that changes from blue to white during the charging process.  Located centrally at the bottom of the Kito+ device is the charging connection which shows two contact points.  In order to charge the Kito+ internal 3.7V (53 x 2 mAh) Li-ion Polymer battery, you need to use the supplied charger unit, in partnership with the standard to micro USB lead, which provides the bridge between the unit and the power source.  The charger unit is magnetised to help create a connection but you also need to ensure that the Kito+ is placed on a flat firm surface during the process.  Depending upon usage, the battery should give you two months of power from a single charge.

As mentioned this health tracker works in conjunction with a downloadable app.  This app suffers at times because of its colour scheme that often displays white text on an orange background which I found particularly hard to read.  Fortunately this did not stop me from creating an account which requires name, sex, date of birth, weight and height.  You can then pair the Kito+ with a smartphone using Bluetooth.  This process was not as smooth as I have come to expect from other Bluetooth products.  This problem was caused by the Kito+ automatically switching itself off within 30 seconds if no data traffic was detected.  Several attempts were required before pairing was finally established.

A similar problem occurred during my attempts to use the Kito+ to take readings.   This reading process involves switching on the Kito+ so that it can be paired to the smartphone.  You then need to tap on the CHECK-UP button displayed by the app before placing your fingers over the electrodes and sensors to enable readings to be taken.  No indication is given as to whether you have covered the contact points successfully until the readings are completed.  At this point you will be shown a list of readings and maybe discover than your fingers were incorrectly positioned to impart the data.

If your fingers are placed correctly without any subsequent movement then the app will list readings for heart rate, blood oxygen level, respiration, skin temperature and ECG.  Clicking on the individual items will bring up information as a graph, specific figure or the reason why no data is available.  It can be quite a frustrating experience at times.  Readings can be saved and/or shared with others via email.  You can also set up reminders to take readings from within the app.

The Kito+ is priced at £99 which seems a tad high for Android users as those with an iPhone do get the smartphone cases.  The built-in power cut-off point of 30 seconds might help with the two months of battery use but it can be a hindrance when setting up the unit and taking readings.  This is a product that would benefit from some extra work.

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