Berlin, Germany, 11/23/2021
Since 2014, kenkou, a pioneer in cardiovascular vital signs and biomarker measurement, is focusing on bridging the gap between digital health solutions and effective data-driven interventions.
From the early beginning, the company had a vision: the smartphone would become a medical device in the future. Like the transformation that happened in the mid-2000’s with the mobile phone evolving into a smartphone with Apple and its iPhone. Before that the device only features were making phone calls, sending messages and taking poor quality photos.
In recent years digital health, delivered through smartphones, has become big and the potential seems endless. Through the technical evolution also smartphone cameras evolved and that’s why kenkou exists.
kenkou turns the smartphone camera into a PPG sensor and collects medical-grade data with their technology: A very intuitive measurement, the human puts his/her finger on the back camera and the technology analyzes the pulse wave and then extract vital signs, such as heart rate & heart rate variability (HRV). HRV describes the distance from heartbeat to heartbeat and is a scientifically validated biomarker for stress and strain in the body.
kenkou has developed a Software Kit Development (SDK) to make this technology available for every digital healthcare app to support treatments and make relevant data available for patients and providers to personalise therapies. kenkou has partnerships with telemedicine providers, chronic diseases companies, mental health apps & large insurance companies across the world who are seeking ways to collect real-time data about their users / patients / insurees to make interventions more effective.
Recently, the company added a new feature to its product to create a unique solution on the market: Remote HRV biofeedback.
HRV biofeedback: efficient technique to manage physical and mental wellbeing
Heart rate variability biofeedback (HRVB) can improve individuals’ self-regulation of their emotions in a non-pharmacological way. It achieves this by increasing HRV and restoring cardiac vagal control.
Biofeedback leverages the physiological phenomenon that heart rate increases with inhalation, and decreases with exhalation. This effect maximizes at around 6 breaths per minute during which heart rate and breathing become synchronized. As a result HRV increases. During the intervention users and patients receive a visual cue indicating when coherence between both parameters is high.
Latest scientific evidence shows that all chronic diseases share an imbalance of the autonomic nervous system (ANS), leading to an chronic overstimulation which results in an increased level of stress hormones, sleep alterations, hypertension, immune dysfunctions etc. HRV biofeedback is able to balance the ANS and therefore reverse malfunctions, leading to a stronger immune system and higher outcomes of (digital) therapies, such as in the areas of mental health, COPD, diabetes, CVD and Alzheimer’s disease.
Improving digital apps performance by leveraging HRVB data
Seamless implementation of kenkou’s HRV biofeedback SDK takes only a few days and is reported as a blessing for digital health providers that aim to stand out across competitive markets and want to focus on their core competencies.
mHealth apps already use kenkou SDK to develop a value-based service for their users while providing comprehensive and accurate measurements and HRV biofeedback to improve the patient outcomes of their digital therapies and increase Customer Lifetime Value with low effort. Low-cost real-time accurate measurement can be leveraged vastly by a great number of digital health providers apps.
For telemedicine, kenkou SDK acts as a remote digital stethoscope, which enables healthcare providers to identify early infection, diagnose more accurately, enrich patient records, and personalize a telemedicine offering. Mental health apps and teletherapy providers can leverage measurements to build up mental health resilience (MHR) and manage stress. And for clinical trials, kenkou provides an affordable digital tool for collecting, measuring, and monitoring the vital signs of participants in a remote clinical trial.
Additionally, providers can enhance vital signs measurements by combining them with powerful HRVB, to engage users in an interactive way and provide full awareness of the body state.
As no wearables are needed, implementing the kenkou SDK provides apps with access to a broad audience with a smartphone, and especially to one who for different reasons can not afford to use wearable technology, such as lower-income parts of the society or countries.
Among others, kenkou’s technology has been implemented in Beurer’s ‘Calm Down’ App and Vivy’s healthcare assistant application (part of Allianz Global Insurance Group).
With a mission of making heart health measurable, providing users with full awareness and giving the opportunity through the simple breathing technique to cure the myriad of health conditions, kenkou reinvents (power) of vitals signs measurement and HVRB for both patients and healthcare providers.
Self-directed, digital health will be even more mainstream as we emerge from the pandemic. Apps like kenkou will be an important part of this shift.
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