Walmart is designing a ‘flower pot’ to monitor your health at home

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Disguised as a flower pot, the omnipresent detection system can observe bodily movements and functions, such as heart rate, gait, and ultimately the progression of certain diseases, to help prevent negative outcomes that may be costly or worst (pictured is a stock photo)


Walmart is rumored to be joining the healthcare sector.

The firm is said to be working on a secretive ‘flower pot’ device that can monitor health from a distance, according to analysts from Jefferies and Barclays.

Still in the prototype stages, this medical device is set to ‘observe bodily movements and functions’, and is capable of monitoring the progression of certain diseases.

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Disguised as a flower pot, the omnipresent detection system can observe bodily movements and functions, such as heart rate, gait, and ultimately the progression of certain diseases, to help prevent negative outcomes that may be costly or worst (pictured is a stock photo)

The news of Walmart’s mysterious ‘flower pot’ was first reported by Business Insider, which learned that the device would be something found in a home, rather than a clinic.

It is said that the device was spotted at Walmart’s new health clinic in Dallas, Georgia, which Wall Street analysts attended for its grand opening.

The ‘flower pot’ was seen lined with sensors, which is how it captures walking patterns  

At Walmart’s new health clinic, a flower pot outfitted with sensors and a Walmart logo managed to move into the spotlight. 

‘Disguised as a flower pot, the omnipresent detection system can observe bodily movements and functions, such as heart rate, gait, and ultimately the progression of certain diseases, to help prevent negative outcomes that may be costly or worst, fatal,’ Barclays analysts wrote in a note following the event.

It is said that the device was spotted at Walmart's new health clinic in Dallas, Georgia, which Wall Street analysts attended for its grand opening

It is said that the device was spotted at Walmart’s new health clinic in Dallas, Georgia, which Wall Street analysts attended for its grand opening

It seems at-home health monitoring devices are the wave of the future, as earlier this year, scientists unveiled  high tech ‘smart’ pajamas that monitor heartbeat, breathing and posture could soon be available.

The cotton nightwear is equipped with sensors that can detect the sleep quality of the wearer but will cost between £75 and £150 ($100 to $200).

Five self-powered sensors sewn into the shirt’s lining will provide continuous monitoring of breathing patterns and the amount of REM sleep the person gets.

REM sleep occurs at intervals during the night and is characterized by rapid eye movements, dreaming and bodily movement. 

Four of the sensors measure pressure, or a body pressed against a bed. The fifth, is positioned over the chest and senses rapid pressure changes, which provides information about heart rate and breathing. 

It seems at-home health monitoring devices are the wave of the future, as earlier this year, scientists unveiled high tech 'smart' pajamas that monitor heartbeat, breathing and posture could soon be available

It seems at-home health monitoring devices are the wave of the future, as earlier this year, scientists unveiled high tech ‘smart’ pajamas that monitor heartbeat, breathing and posture could soon be available 

The sensors are connected by wires made from thread thinly coated in silver so they are completely undetectable for the wearer.

Signals collected from the five patches are sent to a tiny circuit board that looks and functions like an ordinary button. 

The button has a built-in Bluetooth transmitter that sends the data wirelessly to a computer for analysis.

Still in its early stages, the scientists, from the University of Massachusetts, are still in the process of ensuring the sensors are accurate for a variety of body sizes.

Getting enough quality sleep can help protect against stress, infections and multiple diseases, such as heart and kidney disease, high blood pressure and diabetes.

Previous research has found quality sleep increases mental acuity and sharpens decision-making skills but not enough people get it.  

‘Smart apparel with embedded self-powered sensors can revolutionize human behavior monitoring by leveraging everyday clothing as the sensing substrate, said associate professor Dr Trisha Andrew at the University of Massachusetts.

‘The key is to inconspicuously integrate sensing elements and portable power sources into garments while maintaining the weight, feel, comfort, function and ruggedness of familiar clothes and fabrics.’

Although some manufacturers of smart mattresses claim the products can sense movement and infer sleep posture, they do not provide detailed information to the sleeper and are not portable for travel.

Commercially available electronic bands worn on the wrist give information about heart rate and monitor how much total sleep the wearer gets.

REM sleep occurs at intervals during the night and is characterized by rapid eye movements, dreaming and bodily movement. Four of the sensors measure pressure, or a body pressed against a bed. The fifth, is positioned over the chest and senses rapid pressure changes

REM sleep occurs at intervals during the night and is characterized by rapid eye movements, dreaming and bodily movement. Four of the sensors measure pressure, or a body pressed against a bed. The fifth, is positioned over the chest and senses rapid pressure changes

The sensors are connected by wires made from thread thinly coated in silver so they are completely undetectable for the wearer. Signals collected from the five patches are sent to a tiny circuit board that looks and functions like an ordinary button

The sensors are connected by wires made from thread thinly coated in silver so they are completely undetectable for the wearer. Signals collected from the five patches are sent to a tiny circuit board that looks and functions like an ordinary button

‘We use reactive vapor coating to transform commonly-available, mass-produced fabrics, threads or premade garments into a plethora of comfortably-wearable electronic devices,’ Dr Andrew added. 

These first-of-their-kind patches are used in different parts of the pajamas, so that the researchers can determine sleeping posture.

However, this type of sensor cannot pick up the faint pressure from a beating heart.

The patches detect quick changes in pressure, such as the physical pumping of the heart, which provides information on heart rate.

This is the first time such a sensor has been shown to detect tiny signals from the heart.

The nightwear has been tested on volunteers and the team is in talks with a manufacturer.

The technology is being expanded to wearable electronic sensors that detect gait and send feedback to a monitor to help prevent falls in residents living in care homes and sheltered accommodation.  



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