It’s the final day of our review of some of the most exciting technology projects in Vodafone right now and today we’ll be finishing off with two projects using technology to improve health.

 

9) Body sensors – Kyriakos Exadaktylos, Vodafone Group Head of Network Standards

Body sensors – Kyriakos Exadaktylos, Vodafone Group Head of Network Standards

Engineers from Vodafone’s Network Centre of Excellence have been experimenting with how different sensors can interact with smartwatches over a mobile network. Working with the SUB2 project, which aims to help an athlete one day run a marathon in under two hours, we developed a smartwatch app that can be a better pacemaker for elite runners, using GPS location data that is up to 10 times more accurate.

The Vodafone SUB2 app was used by elite athlete Kenenisa Bekele (pictured above) during the Berlin Marathon on 24 September. The extremely precise real time pace data as well as cumulative distance and finish line prediction was key for his strategy during the race.

We are now testing how to add additional information like core temperature (by connecting to a body sensor pill ingested by the athlete), skin temperature (skin sensor), heart rate (from a pulse measurement) and running economy (based on measuring stride).

The SUB2 project aims to leave a lasting legacy for athletics by showing how technology can help improve performance. This work will also enable Vodafone to better support wearable manufacturers and connected health projects in future.

 

10) Malta biobank – Jason Pavia, Head of the Vodafone Malta Foundation

Malta biobank – Jason Pavia, Head of the Vodafone Malta Foundation

The Vodafone Foundation in Malta is working with The Centre for Molecular Medicine and Biobanking at the University of Malta to develop an online interactive IT platform and mobile app which will facilitate cutting edge research that explores genetic causes and potential treatments for diseases such as diabetes, asthma, thalassemia, and ALS.

The Malta biobank was set up to create high quality tools for gene research. Those tools would be redundant without a vibrant, active, collaborative pool of research participants donating samples of blood and tissue.

The online portal will enhance the biobank’s relationship with research participants, by hosting informative videos and letting them decide how their samples are used. This will create genuine informed consent, bringing the biobank into line with the latest EU data protection regulations.

Up to 20,000 people in Malta alone could benefit from the work undertaken by the biobank, while the model, if successful, could inform genetic research across the globe.