Basis: On becoming a symbol for wellness

By: Brian Dolan | Aug 3, 2011        

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Jef Holove Basis CEO 5.11“Personal wellness is like the green tech movement,” said Jef Holove, recently appointed CEO of Basis, in an interview with MobiHealthNews earlier this summer. “I believe it is one of the most important trends of our time, both on the individual level as well as a societal level.”

“Regardless of your stance on it, the current national debate on healthcare has dramatically increased awareness of the costs of healthcare. Certainly, it made it abundantly clear to the nation we maintain a society that is not well,” Holove said.

For six years Basis was known PulseTracer, but the company changed names recently in anticipation of a commercial roll out. It also received $9 million in funding earlier this year to help bring its wares to market.

Basis offers a wrist worn device called the Basis Band that measures the wearer’s heart rate, pulse, walking rate, and sweat thanks to a suite of embedded sensors. The company plans to allow third party developers to build apps that work with the Basis Band device, but apps will be complements to the device. Not its equal.

“We can get literally right on your skin, which you simply cannot do with an app,” Holove said. “That’s what we are bringing that apps don’t.”

Holove says that Basis Band should be considered a continuous use device, unlike some of their competitors: “Other devices that can track heart rate from Polar, Garmin, etc.– if you are a fitness person who wants to track heart rate, fine, but no one is going to wear a chest strap 24/7. Fitbit is more focused around continuous wellness, but it’s about a subset of sensors vs. what we are getting to. It’s a pedometer if you want to count steps you can but it’s very narrow. We are [building] a much richer data set.”

“I really think we are not at the beginning — but at a threshold — and this trend is exploding and is becoming sustainable. Just like driving a Prius or having a recycling bin outside your house are symbols that you are doing your part for the environment, there will be certain symbols that show you are doing your part for wellness. Devices like ours could become that symbol.”

This week Medgadget also interviewed Horlove and wrote up an extensive, must-read Q&A. Check it out here.