Summary:

Connected devices are making their way into the animal kingdom, which may have surprising benefits for humans if it helps lead to acceptance of sensor data for tracking health.

The Whistle canine activity tracker (source: Whistle)
photo: Whistle

A few weeks ago, my dog died of kidney failure. While I had known it was coming, the onset of the disease a month prior was sudden. She went from being my happy, active 13-year-old pup to kidney failure in almost no time. It was devastating, in part because if we had known her kidneys were failing sooner, we might have taken steps that would have prolonged her life.

This is one of the worst-case scenarios that Whistle, a company that launch last week hopes to solve with its connected tracking device for dogs. Ben Jacobs, the CEO of Whistle, lost a beloved dog to a sudden illness when he was eight and the experience stuck with him. In time it prompted him to start Whistle. The device tracks your dog’s movements against data from other Whistle-wearing dogs to determine how your dog stacks up against others of its breed.

In this week’s podcast Jacobs and I discuss how vets, researchers and pet owners could use this data (and in the case of researchers, already are using this data) to track dogs’ health to spot problems earlier and possibly help devise treatments. Because the Whistle doesn’t have to undergo testing from the Food and Drug Administration, it may open the door to proving how the internet of things can change medicine much sooner than human-centric sensors.

(Download this episode)

The Internet of Things Show RSS Feed

Subscribe in iTunes

Listen on Stitcher

Show notes:
Host: Stacey Higginbotham
Guest: Ben Jacobs, CEO of Whistle

  • Why build a connected device for dogs.
  • How data from dogs might change the way people benefit from their connected devices.
  • Creating an ecosystem of devices for connected pets and the $50 billion pet industry in the U.S..
  • Why Whistle isn’t the internet of things equivalent of Pets.com back in the bubble years of 1999 and 2000.

PREVIOUS IoT PODCASTS:

Say goodbye to the connected device price gap. Adding connectivity will soon cost $5

Podcast: Securing the internet of things is like securing our borders. Impossible.

Podcast: How to design a connected device that isn’t a jerk, plus IoT’s recipe for success

Podcast: The history of the internet of things includes a Swedish hockey team and LEGOs

Podcast: Power to the people — and all their connected devices

What you really need to know before buying connected devices

How the internet of things may make parents less worried but more neurotic

Shark Week for the internet of things

What the Internet of Things can learn from Minecraft and Lemmings

Podcast: How IBM uses chaos theory, data and the internet of things to fix traffic

Electric Imp aims to make the Internet of Things devilishly simple

Comments have been disabled for this post