In the world of health and fitness trackers, there is no shortage of options. From the mainstream brands like Apple, Google, and Fitbit to more specialized companies like Polar, Suunto, and Garmin, the list of suppliers is as long as my arm. These devices are designed for the average person who wants to improve their overall well-being and achieve better physical fitness.
But what about those who are not healthy? This is where Visible comes in with their innovative healthcare technology. Instead of focusing solely on fitness, they have created an “illness tracker” that caters to the needs of those battling chronic illnesses, including long COVID.
According to Visible’s co-founder and CEO, Harry Leeming, this market of chronic illness sufferers has been “wildly underserved.” He explains, “People are eager to move on from COVID, but the truth is chronic fatigue was a problem long before long COVID hit the headlines. This includes conditions like Chronic Lyme Disease, fibromyalgia, and chronic fatigue syndrome. The emergence of long COVID has shed light on these existing issues and highlighted the lack of support for these patients.”
Visible initially began as a way to streamline patient communication during the COVID-19 outbreak, but as Leeming recognized the urgency of long COVID, he shifted the company’s focus to creating the “illness tracker.” Through their iOS and Android apps, Visible harnesses the power of health technology and data analytics to provide support to severe cases of chronic illness.
As a long COVID sufferer myself, I had the opportunity to try out Visible’s solution at this year’s CES in Las Vegas. The app uses a Polar continuous heart monitor band to track heart rate and heart rate variability throughout the day. It then gives you a “morning check in” rating on a scale of 1-5, providing insight into how your body is feeling and functioning. This allows you to plan your day accordingly and take it easy if needed.
At CES, where the days are busy and tiresome, having this advance warning of my body’s energy levels was incredibly helpful. Even when I chose to ignore the app’s suggestion to take it easy, it proved to be correct as I ended up exhausted by the end of the day. My experience with Visible is not unique, as many other long COVID sufferers have found the app to be a valuable tool in managing their condition.
While the app’s main focus is on COVID monitoring, it has shown to be useful for a range of other chronic illnesses such as post-concussion syndrome, post-surgery fatigue, and cancer recovery. This broad appeal and multifaceted usefulness of the tracker is a welcome change for those who have been overlooked by traditional healthcare systems that often follow a “one-size-fits-all” approach.
What sets Visible apart is its recognition that every person’s body is different and therefore requires personalized care. By providing users with data, Visible trusts that they will make informed decisions about their health. Leeming acknowledges that the app is still in its early stages and can only offer guidance at this point, but he has high hopes that it will lead to better outcomes for patients.
Unlike many other tech companies that promise a lot but fail to deliver, Visible takes a realistic approach. They understand that there is still much room for growth and improvement in their product, and they trust their users to be patient and supportive as they continue to develop their “illness tracker.” Even in its early stages, Visible is already illuminating a new path forward for those with chronic illnesses.