A High-Tech Holiday Gift for Kids With Cancer

Activbody is donating 200 data-driven mobile health devices to children in New York.

Images courtesy of Activbody

Here’s to a happy and mHealthy 2018.

The consumer health-tech manufacturer Activbody plans to donate 200 of its Isometric Data devices this evening to children with cancer in New York, according to an announcement from the company. The handheld equipment links with smartphones and other technologies to help users exercise and monitor their progress, capitalizing on a coaching app and games designed to engage them, according to Activbody.

The donation—scheduled to occur at Ronald McDonald House New York, on Manhattan’s Upper East Side—also kick-starts the organization’s pilot program for kids.

“We’re extremely passionate about using isometric technology as a positive force while bringing some happiness and joy to these kids,” Reuben Katz, Activbody’s CEO, said in a statement. “We’re thrilled to work with Ronald McDonald House New York and help spread some holiday cheer, with a fun and engaging way to help keep them active for the children who need it most.”

Ronald McDonald House provides temporary housing to pediatric patients with cancer and their loved ones, welcoming up to 95 families at a time, according to the institution. On most nights, its quarters are filled to capacity, in part because its short distance from top-of-the-line cancer treatment centers, drawing patients from across the world, according to the announcement.

Activbody hopes the gift will “help bring smiles and joy” to the recipients, but the innovation is also meant to prod the kids remain active, no matter their mobility level, the company said. The device draws on isometrics to foster strength training—and prevent muscle atrophy, a great problem among some patients with cancer.

The tool can connect with smartphones, offering “extensive data measurement capabilities to easily track progress” and games that the children can play while standing, sitting, or in bed, according to Activbody. This, combined with customized workouts, is especially critical because children with cancer might be bedridden, according to the company.

The business is among the growing field of consumer tech companies aiming to leverage high-tech products, connectivity, and data in the health sector. Fitbit, perhaps the most notable venture in recent years, has proven to be a giant, and Apple is also honing its presence and reputation in the space.