Hollywood stars and entrepreneurs have been wearing them for a long time, and even former US President Barack Obama has been sighted wearing one on the golf course: self-tracking devices – plastic straps worn on the wrist which record the health of their wearers around the clock – are enjoying growing popularity. Simple models are limited to recording physical activity and tracking calories burned, whereas high-end devices record the pulse and monitor heart function, blood pressure and sugar levels. All in the interest of the health of the owner.
“Digital Health” is the trend that promises a revolution in healthcare. The opportunities are huge – from real-time monitoring of diabetic patients or people in need of care, to virtual medical care. Innovative wearables could then detect diseases, indicate dietary deficiencies, or dispense medication.
“Many people are concerned about the loss of their data,” says Asli Solmaz-Kaiser, who heads the electrical and electronic consumer goods unit at TÜV SÜD. “Only clear, comprehensible standards that ensure data security can increase trust in digital health products and ultimately make them successful.”
With special test programs, TÜV SÜD therefore not only certifies the measuring accuracy and usability of the digital aids, but also especially the security of the data of wearables. This is true throughout the entire product cycle – sometimes even in the development phase.
What the wearers of the smart healthcare aids then actually do with all the data and health tips, however, is left up to them.
Some weigh only a few hundred grams, others several kilos, but they have one thing in common: their numbers are growing. Unmanned aircraft systems, commonly referred to as drones, are top sellers all over the world. The European Commission estimates that by 2020, seven million of the small aircraft will probably be in the skies over the European Union.
»It is a huge and fast-growing market which has been largely unregulated up to now«, says Robert Ziegler, an expert for toys and children’s products at TÜV SÜD. »Many manufacturers and dealers do not know what they need to be aware of when selling drones.«
As one of the first service providers in Europe, TÜV SÜD has therefore been offering product testing for recreational drones since spring 2016. The service mainly focuses on safety criteria for the small aircraft which were developed based on past experience from testing toys and products. There are certain requirements for drones in regards to, for example, electromagnetic compatibility (to prevent interference from other devices) or chemical specifications in accordance with the European REACH regulation. By the way, TÜV SÜD also uses drones for its own tests in order to inspect parts of plants which are difficult to reach – such as, for example, the blades of wind power plants.
Among the various “means of transportation”, these are among the safest: lifts in residential and business premises, in commercial properties and towers.
One reason for their reliability are the strict inspection regulations which are regularly carried out in Germany by licensed inspection bodies. If the experts find that, for example, a safety gear does not work or if a door opens over an empty shaft, lifts must sometimes be taken out of operation.
This could, for example, be provided by continuous remote monitoring of lifts using a multitude of networked sensors and related databases. The inspectors would then ideally already know beforehand if there are problems in the system. Since 2016, TÜV SÜD has been testing such sensor-based monitoring at several pilot plants in Singapore and Germany. “The first results are promising,” says project manager Julia Roelofsen. Maybe riding in lifts will become even safer in the next few years.MORE THAN 80% of all US citizens regularly buy online. Books, clothing and shoes in particular are ordered on the internet.
Clothing, books, electronic articles and more: online shopping posts record sales every year. And TÜV SÜD supports online security – and has been since 2001!
Back then, Rainer Seidlitz developed the long-term favorite among the online seals of approval: »According to polls, the TÜV SÜD certification mark s@fer-shopping is one of the best-known and most renowned on the market,«, he says.
The goal then as now: customers should take no chances when buying online. After all, trust and credibility play a central role, for example when handling data or paying. The experts at TÜV SÜD understand this and carefully examine the organization of online shops, with on-site visits, and they dive deep into the purchase process with test purchases.
Nice to know that not only customers but also sellers have been benefiting from this precision for more than a decade and a half: studies prove that confidence-building measures such as a seal of approval can increase sales by up to 50 percent.
Situation assessments in crisis areas, documentation of development measures or food supplies to inaccessible locations – there are also plenty of good ideas for the future use of drones in the humanitarian sector.