The 2017 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas showcased a myriad of different technologies, but the health innovations really get us excited. From peel-and-stick mobile-tracked thermometers to the holy grail of painless blood draws, we’ve rounded up a favourite five poised to transform the lives of many, many people.
Seventh Sense Biosystems launched their Touch Enabled Phlebotomy, or TAP, device which allows for easy, painless blood draws. It’s not a digital health device yet, but the company plans to add a digital chip that w ould include a Bluetooth transmitter and eventually link the TAP device to laboratory diagnostic platforms that analyse blood samples. This could open the door for use cases in telemedicine and remote-enabled clinical trials, not to mention simplifying tests for small children and anyone with ‘hide-and-seek’ veins.
Originally launched at last year’s event, TempTraq allows users to monitor their child’s temperature continuously through a mobile app, as well as setting up alerts when it exceeds pre-set parameters. The thermometer can measure temperatures from 30 degrees to 42.4 degrees Celsius. The Peel-and-stick connected thermometer company announced an update to its technology that extends the battery life to 48 hours during this year’s event.
Rapael Smart Glove
Winner of the coveted CES 2017 Innovation award, Neofect’s Rapael Smart Glove is powered with movement and activity sensors that help stroke patients with their rehabilitation. It also speaks to another theme of recent years at CES—gamification well outside the games industry. In this case, the glove is a control mechanism for games that are part of a physical therapy regimen.
Two start-ups, Neogia and Kyomed, teamed up to create a prototype called Motio HW, a connected bracelet for “preventing, diagnosing, and monitoring” sleep apnoea. It uses sensors to detect actimetry, heart rate, oxymetry, and respiratory rate. Sleep apnoea can cause high blood pressure or heart problems, and in some cases increase the risk of a recurrent heart attack.
Bloom has made a wearable device for women in their third trimester to help them track contractions. They have also partnered with UC San Francisco to support pregnancy complications research. Belli operates similarly to a heart rate monitor, passively listening to the body’s natural bio-electrical signals. The wearable allows the user to measure the frequency and durations of contractions in real-time, which can be helpful as foetal movements provide early indicators of baby and mother’s health.
We admire the practical applications of tech to health problems and are eager to track development and introduction to the market. It’s not a surprise that many of the products highlighted above were tested and developed in partnership with the people they would most impact. May we all strive in our work as communicators for similarly innovative intersections between the ‘shiny’ and the useful.