Health-Tech: CES 2018 Review
The Consumer Electronics Show, the annual tech-fest that kicks off the year in Las Vegas has, once again, thrown up its usual snapshot of new and emerging products from both start-ups and established players. In common with themes from other conference and events over the last year, digital healthcare featured heavily as a key area of interest and activity.
Key trends continue to be in AI and machine learning as an enabler of new solutions within diagnostics, self-monitoring and therapy, and the emergence of 5G which is widely seen as increasing the capability to deliver digital healthcare solutions on-the-go in applications such as telehealth and real-time diagnostics and healthcare advice.
Here's our pick of 8 Health Tech products launched or announced at CES that caught our eye.
Spire Health Tag
One of a new generation of wearables, these adhesive-backed tags, housed in a soft fabric-like housing, are designed to be discreetly attached to your favourite items of clothing. Intended to be bought in multiples (a box of 8 tags costs around $200), they can be laundered in place and, with a 1.5 year battery life, don’t need charging. In common with many other wearables, it monitors activity, heart rate and sleep, but also captures breathing patterns to monitor mood and stress levels.
L’Oreal UV Sense
One of the most interesting new wearables was L’Oreal’s new UV Sense device. This tiny sensor which monitors UV levels, can be attached to your shoe, sunglasses, or any other part of your body that is exposed to sunlight. L’Oreal attracted a lot of attention by showcasing it being worn attached to a fingernail, giving it a fashion, as well as a functional purpose. Beyond this hype, the more significant aspects are its small size and battery-free nature of it that make it notable as a new generation of sensors types.
Project Nursery Smart Baby Monitor
Taking advantage of new advances in voice technologies, this new baby monitoring system integrates an Alexa smart speaker and an HD Wi-Fi baby monitor camera for the nursery. Parents can ask Alexa to “play a lullaby,” “check the room temperature in the nursery,” or “record a video”, whilst maintaining an eye and an ear on events in the nursery. Expect to see more uses of voice technology in a range of application areas.
Using a DNA profiling to identify healthier food and drink choices, this Imperial College London spinout takes a personalised approach to health and wellbeing and adopts a subtle “nudge” approach to advice, motivation and behaviour change. Having provided a sample via a saliva swab, the system profiles the user’s metabolism, vitamin requirements, food allergies and sensitivities and tastes, then used the app to guide user’s shopping choices. Interesting stuff!
Samsung GoBreath and Re!úmĭno
Samsung showcased a selection of new products from its C-Lab incubator, including two healthcare products, reinforcing the trend of the big consumer electronic players focusing on healthcare as a key business driver. GoBreath is a connected lung function trainer targeted at patients recovering from lung damage and postoperative pulmonary complications after general anaesthesia. Re!úmĭno smart glasses are designed to help people with visual impairments see more clearly and work by processing images using the power of your smartphone and “floating” the images onto the display of the glasses.
Neutrogena Skin 360
Bridging the gap between health and beauty, Neutrogena’s Skin 360 sensor and app promise a new generation of skincare, with dermatologist-grade skin diagnostics technology on your smartphone. The system provides consumers with a range of measures including moisture level, pores and lines and can create personalised product and treatment recommendations.
Philips continue to explore solutions within sleep with their new SmartSleep wearable headband intended to improve the quality of sleep for people whose lifestyle typically does not enable them to get enough sleep. The headband includes sensors to monitor sleep quality, and also delivers sound tones to enhance the “slow waves” produced by the brain during deep sleep. Philips claim this can lead to increased energy and boosted alertness.
Kolibree Magik Toothbrush
Finally, we liked the Magik kids augmented reality toothbrush, which stood out as a new engaging and fun way to motivate kids to brush their teeth. Intended to educate kids to brush their teeth in the most effective way, Magik includes motion and position sensors to monitor and coach kids into improving and maintaining good brushing techniques. The system includes a fun, gamified user interface for feedback and engagement.