CES 2017: Health and Accessibility

Review | Thoughts By 6 months ago

This year’s CES certainly lived up to the Las Vegas expo’s reputation as the place to see what’s next in tech, showcasing innovations that will set the tone for the rest of the year and beyond.

The 2017 conference boasted more than 177,000 attendees and nearly 4,000 exhibitors. And once again technologies, apps and sensors to support health and fitness were a key trend.

Consumer health technology delivered through an ever-growing collection of connected devices and wearables was on the rise this year. Health sensors are becoming more accurate and sophisticated, providing new insights to users. However, consumer health technologies are now under pressure to go further than simply showing steps or heart rate to the user, but rather generate value when this data is connected to millions of other data points.

Looking at the latest health technology that was presented at CES, I believe some of the key challenges to be faced are:

  1. The data collected is too simple, as a single sensor it doesn’t provide enough insight to the user
  2. There is a mixed level of business sophistication around understanding the complexities of gaining market approval in health technology. Many technologies are not up to standard
  3. New technologies mean more pockets of data living on more islands

However, there was still lots of inspiring innovation with great potential for healthcare and accessibility. Here are some of the top health technology trends that I saw at CES 2017:

The Evolving Quantified Self and Wearables

Over the last few CES shows quantified self devices tended to be gyromoters or heart rate monitors packaged for different applications, such as monitoring running gait with innersoles or sleep quality using connected pillows.

This year we were treated to a new generation of sensors. Ultimately these sensors act as a lab on a chip and measure a myriad of vitals, for example sweat on your skin, to blood sugar or alcohol levels.

Proof, a new wristband developed by California company Milo Sensors, can measure real time blood alcohol concentration from your perspiration in your skin and send information to its corresponding app on your smartphone.

A new era in Elderly Care

This year innovations in the connected home are leading to better ways to support ageing in the home. In fact, these customer scenarios are some of the clearest customer use cases articulated.

Vayaar has developed a Lidar sensor that identifies people in a room and can watch their movement and vital signs, such a respiration rate. Unlike a camera, the sensor can be placed in a room behind a painting and only gathers meta data of occupants and is de-identified. Applications include fall detection and links to family or emergency services.

Next Generation Pill Management

Taking incorrect prescriptions is a very large issue for health systems globally. Several companies at CES are looking to solve this using a range of pre-packaged prescription services, connected pill boxes and even a hyper sensitive scale that subtracts the pills removed from foils with connected notifications. Pilldrill was the winner of a CES 2017 innovation awards and allows a user to scan their pills to simplify daily medication management and provide peace of mind to the patient, doctor and family.

iMedipac is a pre packaged pill dispenser fitted with optical sensors enabling correct medication adherence, shared in real time.

P-heal uses a completely different way to track medication by having a user simply place all their pill boxes into the device, then as the user removed pills they are automatically logged as taken based on the subtle weight changes. (The platform knows the weights of specific pills as they are added into the system).

Accessibility Technology Improving Lives

My highlight of CES, the most powerful and adaptable electric wheelchair, beautifully designed. Technology like this makes life much easier for people who have trouble with mobility. With enhanced technology such as pairing to the smartphone, a user can even summon their wheel chair. I love when technology makes an impact first on people who need it the most. Video – https://goo.gl/photos/oT4Gg4jN1svXsgpE8