Digital Health at CES … and other highlights

The Latest and Greatest in Digital Health from CES 2015

Digital Health at CESBy Beth Kelly

The 2015 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) was held in Las Vegas, Nevada from January, 6-9th. It’s the largest expo of its kind. Every year, the event attracts an audience of approximately 150,000 people. Although there were many exciting displays across several different industries, the most exciting advancements on display this year where breakthroughs in telemedicine.

Certainly, there were innumerable trendy and novel products revealed this year that warrant mentioning. On the home automation front, local specialists from Las Vegas ADT were on hand to help explain their new carbon monoxide detector augmentation to their Pulse system, and there was also the Melomind — headphones that monitor your brain waves so they can attenuate the sound waves of the music you’re listening to jive with your mood.

But beyond mere novelty, the health care devices presented at the event were easily the most impressive component of the show. These weren’t merely toys for the bourgeoisie. These are devices that could yield untold good for the world. Healthcare apps and wearable technology are revolutionizing the way health can be managed, maintained, or improved. As these devices explode on society, the benefits to health appear to be almost limitless.

And, as technology becomes more compact universally, the most exciting new health tech on display at CES were all so small you can wear them on your wrist. Indeed, wearable devices and mobile health apps were the “belles of the ball” this year. This is an exciting area that is mushrooming with new products that play an increasing role in healthcare management. But, what were some of the best digital health wearable devices presented at International CES among nearly 100 devices? Two of the most impressive tech developers in this space currently are Apple and Health Care Originals.

Apple

While Apple didn’t exhibit at CES, many of its partners did, showcasing products that interface with Apple’s HomeKit and HealthKit, which is a set of protocols that developers can use to tie into Apple’s Health app. Apple is making it easier to gather data from sensor devices and other health apps and display the integrated results on its dashboard. Central to this integration are iOS8 apps and sensors that are compatible with the Health App. For instance, 7 Minute Workout, MyFitnessPal, Withings Health Mate, Endomodo, and Weight Watchers Mobile all send information to Health App, which then makes it easy to share info between apps and optionally your healthcare professionals, family or friends.

Apple’s Watch Device is worth mentioning. Some of the functions include the expected real-time access to information such as stock quotes, news, and the latest weather conditions. Time maintenance is linked to your iPhone within a range of accuracy while automatically adjusting to global time zones entered. The Apple Watch also has a physical connection and can send an alert by a pulse on the skin, as well as track the number of steps and the quality of movement for the person wearing the device. The activity display shows when less sitting is needed, more movement is needed, or more exercise is recommended.

Health Care Originals

ADAMM (Automated Device for Asthma Monitoring and Management) by Health Care Originals was another health wearable device presented at CES. The healthcare system wearable is made to identify evidence of asthma among other vital functions. The application for ADAMM is huge because more than 25 million people living in the United States are affected by asthma. Each year this results in nearly 2 million emergency visits and over 14 million doctor office visits. Since ADAMM helps with early detection and management of asthma symptoms, its impact on the direction of this aspect of healthcare could be significant.

When the three components of ADAMM are implemented it will consists of: a wearable patch, a device app, and cloud database storage. The wearable patch will consist of symptom detection that includes heart rate, wheezing, respiration, and cough counting. The device app will consist of treatment plans, wearable graphical user interface (GUI), parameter display, journaling, and medical reminders. The cloud storage component will enable symptom tracking and trending, alert forwarding, and HIPAA compliant data storage to help guard against data theft. The wearable and device app are scheduled to ship in the first quarter of 2015.

CES has long been synonymous with innovation. And while luxurious gadgetry is exciting, it was refreshing to see so much new technology aimed at saving lives and improving general wellness so well-represented.

About the Author

Beth Kelly is a freelance writer and blogger living in Chicago, IL.  She’s become passionate about healthcare and technology issues, and how the two can intersect to make life easier for everyone. In her free time she is an avid gardener, freelance photographer and lover of silent films. Follow @bkelly_88 on Twitter.

 


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EDITOR: I did not get to attend CES this year and am happy that Beth shared this, but I did follow the show online and gathered these related articles. Because I have an extensive background in smart home technologies I also wrote an article ridiculing the marketing hype around The Elusive Smart Home. While I remain skeptical of that market becoming mainstream anytime soon, I’m much more bullish on Digital Health. If you’re a gadget freak like me, watch these intro & summary videos and scan through the articles to see which ones interest you.

 

If you’ve gotten this far down the page, are still looking for the coolest stuff, and have time to watch many more videos, check out these official highlights from CESTV.