16 Wearable Devices Impacting Healthcare
Lee Kauffman , Editor | Jan 7, 2015
Title: Editor
Topic category: Lifestyle

The article which follows by Stephanie Baum of Medcity News compares groups of similar wearable technologies intended to address an array of healthcare issues. Many of these devices are still under development but provide an excellent vision of what the near future will bring. I would urge our readers to not only explore each of the products by following the links but to read the more detailed comparisons available on the Medcitynews.com.

It’s really interesting to see the transformation in the wearables market. On one level there has been a shift of tracking technology from uber athletes to the mass market where someone running a 5k can get the same meaningful information from their pulse and stride as an Olympic hopeful. Even cooler, wearable devices are being used to compensate and evaluate specific physical needs from eyesight to movement.

In MedCity’s second annual interpretation of the NCAA basketball tourney brackets, we’re shifting our gaze from mobile health apps to wearable tech. The brackets highlight some of the innovative technologies that have the potential to improve communication, increase the options available to certain patient populations and in some cases produce game changing technology.

Also, it’s not like we’re testing these things ourselves so that’s worth bearing in mind. The criteria we’re using for the match-ups are a combination of practical necessity and future potential. Is it filling an unmet need? How helpful is it? How many stand to directly benefit from the device? What’s the future potential for the device?

I have done my best to cut across a broad swathe. Although the focus is devices around healthcare, I have also included a few companies with wearable tech that I believe could have a significant impact on some patient populations. One example of that are the gesture control devices developed by Playtabase and Thalmic Labs.

1.Pristine use of Google Glassvs.OrCam

With all the excitement around Google Glass, I thought it would good to include one company using the technology. Austin, Texas-based Pristine is applying Google Glass to telemedicine. It is using it for consults with remote physicians in a product called Eyesight because it can use it for better camera angles than the devices typically used in telemedicine consults. Orcam It is also applying it to checklists. OrCam tackles the inadequately met need of the visually impaired with a camera attached to glasses that recognizes and identifies through audio text and objects the user points to.

2. EnChroma glasses to aid people who are colorblind vs Evena Medical glasses to help nurses see veins

EnChroma has developed sunglasses to help 8 percent of the world male population who are colorblind. Evena Medical developed a set of special 3D glasses that helps nurses and phlebotomists do a better job of finding veins for blood tests and IVs.

3. Playtabase’s Reemo vs Thalmic Labs’ Myo

I picked Playtabase’s Reemo and Thalmic Labs’ Myo gesture control tools because both have developed gesture control tools that have potential applications for healthcare from helping increase the independence of people with reduced mobility and as physical therapy tools. Rehabilitation.

4. Mimo babymonitorLark vs Technologies to help adults sleep better

Which is more important — monitoring infants or sleep patterns in adults? Actually, both technologies are interesting and worth a closer look. Mimo uses embedded machine washable sensors in its baby outfit to measure respiration. Lark technologies developed a wristband to track sleep time and patterns. Sleep monitoring devices are a significant segment in the wearables market.

5. First Warning Systems’ BSE bra Hypsilon’s smart vs sock to detect complications from diabetes

These are cool technologies and fit directly in the healthcare space. How disruptive would it be to have a bra that could spot the early stages of breast cancer when a tumor is beginning to form? What about a sock that could detect complications from diabetes? Both have the potential to achieve that winning and oft-repeated goal to improve outcomes and reduce healthcare costs.

6.Ollo Mobile’s Cloud Phone 3Gvs.Pebble by Pebble Technology

This may be the most consumer oriented of the match-ups. Both of these technologies probably have the largest groups of potential users. The Ollo Mobile cloud phone is designed to help families to monitor a member’s health from great distances and in real-time. Pebble is a smartwatch that helps users access information from their smartphone. Its inclusion also reflects the growing interest in smartwatches in the wearables market.

7. Biosensics’ Leg Sys vsArtefact’s Dialog

Biosensics is tackling the issue of identifying and tracking Parkinson’s disease with a tool that evaluates the telltale gait associated with the condition. Artefact’s device to treat epilepsy is unique, but it also focuses on a specific condition. I think it’s interesting to have these Mr. Spock philosophical discussions. Do the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few?

8.Zoll’s Life Vest vs iHealth’s ECG

Why? Cardiology is a big area of development so it’s only fitting that we reflect that in wearables tourney. There’s a lot of interest in increasing public awareness about and access to defibrillators, so Zoll’s solution to have a defibrillator you carry around with you if you are at increased risk for needing one seems like one way to address this challenge. iHealth has developed a group of wearable and wireless sensors to track cardiovascular conditions, including its ECG device to detect arrhythmias, which unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas at the start of the year.”

Stephanie Baum |Mar 27, 2014
Tags: Wearable Technology, Google Glass, Enchroma, Color bllindess correction
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