Just as we have seen advances in technology continuously make consumer goods smaller, smarter, and more convenient, the same is true with technology in healthcare. People are able to monitor their health in ways never before possible and healthcare professionals are able to better diagnose and care for their patients. Here are just a few of the latest health tech devices to pop up at recent events such as January’s CES and March’s SXSW.
Butterfly Network: The Pocket-Sized Ultrasound
An estimated 4.7 billion people around the world lack access to medical imaging, but the Butterfly iQ ($1,999) could change that. This is the first personal, whole-body ultrasound imager that connects to an iPhone and is small enough to fit in a pocket so any healthcare professional (HCP) could have one. It is also easy to use, with 18 preset modes and a Butterfly Tele-Guidance feature that connects HCPs who have little experience with ultrasounds to an expert who can guide them though even the most challenging scans.
Triple W: First Wearable for Incontinence
Seniors, people with disability, patients, and others who struggle with a loss of bladder control now have an alternative to diapers, pads, or medications that help them manage incontinence. Triple W’s DFree ($499.99) is a lightweight and portable device that clips to your clothing or belt while a non-invasive ultrasound sensor is secured to the lower abdomen with medical tape to monitor the bladder. Users can then set when they want to be notified via app when it is time to go to the bathroom such as when the bladder is 65%, 70%, or 85% full.
Omron: Continuous Blood Pressure Monitor
The Omron HeartGuide ($499) is the first clinically accurate, wearable blood pressure monitor. Different from other wearables that rely on sensor technology, the HeartGuide features miniaturized components for traditional oscillometric measurement and uses an inflatable cuff within the watch band to take a blood pressure reading. Paired with the HeartAdvisor app, users can monitor blood pressure, activity, and sleep quality in order to better understand how their lifestyle impacts their heart health and get actionable insights based on their personalized data.
Samsung: Solving Mobility Issues
To help people with mobility issues or rehabbing injuries to their knee, ankle, and hips, Samsung is developing a series of exoskeletons currently called the Gait Enhancing and Motivating System (GEMS). While still just prototypes, the company showed off the GEM-H (which hugs the hips and upper thighs), GEMS-K (which hugs the thighs and extends below the knee), and GEMS-A (which straps onto the lower leg with a platform for the foot) at this year’s CES. The GEM-H, for instance, makes it easier to walk by saving 23% in energy, correcting posture, and increasing walking pace by almost 20%.
Withings: 90-Second At-Home Heart Checkup
The Withings BPM Core is a smart blood pressure monitor that also integrates an electrocardiogram (ECG) and a digital stethoscope so that patients can perform a heart checkup in the comfort of their own home in as quick as 90 seconds. The BPM Core can perform all three tests in under two minutes, which allows patients to easily monitor and detect important heart-related vitals that can point to a risk of serious conditions such as atrial fibrillation and valvular heart disease—and then share the results with their doctor.