CES 2016 report: new technologies that could improve patient care, by Andy Hastie


Held in Las Vegas every January, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is the world’s gathering place for all who thrive on the business of consumer electronics. For more than 40 years, it has served as the global stage for introducing next-generation innovations and breakthrough technologies to the marketplace.

As the Experience Director of emotive, an agency that specialises in bringing technology to the fore of healthcare communications, I find events such as the CES fascinating. Along with the rest of my team, I’m always trying to keep abreast of technologies that could make a difference to the life science arena and public health. We’re also constantly trying to identify new tools and technologies that could help us to provide even more creative concepts for our clients.

This year’s CES was bigger than ever, hosting over 3,600 exhibitors across 2.47 million square feet. Among the exhibitions were a number of creative solutions for monitoring health, treating diseases and raising disease awareness, proving that digital health continues to grow at an astonishing pace.

The MDLIVE telehealth platform, for example, provides access to 24/7 acute care, delivered through virtual doctor consultations.

Paired with a smartphone app, Samsung’s wellness belt, or “Welt”, monitors your waistline and counts your steps throughout the day. It also tracks your over-eating, which the app infers from changes in belt tension.

The Speedform Gemini II sneakers/trainers, produced by Under Armour, track where you’re going, the distance you’ve travelled and the number of calories you’ve burnt, all of which show up in the MapMyRun platform and app.

Levl’s breath pod and app tell you how much fat you’re burning by measuring the level of acetone in your breath, which allows you to make methodical, real-time decisions regarding diet and fitness.

L’Oreal’s My UV Patch tracks your skin’s exposure to harmful UV rays. After taking a photo of the patch, a smartphone app tells you whether to apply more sunscreen or head for the shade.

But the highlight for me this year was Genworth’s R70i Aging Experience suit, a powered exoskeleton and headset combination that helps people to experience the physical effects of aging. Using robotics and augmented reality, the suit adds extra weight, limits body mobility and simulates neurological, visual and auditory problems that are associated with old age, including tinnitus, presbycusis, aphasia, glaucoma and macular degeneration. The purpose of the suit, according to Genworth, is to raise awareness of common age-associated diseases and to help members of the public to think about future long-term care needs. However, the suit could have other important applications, mainly revolving around medical education, research and even market access.

For example, imagine being able to have a commissioner experience first-hand the difficulties of an age-associated disease before experiencing the difference that a new product could make to the condition. This would not only help to bring products to market but would also support decisions that favour better patient care.

Amongst other thought-provoking innovations seen in Vegas, we’ll be exploring how technologies such as the R70i Aging Experience suit can help our clients to improve patient care in the future.

emotive is a multi-award-winning healthcare communications agency that creates technology-led healthcare programmes and applications across multiple disciplines that ultimately deliver better patient outcomes. To learn how we can help you to deliver award-winning digital and innovation projects, please e-mail our Client Services Director Adam Boucher (adam@thinkemotive.com) or call +44 (0) 207 148 0408.



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