CES, with its decades-long history of extravagant conventions, did no take over Las Vegas this year, but instead digitised this year’s event, fully adapting to the COVID-19 pandemic by replacing crowded conference rooms, live speeches and late-night parties with state-of-the-art virtual chats allowing people from all over the world to join the big names in consumer technology and discuss upcoming trends around virtual round tables by the fireside instead.
Companies large and small played the game and took advantage of this virtual event to announce their latest health and wellness technologies, ranging from remote sensors to smartphone applications to non-invasive blood glucose monitors. Below are the first of many exciting technological innovations for 2021 presented at this year’s Virtual CES.
Developed by Omron Healthcare, a manufacturer of medical devices for both professional and consumer use, the product is the company’s first contact with remote patient monitoring, a growing trend in the healthtech sector.
VitalSight, is a clinician-supplied home kit that includes a connected blood pressure monitor and a data hub. This technology can be integrated into an EHR system allowing doctors to receive patient data in their records or through a data analysis and automatic notification dashboard built by Omron.
To ensure the system optimal functionality, the company has announced that it will partner with Mount Sinai New York and NorthWestern Medicine, both pioneers in the field.
Jeffrey Ray, Omron’s Executive Director of Business and Technology, explained how Omron has developed VitalSight to address hypertension management in a new way, primarily by providing remote capabilities but also easier and faster communication between patient and doctor, while the product also enables more data to be collected that will ultimately contribute to better treatment decisions and improved health outcomes.
At the CES Virtual event, Omron also previewed the updated 2.0 version of its mobile application Omron Connect. The application, which combines the existing HeartAdvisor and Omron Connect applications, will communicate with the company’s various connected blood pressure monitors while providing users with new health information based on their readings.
Valencell, a leading company in the field of biometric sensors, has announced a new version of its cuffless and calibration-free blood pressure measurement technology, which can be integrated into wearables worn on the finger or wrist. Previously developed to be compatible only with devices worn in the ear, these advanced biometric sensors will now enable partner companies to add blood pressure measurement capabilities to their smart watches, pulse oximeter finger clips and other such wearables.
Valencell’s innovative product comes to life by combining the company’s software with photoplethysmography (PPG) and inertial sensors, replacing the traditional cuff. According to the company, this technology allows the user to benefit from readings throughout the day that offer accuracy similar to that of a blood pressure cuff.
Another new development in the blood pressure monitor market is the revolutionary smartphone application by Toronto-based NuraLogix, which takes readings in 30 seconds without physical contact.
The Anura application uses the smartphone’s flashlight to shine a light on the skin and measure its translucency in order to understand blood flow. The application is offered to users as a free iOs or Android download for personal use and offers SDKs and white label integrations for companies who wish to include this feature in their products. Aimed at various markets, Anura is available in seven languages.
Eager to further integrate the telemedicine and virtual care market, iMediSync presented its iSyncWave, a portable gel-free device for EEG brain mapping and LED therapy device.
Worn over the head, the device is designed to enable early detection of neuropsychiatric disorders, as well as to provide treatment either in a clinic or remotely at home. The device also works with the iSyncMe mobile application and the iSyncBrain cloud computing platform, with which the company seeks to provide the sector with a comprehensive solution for the diagnosis and treatment of neuropsychiatric disorders.
Philips Patient Monitoring Kit, Philips BX100 Portable Biosensor, Sonicare
Aiming to maintain its leadership in the field of health technologies, Philips presented a range of innovative products at this year’s Virtual CES.
The company developed the Philips Patient Monitoring Kit, a ready-to-go kit for critical care units, which enables intensive care teams to rapidly increase the care capacity of their unit in an emergency, as well as the Philips BX100 Portable Biosensor, a remote vital signs measuring device that can be placed on the chest to measure respiratory rate, heart rate, posture, activity level and ambulation.
Beyond the healthcare sector, Philips also announced the launch of a 3D scanning tool that streamlines CPAP mask selection as well as an enhanced version of its popular Sonicare toothbrush. The company also targeted solutions for offices looking to virtualize their practices by introducing a revolutionary teledentistry platform.
Continuing in the field of wearable monitoring technology, the Japanese start-up Quantum Operation has introduced a non-invasive continuous glucose monitor, which so far has been a challenging product to develop for companies operating in this field. Aimed at facilitating self-monitoring of diabetes, the sensor’s “spectrum sensing technology” is capable of measuring blood glucose through the skin while being worn on the wrist, according to the company.
Smart Healthcare Device
Smart Healthcare Device, a product developed by the South Korean company ICON.AI is a comprehensive solution combining a smart display and a detachable sensor capable of taking six different vital sign readings.
An LCD touch screen connected with built-in speakers and an AI Personal Assistant via Amazon Alexa forms the basis of the device, while a smaller detachable device measures heart rate, blood pressure, peripheral oxygen saturation and other health data directly from the user’s fingertips in about 60 seconds. In addition, the system can alert a third party such as a hospital, doctor or family member when serious results are detected.
iWEECARE, a Taiwanese health technology company, announced the launch of its wearable smart patch for measuring body temperature, which it presented as ideal for use in hospitals or for infant care due to its very light weight. The product transmits readings wirelessly for remote monitoring and offers an accuracy of 0.05 degrees Celsius. The product syncs with a mobile application that updates in real time, generates alerts in case of abnormal temperatures and can also be used to document the user’s medication history.
Also from Taiwan, PressureDOT, presented its wireless sensor of the same name, which continuously measures and transmits intra-abdominal pressure, temperature and its own 3D location in real time. The device is either swallowed by the patient or inserted into the body through a nasogastric tube. Once in the body, the device sends a signal via a “special antenna array” and can be monitored by doctors during treatment using an application on their mobile device.
Wearables brand Amazfit announced the release of its GTR 2e and GTS 2e smartwatches at this year’s Virtual CES.
The company introduced new design features such as an AMOLED rotating display, while the smartwatches also offer 24-hour heart rate monitoring using a PPG optical sensor, measurement of blood oxygen saturation during activity, monitoring of sleep quality, stress measurement, and use of a health monitoring feature driven by an algorithm that translates all watch readings into a single numbered score.
The watches work with Amazfit’s Zepp application, which allows users to read and save the information collected by their smartwatches.
FallCall Detect is an innovative device developed by FallCall Solutions that can detect when a person falls and is equipped with a Personal Emergency Response System (PERS). This tech device can even detect whether the fall was severe or not. In the first case, the system can automatically connect to the emergency services, while it can connect to community links if the fall is detected as being of lesser impact.
The technology will first be made available as part of the Apple Watch App. The co-founder of FallCall Solutions, Dr. Shea Gregg, explained in a statement how the integration of the tool into an Apple Watch will lead to greater adoption, daily use and faster treatment of fall-related injuries. He believes that providing older people with simple, safe and smart technology will be less stigmatizing, cumbersome or inconvenient for users.
Rhythm+2.0, a new heart rate monitor featuring optical sensors that can continuously measure blood flow and body movement and designed to be worn like a cuff, has been introduced by automotive product manufacturer Sosche Industries. The product consists of a waterproof sensor, based on Valencell’s PerformTek biometric sensor, and can be used with smartphones, watches and fitness equipment.
Startup CarePLUS.ai unveiled an elderly care monitoring system that integrates a 360-degree camera on speakers mounted on the ceiling of a room, which is equipped with AI and is controlled by a smartphone application.
The system offers a complete solution for assisting the elderly by first observing routine activities and within 10 days can provide active assistance such as ordering meals or preventing accidents.