Recently, I attended the Medical Design & Manufacturing (MD&M) East expo in New York City, and to my surprise the sponsors hosted a fashion show of health wearables. Although they did not necessarily have a runway, they presented a fascinating selection of different health monitoring devices that could be disguised with your attire.
Opening the show was Somatix, a company that has developed wearable-assisted gesture detection software platform for real-time health monitoring. Eran Ofir, CEO and Co-Founder of Somatix, presented their ability to capture millions of data by tapping into sensors of various smartwatches and smartbands. The sensors monitor activities of the patient, and employs machine learning and Big Data analytics that translates the relayed information into actionable insights delivered to physicians or clinicians. This information has provided valuable data to help clinicians monitor tremors, helps with addiction control in drinking, eating and smoking, and provides activities of daily living (ADLs) to detect the physical state of elderly.
Next was a small wearable button that people can easily adhere to their clothing. Emmanuel Dumount, Founder and CEO of Shade, created a UV sensor that can be worn on clothing.
The device was created for those diagnosed with autoimmune disorders and immunosuppressed patients. It provides valuable information about UV exposure and helps ensure people stay below dangerous UV levels. Dumount said melanoma is the only disease in the U.S. that is increasing and hopes this can provide a preventative measure for skin cancer and skin aging. The sensor is 10 to 30 times more accurate than other UV monitors. Dumount said the majority of their time creating the button was spent on the technology inside. The shade button uses magnets to clasp onto a piece of clothing, but users must remember to remove the button and place it back on their day-to-day clothing.
Cloud DX Tricorder
Following Shade’s UV sensor was Qualcomm’s Tricorder XPRIZE contest Innovation Winner Cloud DX, who was tasked with creating a Star Trek Tricorder prototype that could scan the body, diagnose 15 autoimmune diseases, and determine what was wrong with the patient. Robert Kaul, Founder, President and CEO of Cloud DX, showed off their device that continuously monitors vital signs and uses AI on data to produce actionable results.
The device has the ability to monitor temperature, blood pressure, respiration, and is calibrated from the start with a wrist cuff. Additionally, their commercial design had to be a bit chunkier than the original version, Kaul said, because the device had to meet more requirements than they anticipated, such as being dustproof and droppable. It can also be reused for two full years and has a replaceable ear piece for additional monitoring.
Reflex Posture Monitor
Also on display was a wearable, created by Kinetic that attaches to your jeans or belt while analyzing biomechanics. This device, known as Reflex, vibrates for a high-risk posture, said Danny Payson, Head of Safety Kinetic. For example, if someone picked something up from the ground and they did not bend their knees, the device would vibrate, signifying an alert that the person should adapt their posture.
Users can also set biomechanic goals on the device, and the device will vibrate once the user has reached their goal. With the Kinetic dashboard, an employer can view the risk profile of their workforce and receive insights on how to reduce injuries at their company.
V-Go Insulin Delivery Device
Last on the ‘runway’ was an adhesive for Type 2 Diabetes created by Valeritas and presented by David Lewis, VP of Marketing. Lewis stated that in diabetes, the pancreas does not produce insulin, so for Type 2 diabetes people have to take an insulin treatment shot and take an incremental injection before every meal. V-Go, the wearable insulin deliver device, eliminates the need for an injection and is administered incognito with a hip-locking spring.
Before a meal, the user only needs to push a button that delivers two units of insulin. The adhesive adheres for 24-hours and is hypoallergenic. After 24 hours the user simply throws out the needle.
Although I only saw a few of the hundreds of health wearables available, the wearable industry will continue to impact the medical field. With the constant creation of innovative technology, the possibilities are becoming endless.