33+ Health Technology Devices Disrupting Healthcare in 2017
Health technology has been advancing in leaps and bounds over the last two to three decades. Buoyed by the same technological era that brought us the Smartphone, healthcare gadgets are quickly becoming important personal devices. As health technology gets better, we are seeing new health devices with more advanced features, far more accurate sensors and improved interconnectivity.
Here is a round off of 33 health tech devices that are changing healthcare and wellness for the better. We have divided them into seven categories based on their function and technology. The categories include:
- Health sensors (wearable and non-wearable) – these are devices equipped with sensors that can measure a number body vitals. Some sensors only measure one thing such as heart rate but increasingly, health sensors are multi-purpose meaning that they can take a variety of readings from heart rate to blood pressure to oxygen levels.
- Testing devices – these devices bring the laboratory directly to the consumer. Most testing devices require a drop of blood to perform a range of tests from glucose level to testosterone. Others need a swab or a saliva sample.
- Fitness trackers (wearable and non-wearable) – These are perhaps the most common of health tech devices with wearable activity trackers being especially popular. Fitness trackers use a variety of sensors to analyze heart rate, measure workout intensity and determine the amount of calories burned.
- Environmental sensors – health is not just about what you do or what you eat, it is also in the environment you live in. There are specific gadgets to measure the quality of your environment in regards to things like pollutants, humidity, light and noise. These gadgets are perfect for your home, office or for carrying with you when travelling.
- Dietary gadgets – seeing its huge importance in human health, food has gotten its fare share of tech devices. In this category, we feature several notable gadgets that are changing what and how we eat, and of course drink.
- Sleep sensors – sleep is just as important as diet in our health. There is no shortage of gadgets to help us sleep better. Here we feature the most notable ones that help us track and improve sleep quality.
- General health – there are of course those devices that do not fit in the above categories but are just as important for their health benefits. We feature these devices in the general health category.
Health Technology – Health Sensors
1. Scanadu Scout
Still in the pipeline, Scanadu Scout is a device equipped with sensors that measure important body vitals. The device measures temperature, blood pressure, heart rate and pulse oximetry (oxygen level in blood).
The measurements are sent wirelessly via Bluetooth to the users Smartphone device. Users can then use the readings to check on their health or share them with their physician.
The device works in conjunction with the Scanadu phone app. To use the device, the user holds it up to the left side of the head where sensors measure various parameters. Its compact size means you can carry it around in your pocket wherever you go.
2. My UV Patch by L’Oreal’s
We know that excessive UV exposure is bad for the skin. But how long is too long to bask in the sun. The answer lies in a stretchable skin patch by the beauty giant, L’Oreal. Debuted at CES 2016, the 50-micrometer thick patch covers an area of one square inch. It features dyes that change color depending on level of UV exposure.
To take a reading, the user takes a photo of the patch, which is then analyzed by My UV Patch mobile app. The app will tell how much UV exposure an individual has received. My UV Patch has a big advantage over rigid UV-measuring wearables, in that it can be placed on any part of the skin.
Kito+ is a medical monitor that also doubles up as a phone case. The case has built-in sensors to monitor your health. By placing your fingers on the case for a few seconds, you can get readings of your blood pressure, blood oxygen level, respiration rate, skin temperature, ECG and heart rate.
The readings are sent via Bluetooth to your phone, where you can access them via the Kito app. The Kito+ comes in form of a case for the iPhone. If you have an android, you will have to get the pocket sized stand-alone device.
4. AMI B.O.L.T
AMI B.O.L.T is another wireless health tracker produced by an Indian-based health company but sold to customers worldwide. The device measures oxygen saturation in blood, blood pressure, heart rate, core body temperature, hemoglobin count, blood cholesterol and blood sugar.
When paired with the B.O.L.T app for Smartphones and tablets, you can easily keep track of your health vitals. You can even share your trends with family members, friends or your physician.
The MedWand is a handheld scanner with sensors to measure different parameters. Unlike most other health scanners, MedWand is a comprehensive testing and diagnostic tool that includes a stethoscope, otoscope (ear examination), oxygen sensor, thermometer and heart rate sensor.
Patients can connect with their doctors through video calling. The doctor can then take all basic vitals as if the patient were in the clinic. The doctor can examine the ear, eyes, throat, heart rate and temperature. With these measurements, initial diagnostic determinations can be made.
The gadget also includes an emergency notification for your doctor if your vitals exceed certain boundaries. This ensures that serious medical conditions are caught well ahead of time.
6. Withings Thermo
Withings produces a number of smart health tracking products. One of their notable products is the Thermo, which is a smart thermometer. The thermometer features 16 infrared sensors to get extremely accurate temperature readings in a very short time.
Instead of placing the thermometer under your arm or in your mouth, the Thermo just needs to be placed lightly on the temple. Not only is this more comfortable it is also hygienic, allowing the same device to be used safely by multiple family members.
Since it is equipped with Wi-Fi, it can send temperature readings to your Smartphone, which you can access from the Thermo app. You can also set the device to send you reminders to take temperature, an important feature if you have kids.
The Withings Thermo can be used by everyone including infants and children.
It brands itself as the world’s smartest thermometer. It functions like any other thermometer with the added advantage of mobile connectivity. Using the companion Kinsa app, you can keep track of your temperature readings and those of your family members. The readings can be shared with a doctor or caregiver.
Based on your temperature readings and symptoms, the app provides advice from expert medical professionals and even tells you when it’s time to call the doctor. For kids, the app has a fun game to keep kids calm as you take their temperature.
You can get the Smart Stick (for use in mouth) for $24.99 and the Smart Ear (for use in ear) for $59.99.
A full fledge laboratory for your home may not be possible but Cue brings a slate of important tests right to your door. Cue can test for the level of testosterone, fertility, inflammation and vitamin D. It can also test for the presence of influenza.
To conduct a test, you can use small amounts of saliva or blood or take a nasal swab. The device connects with your Smartphone for easy tracking of your health. Based on your test results, the Cue app will provided you with dietary and exercise recommendations to improve your health.
You can pre-order the testing kit for $199 on Cue’s website.
9. Wireless Smart Gluco-Monitoring System
In the United States, Diabetes is one of the top 10 leading causes of death, with 9.3% (29.1 million people) of the population having been diagnosed with the disease in 2012. Mayo clinic recommends blood sugar self-testing as an important part of treatment and management of diabetes.
The Wireless Smart Gluco-Monitoring System enables you to measure your own blood sugar level at home without needing to go to the clinic. For $29.95, you get a device that quickly takes blood glucose readings and sends them wirelessly via Bluetooth to your Smartphone.
The device is very compact, meaning you can carry it around with you wherever you go.
Check your HIV status privately at home using the Oraquick home test kit from Orasure. All you need to do is swab your gum and then wait for the results. The test kit is FDA approved. For positive tests, Oraquick has a 92 percent accuracy rate while the accuracy for negative tests is 99 percent.
Additionally, it can measure the two strains of HIV: the common HIV-1 and the rare HIV-2. If you test positive, Oraquick recommends getting a follow up test with a doctor. If the test result comes back negative, they recommend that you do another test in three months time.
11. First Response Pregnancy Pro
At CES 2016, Church & Dwight, Co., Inc showcased the first smart pregnancy test and its accompanying app. The test is taken using the Pregnancy Pro Stick, which is connected wirelessly to the app via Bluetooth. Users will be guided through the testing process by the app.
After the test is complete, the app counts down from 3 minutes, giving the user the option to be entertained, calmed down or educated. The results will be shown on the stick and can also be displayed on the app. The app offers various recommendations based on test results.
Tao is essentially a tiny gym in your pocket. The device guides you through more than 50 exercise types that target different muscles of the body. It is equipped with a number of sensors – pressure sensor, heart rate sensor, accelerometer and gyroscope – to track your movements and analyze your workouts.
Tao is not just for fitness junkies, it also holds plenty of benefits for people who spend most of their day sitting. Through its exercise recommendations, you can develop your muscles, strengthen your core, improve joint mobility and counter the negative effects of excessive sitting.
The device works with the companion Tao app. You can also carry it with you, allowing you to sneak in a quick workout whether you are in the train, in the office or at the park.
13. Skulpt Aim
While cardio and strength training are important, it is also crucial to measure your progress. One way you can do this is through Skulpt Aim, a wireless and smart gadget that measures muscle quality and body fat percentage. You can check whether you are building your muscle mass while also losing fat.
Based on your measurements and analysis, the Skulpt app recommends a range of exercises and dietary change that fit your unique fitness profile. So you not only track your progress, you can also make adjustments to reach your goal quicker.
You can get the Skulpt device for $99. It comes with its own charging cradle.
14. HealthBox from HTC and Under Armour
HealthBox is a fitness and health technology kit comprising three devices; UA Band, UA Heart Rate and UA Scale. It was debuted at CES 2016 under a HTC and Under Armour collaboration.
The UA Band is worn on the wrist and can be used by athletes to measure activity. It is water resistant. UA Heart Rate is a chest-strapped monitor measures workout intensity, giving you an estimate of calories burnt at the end of your workout. UA Scale is a smart Wi-Fi that can measure and tracks body fat percentage and body weight.
With the three devices, anyone can keep track of their fitness objectives. HealthBox works with the app, UA Record. There you can even set a weight loss goal and track your efforts to achieve it.
15. Fitbit Blaze
Fitbit is one of the most recognizable names when it comes to fitness and health technology wearables. Fitbit Blaze is a wrist-worn smart watch that is aimed at helping users keep track of their fitness. The fitness watch provides on-screen workouts, a heart rate monitor and can be connected with your phone’s GPS to track your running routes.
Blaze’s function goes beyond fitness to provide other essentials like music control and alerts for calls, texts and calendar notifications. The watch has a five-day battery life, ensuring that it will not die on you mid-way through your workout.
To cater to different style preferences, you can accessorize the watch with unique bands and frames.
Fitbit Blaze sells at $199.95.
16. OMsignal sports bra
OMSignal is famous for its smart sports apparel. The smart sports bra is the latest addition to its fitness technology lineup. The bra tracks a number of parameters in real time and sends them to your phone. It takes measurements of breathing rate, workout intensity, heart rate and number of calories burned. The bra is adjustable to fit different sizes and comes in a number of styles.
For those days you leave your phone at home, the bra has mini smart box that records and stores all activity data for transmission to your phone later. The box is waterproof meaning you can still run in the rain without worrying about damaging it.
A smart, compact and cordless cube that sits on your desk and monitors environmental quality in your home or office. The cube measures a number of aspects including noise, light, air, temperature, humidity and pressure. By combining readings from all these parameters, the device can determine how the environment is affecting your health and general wellness.
It helps improve sleep, breath better air, save energy and make your home energy smarter. This small but powerful device has seven inbuilt sensors to track and analyze various aspects around you. For maximum accuracy, readings are updated every minute.
All information is stored in the free CubeSensors app, which you can access from any device and location.
Like CubeSensor, Foobot is packed with a number of sensors to track indoor environment quality. It detects and measures the presence of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, particulate matter, humidity and temperature.
You can place a number of connected devices in different rooms for full monitoring of your home or office space. Based on your environmental readings, you will get actionable recommendations to improve the air quality around you and protect the environment.
There is a companion app for both iOS (7 and above) and Android (4 and above) mobile operation systems.
The Foobot indoor air quality monitor costs $199.
This personal environment monitoring kit comes packed with 12 sensors, enabling you to know exactly how healthy your environment is and what you can do to make it better. Using the Sensordrone app on Android and iOS, you can control the 12 different outputs, running them individually or simultaneously.
The sensors can measure humidity, carbon monoxide, temperature, pressure, altitude and color intensity among other parameters. Sensordrone is comprehensive enough to be used by professionals yet simple enough for non-professional end users.
The Lapka environmental monitor is a set of four sensors that connect to your Smartphone, essentially turning it into a monitoring device. The four sensors measure electromagnetic field, radiation, humidity and how organic the food you are eating is.
The different sensors are sold separately. To use a specific sensor, you simply connect it with your phone and then you open the associated app. You can get the entire package for $249.
Important to note is that Lapka has been acquired by Airbnb and it remains to see which direction they will take in the coming months.
21. Pryme Vessyl
Pryme Vessyl is a smart mug that analyzes fluids put in it. Whether you are drinking water, a smoothie or a soft drink, the Vessyl Cup will help you ‘hydrate intelligently’ as they put it. The device, still in development, will tell you the components in your drink including sugar content, number of calories, fat content, proteins, caffeine content and much more.
The device goes further to create a hydration profile unique to you, helping you take in the right fluids in the right amounts. This keeps your brain sharp, your calorie intake under control, your skin properly moisturized and your body well supplied with energy.
Have you ever gone to a restaurant but were skeptical of the quality of food before you? Soon, you will be able to carry an ‘electronic nose’ with you to determine exactly how fresh the food is. The Peres device, still in development, works on meats, specifically pork, poultry, beef and fish.
According to the US department of agriculture, improperly handled meat can cause serious health problems. Peres will give you the confidence that what you are eating is safe for you.
Your nose is not the most trustworthy device to test for food quality, especially considering that it is impossible to smell some harmful substances and bacteria. Peres helps protect your health.
This is the first hand-held device that scans what is on your plate and tells you what ingredients your food comprises of. TellSpec is based on three things; the scanning device itself also called the spectrometer, a cloud-based analysis engine and a companion mobile app.
With the device you can scan your food for macronutrients, potentially allergic ingredients and give an estimate amount of calories. An analysis by the companion app can also determine whether the food is authentic while also checking its quality.
If you are looking for a device to keep track of your diet and to help you take control of what you eat, this is it. It can benefit people who are losing weight, those who are allergic to certain ingredients and anyone who desires more control over their diet.
You can pre-order the beta unit for $450.
There are plenty of smart cutleries popping up recently, helping people eat better and healthier. HAPIfork is a smart fork that aims to coach its users into eating more slowly, thereby helping them lose weight.
Eating too quickly contributes to weight gain. This is because it takes time, around 20 minutes, before the brain registers that the stomach is full. By this time, fast eaters will have taken in way more calories than they need.
With HAPIfork, you learn to take your time at the table, savoring each bite after another. The fork will alert you when you are eating too fast using light flashes and vibrations. All recorded information, including eating pace and duration, is uploaded via Bluetooth or USB to your Smartphone.
The fork is currently selling at $79.00.
25. LifeFuels Smart Nutrition Bottle
This one joins the long line of smart water bottles that seem to be popping up everywhere. The basic function is keeping track of your water intake. It will even tell you how much water you have left. But LifeFuels goes a step further. Using attached fuelpods, the bottle can add nutrients or flavors to your water.
The smart bottle comes with an app that connects to the bottle via Bluetooth. On the app, you can see your drinking data and control what vitamins and flavors you want to add to your water.
The bottle is easily portable, allowing you to carry it to the office, in your car or on your morning run. You can pre-order the bottle and 10 fuelpods for $195.
Sleep – For Better Health
Sleep is a crucial part of your health. Getting the right amount of quality sleep contributes to physical health, proper brain function and emotional well-being.
Beddit is a sleep aid without all the dangerous side effects and risks. It is a simple ultra thin device that you slip under your sheets when you turn in at night. The Beddit sensor keeps track of your sleep. It can measure your breathing, heart rate, snoring, sleep partners, night movements and snoring. In the morning, a single number on the accompanying mobile app shows you how well you slept.
You can also dive deeper into the data collected to check the specific areas you can improve on to get better sleep. The app is compatible with iOS 8 and above and Android 5 and above. You can get the device for $149.
27. Withings Aura
The Withings Aura smart sleep monitoring system comprises two parts; a connected alarm clock that you place on your bedside table and a sleep sensor that you place under your sheets. The alarm clock lets you wake up to customized music. It also doubles as a night lamp with a Smartphone charging USB port.
The sleep sensor tracks your sleep duration, sleep cycle variation and overall sleep quality. It will even wake you up at the best time of your sleep cycle, ensuring that you start the day fresh and invigorated.
You can get the smart alarm clock for $189.95 or the alarm clock and sleep sensor for $299.95.
28. it Bed by Sleep Number
This is actually a full bed, rather than a small compact device, that brings the best of health tech to your bedroom. The bed has built in biometric sensors that keep track of how well you are sleeping. They measure your heart rate, movement and breathing while also giving you personalized insights into how you can improve your sleep quality.
The bed can be connected to various home devices such as the thermostat. So the bed can set a specific temperature that it deems is best for you. For couples, the mattress will come with ActiveComfort technology that adapts the mattress to the needs of each individual, ensuring the best sleep for both of you.
The IT Bed is expected to start selling for around $1,000 later in 2016.
General Health Devices
SoundHawk packages the best of hearing science into a simple compact device. While it may come across as a hearing aid for the impaired, it can benefit everyone. One of the things it does is diminish background noise helping you focus on what you actually want to hear.
When paired with a wireless mic, the in-ear device delivers a startling clarity in sound. Just place the mic near the source of the sound you want to hear such as someone talking. SoundHawk can also be used as a Bluetooth earpiece, enabling hands-free communication and access to Google Now and Siri.
For your dental health, there is the Kolibree electric smart toothbrush. It is primarily targeted at children, giving them the motivation they need to keep their teeth clean. Sensors on the toothbrush can tell how well kids are brushing their teeth. It uses games and fun to teach kids better dental hygiene and practices. Other smart features include sonic vibration, Bluetooth connectivity, intelligent brushing software and protective nylon bristles to protect kids’ gums.
For all the tech in it, the toothbrush weighs only 70 grams, making it the lightest electronic toothbrush you can get. You can get the toothbrush for $149.
31. VR Health – Surgical Theatre
VR (virtual reality) technology has gone big in 2017 with big companies including Google and Facebook jumping into the game. One surprising application of VR technology is in the operating room. A group of experts have developed a VR-based technology that lets surgeons explore the inside of the patient’ brains without lifting a knife. If it is a tumor, the doctor can see all around it and adequately plan on how to treat it.
This health technology, referred to as Surgical Theatre, is akin to allowing a soldier walk through a mission before actually hitting the ground. For surgeons, this will have important implications on how they treat their patients.
32. Laser Technology in Brain Tumor Treatment
In 2015, surgeons in London used laser technology to identify abnormal brain tissue that needed to be removed. Normally they would have had to send samples to the lab, which results in delays during the operation.
With laser technology, laser beams are fired into the brain tissue during operation, causing cells to vibrate. Since healthy cells vibrate at a different frequency from cancerous ones, the tumor can be easily identified and safely removed.
The iKnife or intelligent knife was tested at the same time the laser technology was trialed in London. The knife uses heat, generated by an electrical current, to cut through tissue. One advantage of this is that blood loss is minimized, resulting in a safer operation. As the knife cuts, it produces smoke. This smoke is proving to be a Eureka moment for surgeons.
The smoke contains crucial biological and chemical information from various cells and tissues in the brain. The smoke is analyzed in a mass spectrometer, providing results within seconds. A lab test that would take over half an hour can now be done in seconds.
The iKnife can also be used in many other operations in various parts of the body to determine the type and health of the tissue being operated on.
34. Driverless Cars
Yes, that is right, Driverless cars are an important health technology gadget. Every year, more than 37,000 people die due to road accidents and 2.35 million are disabled with others becoming disabled.
Driverless cars are on the road to becoming a reality. One of the biggest impacts on the new driverless age will be a reduction in road accidents. According to research, driverless cars could reduce road accidents by as much as 90%. This translates to over 300,000 lives saved every year.
Now, you can see why driverless cars will become one of the biggest health revolutions of this century.
Wrapping It Up
This was our take on the most amazing exisiting and upcoming health technology devices. What’s yours? Do you use some of the mentioned gadgets to track or improve your health? Or is there a device that is missing on our list? Comment below and let us know!