CES 2018 is over. We assessed the many health-related gadgets that were shown off by a myriad of companies, concluded our deliberations, and now is the time to present the winners of Medgadget’s Best of CES 2018. We extend our congratulations to the winners!
SmartSleep from Philips
Here’s an exciting device with a huge potential to improve the lives of millions. This simple looking head band is steeped in some serious science, and as the Philips folks told us, study results have shown significant improvement in sleep for many people that were enrolled in the company’s trials. We were able to ask Dr. David White, Chief Medical Officer, Philips SRC and Dr. Mark Aloia, Global Lead, Health Behavior Change, how the device works.
It’s been known for many years that the N3 stage of sleep (slow-wave sleep) is associated with the regulation of synapses in the brain. People that exhibit quality N3 stages wake up much more refreshed, and are able to function and concentrate throughout the day at higher capacity. Think of N3 stages as cleaning and reset periods for the brain. In addition, we know that the auditory stimulation during N3 seems to potentiate the reset capacity of the stage.
Enter the SmartSleep band. The device, designed for people with volitional sleep deprivation, is an EEG monitor that detects N3 waves, and as the wearer enters N3 during the night, the headband starts proprietary algorithms that deliver white noise audio near the ears. The algorithms escalates the sound up, up, up, until the EEG detects that the person is starting to wake up, and then the algorithm starts to back down on the volume. That’s all the device really does: it delivers optimized sound during the N3, potentiating the stage, and making the reset of synapses much more effective. Drs. White and Aloia told us that in their trials they noticed that people with SmartSleep had decreased amount of time needed for sleeping by around 30 minutes, because the wearers’ brains were recalibrating synapses much more effectively.
Philips is expecting to release the device on a limited basis in the United States while it continues to monitor its effectiveness and usage in a larger trial group. Of note, the company has worked with the FDA, and been told that the device could be sold over the counter.
Product page: Philips SmartSleep…
OrCam MyEye 2.0
Israel-based OrCam unveiled its futuristic artificial vision device, OrCam MyEye 2.0, to the public at CES 2018. Designed for people with sight impairments, such as blindness or partial blindness, the device is able to transcribe many things that it’s seeing to the wearer. MyEye 2.0 packs an unbelievable number of features in a little shell that is the size of a small match box that attaches to a pair of glasses.
For people unable to read, the device is able to scan and read out loud both digital and printed texts. You just look with the device at objects, point, and it reads out books, websites, grocery items based on bar-code, restaurant menus, bank statements, etc. The device can also recognize currency, such as dollar bills. It can also identify the colors of things. As OrCam touts, “…pick out a shirt, choose a gift, shop with confidence with quick and accurate color detection.”
The device can also be taught to recognize faces of family members, friends, or caregivers. The company also states says that “OrCam MyEye 2.0 has a database of millions of product bar-codes and stores up to 150 of your favorite products – such as supermarket items, drugstore necessities and credit cards – instantly communicating them through your own voice tag, enabling an independent shopping experience.”
Check out these videos demonstrating the impressive capabilities OrCam MyEye 2.0:
Product page: OrCam MyEye 2.0…
My Special Aflac Duck Robot
This cute robot was commissioned by the insurer Aflac from a talented startup called Sproutel, Inc., based in Providence, RI. (We have profiled Sproutel before as the creators of Jerry the Bear, the robot for children with type I diabetes.) The project’s goal is to provide My Special Aflac Duck to the nearly 16,000 pediatric patients newly diagnosed with cancer each year in the United States.
My Special Aflac Duck is a part of company’s ongoing Aflac Childhood Cancer Campaign, and Aflac tells us it will work nation-wide with care providers, hospitals, and doctors to make sure to distribute the device to all children newly diagnosed with cancer. Here are the cool features of the device, according to Sproutel, and don’t forget to check out the video below:
• Vibrational speaker simulates heartbeats and purring
• 3-motor animatronic system for lifelike movement (e.g.,nuzzling and dancing)
• 5 capacitive touch sensors
• Bluetooth Low Energy connects to an app (iOSand Android)
• Embedded microphone detects music
• Light and dark modes: Photosensor detects ambient light in room, adjusting duck behavior for children who are light sensitive
• Form-fitting removable, washable fabric (patent pending)
• RFID reader – enabling tactile play with feeling cards, port-a-cath accessory and Soundscapes spaceship
• Medical play and communicating feelings via mixed-reality app and accessories (users feed, bathe, mimic administering cancer treatments and calm their social robot)
• Calm mode: Enables guided breathing
• Quack-back: Talk to My Special A ac Duck and it provides a conversational quack-to-voice response
• Duck-to-duck communication (quacking)
Link: My Special Aflac Duck…
Whill Model Ci
San Carlos, CA-based WHILL Inc.’s new model Ci redefines the ergonomics and improves the functionality of a personal electric vehicle in a number of new ways. Thanks to a powerful battery, the device can punch through a 10 mile (16 km) range at 5 mph (8 kph). It’s designed for different terrains, handling obstacles up to 2” (5 cm) in height thanks to its two powerful motors and large front omni-wheels. The device is controlled via a joystick, but can also be manipulated remotely via Bluetooth and an iPhone App. The app can also be made to share its location, providing the live location of a person using the Ci to family members or other caretakers.
Link: Whill Model Ci…
Head Impact Monitor from Prevent Biometrics
Prevent Biometrics, the Cleveland Clinic spinoff, has announced at CES 2018 the commercial launch of its head impact monitor system, a new device that does real-time monitoring of head impacts in sports. The futuristic-looking maxillary bite device monitors the number of head impacts in real time, as well as the linear and rotational accelerations, and the location and direction of each impact. The company also states that it can monitor “impact forces with 6 degrees of freedom and filters false positives to eliminate false alerts. Patented deformable body algorithm calculates center of gravity of the head and measures the force, location and direction of each head impact.” The technology was already validated in a clinical study, and more research is underway.
More about the technology, according to Prevent Biometrics:
• Impact Monitor (IM) Mouthguard: At the heart of the system is the next generation of the IM Mouthguard, featuring technology that accurately measures linear and rotational acceleration, impact location and direction, and counts every impact received.
• Team App: Impacts are displayed in real time in the accompanying Team App, which provides notification when an individual impact exceeds a pre-set threshold, along with access to concussion symptom checklists, and tools that make it easier to manage players through the stages of concussion protocol.
• Web Portal: The web portal provides schools or athletic associations advanced analytics and reporting functionality, allowing them to review head impacts by impact characteristics or for any sub-set of athletes.
• Team Case: A durable team case will store up to 27 IM Mouthguards, and centrally charge and sanitize each one.
Link: Prevent Biometrics…