With more than 300 exhibitors and a 40% growth in the footprint, digital health is the tech trend to watch for at the International CES 2014.
Digital health technology is the showstopper of the Annual International Consumer Electronics Show 2014 at Las Vegas.
Organised by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), this year’s tradeshow saw more than 300 exhibitors, including major FitnessTech players like GeoPalz, Jaybird, Looxcie, Polar, FitBit and Wahoo Fitness, showcase their digital health products.
The CEA reported that CES 2014 witnessed a 40% increase in the digital health footprint over the previous year.
In line with the expectations of increasing adoption of digital health technology, this year’s CES saw introduction of powerful new body sensors that let people track their health, ‘exergames’ (exercise+games) that use gamification to reinforce healthy behaviours, real-time medicine monitoring, improved patient diagnostics and more.
With wearable fitness technology, aging-in-place offerings, point-of-care apps, 3D printed tissues hogging limelight, this could well be the year of digital health technology.
The four most visible technology trends that stood out at the International CES 2014 are:
Wearables and Fitness-Tracking Devices
A 2013 survey by the CEA reported that about one-third of smart phone and tablet users have tracked at least one aspect of their health using mobile apps and wearable sensors.
Another survey by Accenture also found that 52% of consumers are very interested in using wearable fitness trackers.
In addition to the stars of last year’s exhibition – Nike+ Fuelband SE and FitBit Flex – this year’s show witnessed the entry of giant electronics players, LG and Sony, make deeper forays to capture wearable fitness market with wristbands, earphones, and other gadgets.
LG introduced Lifeband Touch and Herat Rate Earphones that capture stats about exercise, walking, calories burned, heart rate and oxygen consumption.
Sony entered the now-crowded market of sleep tracking devices with Sony SmartBand and Core. The GPS giant Garmin also stepped into wearables space with Vivofit, a fitness and pedometer device.
Baby boomers, turning 68 this year, might seem the most unlikely people to sell the latest digital health technology to but stats might surprise you.
A survey by American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) reveals that 8 in 10 members own a digital health device and more than a third of them are ‘extremely or very comfortable’ using technology.
Baby boomers form one of the fastest growing market segments for digital health companies as the retirees seek alternative and supplementary technology to augment assisted care and chronic disease management.
CES 2014 saw many entrees in cardiovascular monitoring, remote patient vitals monitoring, home and disease management and monitoring solutions.
ContinuaLink introduced a bracelet to track older adults’ motion, location and movement.
Siemens Healthcare won an award for a device that remotely connects a patient’s hearing aid to TV, phones and music players.
iSaiSo launched a web-based subscription and mobile health app that provide real-time 24/7 wellbeing management alerts for aging seniors.
Real-Time Medical Monitoring
CES 2014 showcased innovative digital health technologies that have the potential to revolutionise the practice of patient care.
The scope and reliability of remote medical monitoring systems displayed at the show are manifestly better than those of the previous shows.
Imedipac introduced a smart pill box that makes it easy for patients to take their prescribed medication on time in right doses at regular intervals.
Cellular DUO launched the first and only integrated medical alert system with GSM/GPS technology to provide real-time medical monitoring services, automatic fall detection and location tracking for expedited personal emergency assistance.
Vancive Medical Technologies displayed its Metria Informed Health Technology Platform that offers a host of disposable, adhesive, sensor-based products useful in health monitoring and clinical applications.
SMK Electronics presented a video game that assists patients suffering balance and gait disorders to assist in motion coordination.
3D Printed Organs
While not exactly on sale yet, 3D printed organs made as much news as 3D printed cars at CES 2014.
Regenovo showcased its new technology that can build up layers of biological materials and living cells to create living tissues using complex 3D models.
Regenovo is the first company to demonstrate printing of high viscosity materials, low cell damaging rate during printing process and technology suitable for assembling under sterile conditions.