Wearable Technology 2016 at London’s ExCeL unveiled a huge collection of innovative medical technology, from a wireless smart thermometer to a wearable ‘lab-on-skin’ chip.
Researchers, makers and technology companies were there en masse to preview and launch wearables designed to monitor health and help people affected by illness. York University spinout company ClearSky Medical Diagnostics showed off its LID-Monitor for Parkinson’s disease sufferers.
LID remotely monitors the involuntary movements (called dyskinesia) that are caused by medication, allowing doctors to adjust the medicine dose and help patients live a more normal life. Wearers have six wireless sensors on each limb, the body and head, which send information via their smartphone to a specialist, who then makes a clinical decision.
Walk With Path meanwhile is the brainchild of three design engineers creating products to reduce the risk of falling and improve mobility for people affected by Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis and other diseases, ageing or injury. The company says that falls cost the NHS £2.3 billion each year and an ageing population means that the risk, and cost, is expected to rise.
Path Feel is an insole type wearable that helps people who have a reduced sense of touch in their feet, such as the elderly or those with diabetes. It provides a touch sensory cue to help them move about their environment safely and gathers data about their movements. Path Finder adds a visual element and is designed for Parkinson’s sufferers who are affected by ‘freezing of gait’ – where their foot feels like it is glued to the floor. Visual signals provided by their footwear help to break this freezing and help them move more freely
Health and wellness wearables are everywhere these days, from activity trackers to blood sugar monitors, so the list of companies exhibiting new and updated products at WTS 2016 was lengthy.
Biolight’s Temp Sitter is a wireless smart thermometer system for children that monitors temperature every three seconds. It works 24/7 and can be synched to smartphones and Bluetooth for analysis. Temp Sitter has a built-in automatic high temperature alarm to alert concerned parents of any changes.
Mio showed its SLICE activity tracker with Personal Activity Intelligence index. Users are given a target score based on heart rate to help maximise each person’s lifespan and prevent lifestyle related diseases. Fewer pizzas, more jogging is our bet 😦
Lab on Skin
Xensio has created a ‘Lab-on-skin’ wearable sensing platform to track biochemical information on the skin’s surface. The company calls its sensor chip an ‘intelligent stamp’ that sends real-time information on heart beat, respiration, hydration, skin PH and other measures to a smartphone. This simple flexible chip gathers some complex information in a non-invasive way that lets you go about your normal day.
Qloudlab has an interesting modular diagnostic device that allows doctors to remotely analyse different elements in the patient’s blood such as pressure, blood lipids (cholesterol, triglycerides) or glucose. By gathering this information remotely the doctor can get a complete data picture of patients with chronic diseases at home and change treatment if any of the readings get better or worse.
Wearable vests give users the ability to gather information from a few different areas of the body. Hexoskin provides smart shirts for men, women and children, plus apps and a dashboard that you can view online. Get detailed information on movement, breathing and heart data, including ECG readouts.
Check the Gait
Gait Up says it makes the world’s most advanced wearable motion analysis products for sports and medicine. The company is a pioneer of wearable inertial sensors and has powerful motion algorithms and intellectual property in the fields of elderly fall prevention, orthopaedics, veterinary medicine, running, swimming and alpine skiing. Phew, that’s the PR done… the website does look pretty impressive as does Gait Up’s promo video, below.