CES 2017 – CMR’s Top Picks of Medical Devices

Connected tech was the dominant theme at CES 17, and the crossover into healthcare is making for some very interesting devices, says CMR Research Manager Lucy Snowdon.

From self-driving cars to machines that fold your laundry, the Internet of Things (IoT) continued to drive many of the exciting new devices at leading tech summit, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2017. And the connected theme is set to transform the way we interact not only with our cars and our homes, but our bodies too.

It’s a trend that started in the wellness technology market: devices from the likes of Fitbit are now commonplace. And medical companies have been quick to harness the benefits from a health perspective. Using connected, wearable tech, medical device manufacturers can enable users to easily self-manage medical conditions and provide more detailed information for healthcare providers.

Whilst this trend has been seen at CES for a number of years, the crossover from wellness tech into healthcare connectivity was more visible than ever at CES 2017, with a significant number of connected devices on show. Here’s our pick of the devices to look out for:

  • Omron’s blood pressure monitor

Omron’s reputation as a digital healthcare company seemed justified with the unveiling of not one but three smart blood pressure monitors. The smallest, the prototype Project Zero 2.0, looks great, and is packed full of functions to help the wearer monitor not only blood pressure but physical exertion and sleep patterns. The folks at Omron believe that the convenience offered by this accessible device will give patients the power to make proactive, rather than just reactive, decisions on their health.

  • Thinfilm smart injector pen

YpsoMate’s smart auto-injector pen is designed for patients who self-administer chronic pain medication. There are already many great auto injectors on the market that help patients inject with ease and discretion but this one takes it a step further by enabling users to gain greater insights into their condition. To use, patients simply scan the injection system with their phone, inject, and then reconnect with their phone to transfer the data. Providing a complete administration record along with reminders will help patients with conditions such as Rheumatoid Arthritis and MS to maintain therapy compliance which is key to controlling their symptoms and preventing emergency medical interventions.

  • ReSound smart hearing aids

Last year’s CES saw ReSound win a top award for innovation and the company was back to showcase its incredible wireless stereo headphones which allow people with hearing loss to personalize day to day listening situations on an app. ReSound says that the result is clearer sound and a ‘vivid sense of space’ that can help users better manage the impact of living with diminished hearing. The company’s digital-first stance offers direct streaming from iPhone, iPad and iPod. It says that the device offers more than physical benefits – empowering patients to take control of their own environment and increase their overall quality of life.

  • Vita Smart case for Epipen

Vita’s smart patient health device consists of a case which holds a standard EpiPen and connects with an app that friends, family and caregivers can download for free. Using the app, you can see the pen’s location and see if your medication is getting too hot or cold. It also alerts users when they are separated from the device – a real benefit for junior patients. The case (cost $59) seems a very smart investment for a device that can relieve much of the worry associated with living with, or caring for, people at risk from anaphylaxis.

In conclusion…

2017 has shown a bright start for connected devices. We are increasingly being asked to work on connected devices and we’re looking forward to seeing what new technology medical device manufacturers are developing to achieve better health outcomes: both through connecting patients with their health and clinicians with their patients. To learn more about how connected devices are being used to manage diabetes, take a look at CMR’s recent study into the Abbott Freestyle Libre CGM device.

Learn more about CMR research manager Lucy Snowdon.

Photo credit: Georgejmclittle / Bing Creative Commons