CES 2013: Medical Device Roundup

The 2013 Consumer Electronics Show wraps up today, but this year showed no shortage of new products and innovations in medical technology – especially in the areas of mobile/digital health and safety. If there's one trend to take from the news coming from this year's CES it's that healthcare is expanding out of the hospitals and doctor's offices and into the rest of our lives.

In addition to a Digital Health Summit focused on the latest trends in digital technology affecting healthcare, CES 2013 saw a good number of new medical device products being unveiled. Some are aiming to carve out a niche in already crowded markets (i.e. wearable sensors and monitors) while others are looking to take on new challenges.
Here's a roundup of some of the products that could be on everyone's mind (and our bodies) in 2013:

The HealthSpot Station

Those weight scales and blood pressure machines you've seen at your local CVS could be in for a major upgrade. The HealthSpot Telehealth System is a walk-in kiosk that will provide patients with immediate access to diagnosis and treatment. Once you enter the 8 x 5-foot private kiosk, you'll be linked with board-certified doctors via HD video conferencing. The HealthSpot Station will also feature several digital interactive medical devices including a scale, thermometer, dermascope, otoscope, stethoscope, and pulse oximeter to assist doctors with rapid, on-the-spot diagnosis. Each HealthSpot will be accompanied by an accredited medical assistant and is designed to fit into everyday locations from retail stores to pharmacies in addition to doctor's offices, nursing homes, and anywhere a patient might take advantage of the purported convenience. HealthSpot is expected to roll out in early 2013. Pilots are currently being conducted in Ohio.


Masimo iSpO2

As an addition to the ongoing trend of medical devices that attach to the iPhone, Masimo has unveiled the iSpO2, a consumer pulse oximeter to noninvasively measure blood oxygenation, pulse rate, and perfusion index that also connects with your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch. Users simply slip the device onto their finger and their vital stats will appear onscreen. The iSpO2 app provides immediate access to your data history – allowing you to view measurements, graphs, and trending over time – with the ability to export data history for use with text editing and spreadsheet programs. The device is currently available and retails for $250.




RP-VITA Remote Presence Robot

At this year's Digital Health Summit, InTouch Health presented its RP-VITA Remote Presence Robot, which has just received FDA 510(k) clearance. The first of its kind, the RP-VITA is a robot designed to facilitate remote doctor-to-patient consultations. FDA clearance allows it to be used for active patient monitoring in pre-operative, peri-operative and post-surgical settings, including cardiovascular, neurological, prenatal, psychological and critical care assessments and examinations.The robot features an iPad interface and is capable of being linked with other hospital machinery (such as ultrasound machines) for data transmission and recording patient interactions.


BodyMedia CORE 2

BodyMedia has introduced a prototype for another entry into the steadily overcrowding market for wearable monitoring devices, the CORE 2. In addition to the standard features like heartrate monitoring and smartphone and tablet connectivity, BodyMedia promises this activity tracker/armband will be the smallest product of its kind yet and arguably the most fashionable – offering interchangeable jewelry like faceplates, straps, and cuffs. BodyMedia envisions the CORE 2 as part of a total body monitoring package that will include a free mobile app, online activity manager, and personalized feedback with a “BodyMedia FIT Coach.” BodyMedia's body monitoring technology is also the only system of its kind that is a FDA-registered medical device.


Philips Lifeline GoSafe

Royal Philips Electronics has added a mobile component to its Lifeline system for senior citizens. The GoSafe is a mobile personal emergency response system that features fall detection capabilities along with tracking technologies and cellular voice communication. Similar to the existing Philips Lifeline service, users wear the GoSafe button around their neck as a pendant at all times, both inside and outside the home. In the event of an emergency, the user can push the button to initiate a call for help to the Lifeline Response Center or, if a fall is detected, the GoSafe's AutoAlert feature can automatically place a call for emergency assistance.


TelCare BGM

Telcare, in collaboration with Verizon and Qualcomm, has developed a wireless blood glucose meter – the Telcare BGM – that has been certified to operate on Verizon's nationwide cellular network. The Telcare BGM is also the first medical device to utilize Qualcomm’s new Internet of Everything module. By integrating Telcare’s FDA-cleared blood glucose meter and cloud server to the Verizon network, people with diabetes, their families, and their health professionals will now be able to integrate real-time measurement of blood glucose levels with other physiologic parameters, such as weight and blood pressure. No word yet on the level of Verizon plan that will be required of users.


- Chris Wiltz is the Associate Editor of MD+DI

Related Links:

Medical Device Manufacturers of the Year, 2012