Newsmakers at CES 2019

These high-tech innovators seek to transform healthcare or self care.

  • Embr Labs has devised a wearable that could change the way people feel temperature. The Embr Wave stimulates a person’s thermoreceptors, which could make the wearer feel cooler or warmer by 5 degrees in just a few minutes, the company reported in a news release.

    For the primary user interface, a frosted light pipe with LEDs, Embr Labs worked with Covestro, selecting Makrolon 2407 polycarbonate. It is a UV-stabilized grade that offers proven performance for electronics, IT, and communications applications, Covestro reported. “We turned to Covestro to help select the right material and optimize the design for optical performance,” explains Embr Labs cofounder Sam Shames. For the Embr Wave, diffusers and optical brighteners were compounded into the resin to achieve the desired visual effect, it was reported.

    “Instead of using text or symbols, color and light are simple, minimalist—yet effective—means to convey information to the user,” explained Joel Matsco, senior marketing manager, Polycarbonates – Electronics and Appliance, Covestro LLC. “Covestro has deep expertise in helping brands and electronics manufacturers design with light.”

    [Image courtesy of COVESTRO]

  • Nanit highlighted its newest monitoring solution, Breathing Wear, for use with the Nanit Plus nursery camera. The Breathing Wear line initially includes a proprietary "Breathing Band" or a Nanit Swaddle, which are made of 100% cotton, the company reports. No sensors or wearables are meant to be placed on the baby's skin.

    "Nanit is the only monitoring solution that puts your baby's sleep development in your hands," said Nanit co-founder & CEO Dr. Assaf Glazer in a news release. "We are excited to introduce Breathing Wear at CES, as it helps provide parents with a complete picture of their baby's night and gives them the confidence and assurance they need when they put their baby into the crib." 

    Nanit can see motion down to the pixel level and monitor a baby's breathing motion simply by reading the patterns on the fabric of a Nanit Swaddle or Breathing Band. The specific shapes, colors and ink on the fabric were scientifically engineered to be read by the Nanit camera from any angle, the company reported.

    "Nanit is a team of PhDs who developed a system to help babies sleep more successfully. Moving beyond the camera, they can now have a comprehensive system help monitor the health and well-being. If future systems aren't fully integrated like Nanit, they simply won't exist," added Mark Suster, managing partner at Upfront Ventures and the first major investor in the company.

    Breathing Wear will be available in March 2019. The Nanit Complete Monitoring System will provide a Nanit Plus camera, a small Nanit Swaddle and Breathing Band, a mounting system, a travel stand, and a 1-year subscription to the Nanit Insights service for in-depth sleep tracking and analysis, the company shared.

    [Image courtesy of NANIT]

  • Wefight launched its AI-driven application, Vik Breast, in the United States to assist patients with breast cancer support. Already in use in France since 2017, Vik Breast answers questions and provides information on treatments, quality-of-life issues, and more. It also provides appointment and medication reminders. 

    All answers provided by Vik are written and checked by doctors or pharmacists, the company reported, and all information is regularly updated in order to conform to national regulations and scientific publications. 

    [Image courtesy of WEFIGHT]

  • InControl Medical launched Attain, an over-the-counter device intended to treat male and female incontinence.  “This revolutionary medical device is designed to help treat the approximately 87 million people in the U.S. suffering with stress, urge, or mixed urinary incontinence, and/or bowel incontinence," reported Herschel “Buzz” Peddicord, InControl’s founder and CEO, in a news release. "Attain provides muscle stimulation, visual biofeedback, and a guided exercise program to solve incontinence at the source — the muscle level. Attain’s regular self-treatment program, in the privacy of one’s home, eliminates the need for pads, meds, surgery, or diapers.”

    Attain taps the proven methods of electrical muscle stimulation with visual biofeedback, which studies have shown is more effective than biofeedback alone, the company reported.

    The company is building on its experience in the space. “We’ve been treating incontinence in women since 2012 with FDA-cleared InTone, Apex, and ApexM,” added Peddicord. “These products help women strengthen pelvic floor muscles that have weakened or lost tone due to aging or post-partum, often leading to bladder leakage, pelvic organ prolapse, and difficulty or inability to orgasm. Because ApexM has been so successful in treating urinary incontinence in more than 100,000 women, with exceptional results, we are proud to now offer Attain, a more compact OTC device with additional features, that works to treat all types of incontinence for both men and women.”

    FDA clearance for Attain is currently pending, the company reported.

    [Image courtesy of INCONTROL MEDICAL]

  • Exosystems's AI-based exoRehab made its U.S. debut at CES. Developed to give patients guidance during neuromuscular rehab, the device provides personalized physical and electrical stimulation programs based on the user's musculoskeletal data. 

    To address patients' complaints about tedious exercises, exoRehab instead offers portability, gamified exercise, and AI-based personalization. The solution also monitors rehabilitation progress.

    The next step of exoRehab will be recognizing a patient's movement patterns and inducing artificial body movements by using its finely-tuned stimulation tech based on pattern learning, the company reported, adding that such machine-learning based stimulation will improve muscles' strength while relieving fatigue.

    [Image courtesy of EXOSYSTEMS]

  • BeBop Sensors highlighted a number of new products using its flexible fabric sensors. The company designs sensors for hospital beds and wheelchairs as well as for sports medicine applications such as helmets, shoulder pads, and insoles.

    The company was among TIME Magazine's Best Inventions of the Year 2018 for the Forte Wireless Data Glove.

    [Image courtesy of BEBOP SENSORS]

  • New Health Community introduced Charlie, an autonomous medical robot for helping patients, caregivers, and medical staff. The mobile unit communicates with users through integrated applications, games, Internet access, and connected objects. It can be controlled through a smartphone, tablet, or a PC, and it can also be used via its 24-in. screen.

    Charlie provides patients access to information, videos, and other interactive elements in response to the patient inquiries, the company reported. It carries a digital tensiometer, oximeter, and stethoscope and provides instruction to patients for their use. Charlie can bring such support directly to patients, as it can enter elevators by itself without any human assistance. 

    [Image courtesy of NEW HEALTH COMMUNITY]

  • Nineteen pioneers were announced as the 2019 Class of the National Inventors Hall of Fame (NIHF) on the main stage at CES. Among the innovators recognized was Rebecca Richards-Kortum, who has developed medical devices for low-resource settings. 

    Richards-Kortum has led development of optical technologies to improve early detection of cervical, oral, and esophageal cancer. In addition, with her Rice University colleague Maria Oden, she founded the Rice 360° Institute for Global Health for working with students to address global health challenges. The team's successes include the Pumani CPAP system for newborns with breathing problems; BiliSpec, a tool that measures bilirubin to detect jaundice; and DoseRight, for accurate dosing of children’s liquid medication, NIHF reported.

    These innovators will be honored later in the year in Washington, D.C., May 1-2 at “The Greatest Celebration of American Innovation,” in partnership with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

    [Image source: PIXABAY]

     

Daphne Allen

Daphne Allen is editor-in-chief of MD+DI. She previously served as executive editor of Pharmaceutical & Medical Packaging News, which serves as the pharmaceutical and medical device channel of Packaging Digest. Daphne has covered medical device manufacturing, packaging, labeling, and regulatory issues as well as pharmaceutical packaging and labeling for more than 20 years. She is also a member of the Institute of Packaging Professionals's Medical Device Packaging Technical Committee. Follow her on Twitter at @daphneallen.

 

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