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Science & Technology

While a part of the world is going back to work, the topic of ‘health at home’ has remained prevalent — and Consumer Electronics Show 2021 was no different. Taking place virtually instead of the usual Las Vegas setting, the globally popular tech expo saw more than 2,000 exhibitors, of which more than a quarter were in the health-tech space.

We look at some of the technologies which are bound to have a profound impact on the way we look at our bodies, inside out.

A hydration device

Not drinking enough water? Last year saw people waking up to how truly hydrated they were, often downloading apps or setting alarms to remind themselves to drink water.

HidrateSpark’s new STEEL rechargeable smart bottle is a gadget that blinks when it’s time to top up and syncs with its own app to keep your daily goal updated. The glow can be customised as per the user’s liking, too. HidrateSpark has formulated a ‘Hydration Equation’ which calculates your daily goal based on age, height, weight, sex, altitude, activity (whether you are swimming, hiking).

The native app is calculated daily to give you the most accurate hydration level whether you’re travelling, hiking in the mountains, or swimming at the pool. One can opt for text notifications that offer additional reminders. Of course, there is a social aspect that connects the user with friends through the app in the name of friendly competition.

Available in the U.S. ($65) via hidratespark.com

A digital epilepsy journal

An award-winner at this year’s CES, Epsy took home ‘Best of Innovation Award’ for Health and Wellness, and an ‘Innovation Award’ for Software and Mobile Apps. Yes, it is just an app available for iOS and Android; no wearable here! Epsy helps those with epilepsy track seizures and medication, as well as help identify triggers.

This data collection — a HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996)-compliant platform that uses secure data encryption — is helpful to share with a doctor for future steps forward for living with the neurological disorder.

A stress-canceller

If you were not paying attention to your mental health before 2020, chances are you became aware of it while house-bound. This in mind, Feelmore Labs unveiled their digital therapeutics non-invasive headset, Cove, which claims to be a ‘stress-cancelling’ device. Through 20-minute sessions, Cove applies specific vibrations behind your ears to gently activate the part of your brain that regulates anxiety, so you can stress less and sleep better.

In trial studies, 90% of subjects reported reduced stress and improved sleep after using Cove. Extensive EEG and MRI studies performed by Feelmore Labs and validated by world-class neuroscientists have demonstrated that Cove has the ability to can modulate a deep part of the brain controlling emotional response, the insula.

As expected, there is a free companion app (available for iPhones and Androids) that can be used to get set up and stay on track

Available in the U.S. ($490) from feelcove.com

A helmet to predict Alzheimer’s

Artificial Intelligence has long been a tool for neurologists, and the Alzheimer’s space is part of the solution drive. Korea-based iMediSync unveiled an electroencephalogram (EEG) digital biomarker for early detection of Alzheimer’s and dementia on their AI cloud platform, iSyncBrain.

How does this work? The platform’s mild cognitive impairment (MCI) classifier screens and discriminates Alzheimer or non-Alzheimer type of amnestic MCI to prevent dementia at the preclinical stage. This endured multicentre clinical trials with results of over 90% accuracy, states the company. However, the product is awaiting clearance from the USFDA and has not hit the market yet.

A sleep sticker kit

Curious and curiouser about sleep tech? This is only natural given the pandemic of ‘COVID-somnia’. These unprecedented shifts in our sleep patterns are finally being addressed on a data level. Meet TatchSleep, a sticker wearable kit that comprises Bluetooth-connected patches and a native app for data collection of sleeping positions, breathing quality, and other key parameters.

This data is shared securely with a sleep specialist at Tatch who provides actionable, personalised insights delivered to users the next day.

Join the waiting list for Tatch ($60) at tatchsleep.com

“Oftentimes, policy is a bit of a laggard with the technology which advances much more rapidly than policy. We should not lose hope though.” — Dr Hassan A Tetteh, Warfighter Health Mission Chief, Joint Artificial Intelligence Centre, U.S. Department of Defense at the CES 2021 talk ‘The Trade-Off Between Staying Secure and Staying Healthy’

“With smart health principles guiding design, the care location of the future is everywhere... Human-centred design techniques really drive a degree of empathy and trust in the way in which care is delivered across different venues.” — Aloha McBride, Global Health Leader, Ernst & Young, at CES 2021 talk ‘Next-gen Technologies to Transform Health Care’

“There’s this funny thing in the technology industry where folks are so afraid about scaling human-to-human connection, and it’s not for lack of humans, there are billions of us. Connecting human with humans is inherently possible and scalable. We have to bring in a lot of technology to make those intimate connections, the immediacy of that connection.” — Rishi Mandal, CEO co-founder and Future, at CES 2021 talk ‘Starting with Sports: The Health & Wellness Future’

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