Just one look to assess your health, emotional state (US, EU)

Just one look, that’s all it took–Doris Payne, Gregory Carroll 1963 (covered by the Hollies, the Searchers, Linda Ronstadt…..)

[grow_thumb image=”http://telecareaware.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/Wize-Mirror1.jpg” thumb_width=”150″ /]Healthcare professionals whether primary care/GP, psychiatrist or nurse, pride themselves on being able to make initial health assessments within seconds based on the patient’s physical appearance, manner and posture. It was only a matter of time before digital health aspired to ‘read’ the emotional or physical state remotely and deliver it as part of a virtual consult.

Boston-based emotional recognition software Affectiva has been around for awhile; it reads facial cues and claims it has the largest emotional data repository of over 2 million facial videos and 11 bn data points. It was developed for advertising research (backed by ad giant WPP) and now is moving into telemedicine. MedCityNews.

Compared to WizeMirror, that’s just surface. The mirror’s 3D scanners, multispectral cameras and gas sensors are able to look for stress or anxiety, over time look for weight gain or loss, evaluate skin tone, facial expressions, breath (for smoking and alcohol) plus monitor heart rate and hemoglobin levels. Originating at the National Research Council of Italy, it is being developed by a consortium from seven EU countries, SEMEOTICONS EU. Clinical trials will start next year at three sites in France and Italy. The mirror produces a score that tells the user how healthy they seem and personalized advice on improving health. New Scientist, MedCityNews, Daily Mail

However, standalone tech stands pretty much alone against a tide of partnerships. How they will integrate not only with telemedicine but also with telehealth, which could use this in mental health and pain management, isn’t addressed. 

(Graphic: Daily Mail)

Wearables solving real ‘jobs to be done’

[grow_thumb image=”http://telecareaware.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/orcam-device-web11.jpg” thumb_width=”200″ /]This Editor strongly believes that the heart of a great product is that it addresses, in Clayton Christensen’s terms, a ‘job to be done’–or as pre-social media marketing writing put it, ‘not a ‘nice to have’–a must-have’. Venture Beat, usually a facilitator of the D3H (Digital Health Hypester Horde), has an unusually sober and personal article from writer Christina Farr highlighting five wearable devices and how they could be ‘must-haves’, improving quality of life for significant groups of everyday people.

  1.  The OrCam computer-assisted vision device (above) for those with low vision, which interprets nearby visual inputs, including letters, faces, objects, products, places, bus numbers, and traffic lights–and describes them to the wearer through a bone-conduction device heard by the user only. From Israel and available only in the US at present, the initial pricing is around $2,500.
  2. Physician, surgical and law enforcement decision support may be the best use of Google Glass–not exactly the ‘hipster on the L train’ picture promoted by Google.
  3. Emotiv’s mind-controlled wheelchair, which is controlled by a headset (EPOC) capable of picking up electrical signals.
  4. For autistic children and adults, Neumitra and Affectiva are both bands that measure and alert for physiological stress that may lead to inappropriate wandering or acting-out.
  5. Red-green color blindness affects 1 in 12 men and 1 in 200 women. It can be dangerous–think of traffic lights and wiring–and EnChroma’s correcting set of glasses is a simple, useful solution. Reportedly there is a 30 percent improvement in color identification and a 70 percent improvement in color discrimination. The pricing is fairly standard at $375-460.