New York, New York, it’s a health tech town (Part 2)

New York, New York, a helluva town.
My smartphone’s on, but the battery’s down
No 4G’s up in that hole in the groun’.
You can’t hear me now! In this helluva town!

From ‘On The Town’, lyrics Betty Comden/Adolph Green, adapted Steve Hards/Donna Cusano

Part 2: the adventures of your Editor (and The Gimlet Eye) at CEWeek. 

On the floor, CEWeek 2013, Metropolitan Pavilion/Altman Building, 26 June 2013

CEWeek, presented by the  Consumer Electronics Association, combined several shows and breakout conferences in two days, with over 150 exhibitors on three contiguous show floors including the Made in NY/NYC Startup Pavilion (non-health). Sprinkled through the bazaar of wide-screen TVs, GM’s connected electric cars, iSpeakers and headphones, iPad cases and Digital Lifestyle Everything, there were some standout healthcare related electronics and tech.

Mentioned earlier in ‘Will it be the watch or the glasses’: PairASight two-way glasses, WearIt fitness smartwatch

[grow_thumb image=”” thumb_width=”150″ /]PSiO Audio Visual Stimulation glasses deliver relaxation through light therapy (on the inside) tied to audio personal development programs for stress reduction, focus, sleep, concentration and weight management reinforcement. Your Editor was actually able to shut out the cacophony on the show floor and relax for eight and then later (completely stressed out) 38 minute programs–and then trotted off refreshed to Healthcare Pioneers till late PM. It was developed in Belgium and distributed online (to date) in the US. Some potential uses are in senior communities, music therapy, coupled with weight, diabetes or blood pressure management. $399.99  Website

Qardio’s sleekly designed cardiovascular monitors are not on the US market yet (lacking FDA approval) but seem to be something to look forward to. The QardioArm wraps neatly around the upper arm, sends data and reminders to your smartphone, and during the monitoring delivers soothing images, tracks BP on charts and delivers data to your doctor. The QardioCore is a chest strap with soft edges and continuous monitoring of EKG, heart rate, heart rate variability, physical activity intensity and skin temperature. Essentially it replaces a Holter monitor and does more; unlike AliveCor, it emphasizes continuous monitoring. Price not established. Website

Beddit seems to be between the now-defunct Zeo with a singular emphasis on sleep monitoring, but different from Jawbone UP and Fitbit in that there are no sensors to wear. The tracking strip is placed under the bedsheet and reporting goes to a smartphone app. Website

[grow_thumb image=”” thumb_width=”150″ /]Wearables were disappointing. No Misfit Shine, a mannequin with the Etymotic BEAN velcro’d to the head, the Isowalk smart cane with connected capability currently on Indiegogo. But this sound-reactive dress from London’s Rainbow Winters in holographic leather and electric luminescent panels was Tina-worthy.

[grow_thumb image=”” thumb_width=”150″ /]After about two hours of sensory overload (but good press eats, at least at the start), The Gimlet Eye plugged Ears and suggested we look at hearing assistance devices. iEverything has developed a Generation Deaf, joining Tina, Mick and those of us who went to too many Who concerts in our misspent youth. Cynaps by MaxVirtual is a Bluetooth-enabled bone conduction headset concealed in a baseball cap. Unfortunately The Eye found the Cap insufficiently boosted sound and had to be excruciatingly tightened in order to work. Gizmag’s review concurs. Etymotic BEAN Quiet Sound Amplifier fits in the ear and claims to automatically enhance only soft sounds that contribute to clarity of speech. Eager for a preview–thinking of her late mom with hearing loss who was always asking to ‘clarify’ sound on the TV–despite a few tries your Editor could not snag a demo. The BEAN did attract a crowd. Etymotic also offers a PC-based Home Hearing Test and ‘safe listening’ headphones for children. Great ideas all, but a little jumbled in presentation and on the website.

The last stop was at Loksak with plastic envelopes (barrier bags) in various sizes from tiny phone to tablet that offer 100 percent protection from water, humidity, sand and snow, and are fully functional (touch screens and audio) through the envelope. Wholly made in USA and a military vendor, one potential market is for clinicians in hospitals and practices–to mitigate the carrying of infection, resist fluids and be more easily sanitizable without damaging electronics or keyboards. For HIPAA security concerns, the gray ripstop-like ShieldSak has a ‘Faraday cage’ which prevents hacking and reading of contents and cards within. Website.

CEWeek 2013/Digital Health Summit

Four floors up, I sat with Tal Givoly, CEO and Oren Fuerst, PhD, Executive Chairman, of startup health information company Medivizor. Their ‘job to be done’ is to personalize the tidal wave of available health information for those with chronic and serious diseases. For this group, the current state is 1) too much information, 2) hard to interpret research and 3) difficult to determine if the information is applicable/relevant/reliable to their chronic condition or disease. By signing up, a patient or family member can receive a customized delivery of the most relevant information, ‘digested’ and interpreted at a 10th grade reading level, for free (and HIPAA compliant).

Mr. Givoly explained that they are at the early ‘invitational’ stage; anyone can sign up, but information is currently provided only on breast, prostate and colorectal cancers; melanoma and diabetes. Later in July, lung cancer and cardiovascular will be added. A more comprehensive selection is planned to be available by Fall.  When asked about doctor and clinician reactions to date, the feedback to Mr. Givoly has been that doctors are treating patients with this information differently and appreciate it, because Medivizor sorts out the irrelevant data. Some future directions are partnerships–referral to clinical trials–and to be licensed to medical institutions as a feed into EHRs. Mr. Givoly participated on a DHS panel on ‘Five Technologies We’re Betting Your Health On”. Later in the day, he and Steven Kaplan, MD, their Chief Medical Officer, were panelists/presenters at Health 2.0 NYC Healthcare Pioneers. Medivizor website.

Part 3–Digital Health Summit @ CEWeek, Healthcare Pioneers

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