The CES tech show in Las Vegas was packed with health gadgets this year as technology continues to make huge strides in helping consumers better understand their overall wellbeing.
Here is our selection of the best on display.
Withings smart toilets
We had to start with the Withings linked ‘urine scan’. This device provides an instant snapshot of the body’s balance by monitoring and detecting many different biomarkers found in urine.
The device is only 9 cm in diameter and fits in most toilet bowls. The results are then delivered to smartphone apps, providing data-driven analysis and recommendations.
“This is the first home networked, hands-free urinalysis lab that can be placed directly in the toilet bowl,” Withings product owner Inna Ndaw told Euronews Next.
The company says it has two different use cases planned; one aimed at hospitals and other healthcare facilities, the other at consumers.
“Urine actually has over 3,000 metabolites. So it’s a wealth of information that’s usually not used much these days because it’s very difficult,” Elizabeth Coleon of Withings told the Associated Press.
“Most people don’t like going for a urine test. Typically, people go once a year rather than being able to test this information regularly and get longitudinal data that can give much more insight into improving health,” she added.
Healthy selfie from Caducy
Caducy, a device created by another French company, i-Virtual, measures health data in a different way.
With a 30-second selfie video, cloud-based analysis is performed using artificial intelligence (AI) and deep learning algorithms, including computer vision and signal processing.
The app then provides information including heart rate, respiratory rate and stress level – a way the company claims to conduct remote consultations.
Gael Constantin, founder and CEO of i-Virtual, explained that the technology reads health signals from the skin of the face.
“We see the blood flowing through the skin. So this is signal analysis. We measure the heart rate by analyzing the signal directly on the person’s face, and (in the case of) the respiratory rate, we just look at the chest and count, count the movement.”
Exoskeleton suits from the German company Bionic
Judging by what we saw at CES this week, another technology that could help us in the future is exoskeletons.
As more and more goods are shipped around the world, this puts a strain on warehouse workers whose job involves lifting heavy loads.
German Bionic is working to solve this problem with the Apogee exoskeleton.
Apogee, the sixth version of the product, is a lighter and stronger version and helps the user to lift objects weighing up to 30 kg more easily.
“So the product is an active lifting exoskeleton, powered by a single 40-volt battery,” said David Mack of German Bionic.
“When you bend over, it recognizes your relative position to the ground. So when you start to get up again, it will detect these movements and pull you back up, compensating for almost 30 kg of lifting force.”
Another robot on display is Aeo, a new robot whose mission is to keep buildings clean and help workers, especially in low-staffed hospitals.
It’s a busy life, but Aeo found time to take some selfies with CES visitors.
The multi-talented robot from Aeolus Robotics, which is currently deployed in Japan, Hong Kong and Taipei, can be used for ultraviolet (UV) disinfection, delivery and patrolling.
“It’s really a human assistant,” Alex Huang, founder and CEO of Aeolus Robotics, told Euronews Next.
He said Aeo could help people in aged care, hospitals, hotels and even airports and commercial buildings.
“He does a night patrol to monitor people’s safety. It disinfects high-touch areas to reduce COVID-19 infection, works with security guards to keep the entire building safe, and can actually pick up and deliver goods, medicine, and food.”
AI baby monitors by Chillax Care
Another gadget used to screen people (though only the small ones) is Chillax Care, a baby monitor powered by artificial intelligence (AI).
“The AI takes various measurements, such as baby’s head temperature and sleeping position,” Jon Budgen, the company’s vice president of sales, told Euronews Next.
The monitor uses infrared sensors, machine learning and thermal imaging to track your baby’s breathing, whether they have a fever and whether their face is covered or if they are turning over onto their tummy – a position that significantly increases the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
“We can do other things with it over time, like taking the temperature around the diaper area to see if the baby needs a diaper change at all,” Budgen said.
Chillax Care emphasizes that the data is processed using bank rate encryption and there is no need for storage as the device is essentially a real-time video surveillance camera for worried parents.
“We just want to get rid of the worries,” Budgen said.