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CES 2021: The Virtual Experience

1 year, 6 months ago

10953  0
Posted on Jan 26, 2021, 1 a.m.

When I was told CES had been changed to being held online rather than in person I was not sure what to expect, thus I registered rather reluctantly. CES has since then sent me daily emails regarding topics I expressed interest in, emails informing me of press conferences and demonstrations, show stoppers, keynote speakers, vendors/exhibitors, and sent me reminders, highlights as well as media kits. I received a lot of welcomed information, which to be honest, I am still sorting through. 

This year my experience was tailored to the virtual tour within the health and well-being space, so I was not distracted by the cars, high tech innovation, sounds, and the lovely flashy grand displays of all the many other captivating areas I would normally dawdle at in person. Yet I still did not get to see everything I would have liked to have seen. As per usual, the event hosted a wide variety of exhibitors which were in no shortage by any means with close to 2000 exhibiting companies participating in the digital venue. In all, although I miss the in-person experience, I was pleasantly surprised indeed. 

As one would expect, this year there were many exhibitors promoting their products, a lot of which were geared towards healthcare being more remote and the increased use of telehealth services to go along with the cutting edge developments that one would expect to see like 3D printing, AI, robotics, wearables, clinical tools, and the many award-winning technologies and torrent of innovative gadgets. 

Envision Glasses showcased their advanced, AI-powered assistive glasses. Their wearable device can significantly improve the daily life of blind and visually impaired people by providing the most intuitive and easiest way to access all kinds of visual information around them. It's trained to recognize and speak out text, objects, people, colors, products and so much more, designed to be worn all day with its comfortable, lightweight profile. They are a combination of the Google Glass 2 and Envision's award-winning AI technology. The technology, currently available on iOS and Android smartphones, already enables you and thousands of other users around the world to read all kinds of information. Like the app, the glasses use artificial intelligence to understand the world around you and speak the visual information back to you.

iMediSync, is an AI digital mental care platform provider that showcased their groundbreaking early detection and therapeutic platform for optimal brain health featuring a gel-free EEG brain mapping system with LED therapeutics for neuropsychiatric disorders that will help neuropsychiatric patients to treat their illnesses at both clinics and homes. It will also allow for individuals to facilitate regular checkups to prevent degenerative neurological disorders. iSyncWave™ is a gel-free, portable EEG brain mapping device with LED photo-biomodulators. The device is especially designed for the early detection and supportive care of neuropsychiatric disorders such as dementia, Parkinson’s disease, TBI, PTSD, ADHD, depression, etc. The vision of this startup biotech is to develop early detecting biomarkers for challenging neurological disorders. 

CleanAirZone (CAZ) is a US-based air purification R&D company that showcased its cutting-edge innovation that utilizes advanced microbial and enzyme technology to capture and destroy airborne contaminants. Unlike traditional air purifiers, this is a Green Technology that uses an environmentally-friendly capture and destroy method. The system, derived from nature using 100% green technology, eliminates viruses (including COVID-19), mold, VOCs, particulates, odors, cigarette smoke, chemical fumes, and gases without filters or harmful byproducts. Available in different sizes, this bio-based air purifier is a living bio-system that fits into all indoor spaces, including homes, educational institutions, businesses, museums, fitness centers, hospitals, and nursing homes that is capable of capturing and digesting 99.99% of contamination in the indoor air that could attack the lungs, heart, and brain to contribute to chronic diseases. 

Boston-based CareClever launched Cutii, the world’s first fully automated live-in companion robot specifically designed to overcome social isolation and cognitive decline for seniors, four years after winning the "Tech for a Better World" Award at CES 2017. Presently this assistive tech is deployed in senior living communities and in homes across the USA and France, to help remove all technology barriers, allowing full voice interaction with a unique mobility function that makes this a truly versatile companion. This easy to use interface is 100% voice-activated, users simply speak and Cutii responds and moves as needed. Users can enjoy virtual visits from family and friends or can book one of the many available live activities specially adapted for seniors like games, nature experiences, meditation, or exercise programs like yoga and Tia Chi. This technology represents an easy way for families to communicate with loved ones, receive photos, and have benefits from the other features such as night patrol, SOS, and uninterrupted entertainment. Cutti is basically a 24/7 monitoring companion that is also a full-time caregiver helping to allow users to remain independent in their homes as they interact with family, physicians, and therapy providers.

Archelis Inc., a Yokohama-based hardware startup, showcased their award-winning “archelisFX,” the exoskeleton suit that protects factory workers against leg and lower-back strains that can be caused by standing for hours on end. Made to fit comfortably around one’s legs, “archelisFX” enables wearers to walk and bend their knees freely and to “sit” (or rest) anywhere while technically standing – a feature that allows factories to use the product right away without making any workspace changes. The suit is also all-mechanical and does not require any electricity to operate. This is the first exoskeleton assist suit on the market that is focused on reducing the pain, injury, and discomfort of standing position work on factory employees.  The suit provides support to a wearer’s shins and thighs to keep their trunk stable and have their weight distributed evenly. This hardware startup has a mission to free humanity from the pain and injury of standing work. 

Domalys presented Aladin, the magic smart lamp assistive learning technology. This is a machine learning technology that communicates with caregivers using 3 main features: anticipation, prevention, and fall detection. There is no camera, this tech monitors activity 24/7 to generate data to learn activity patterns from users during both day and night, temperatures in the room, and lighting to help prolong independence and prevent falls which can lead to injury and disability. It quickly learns and identifies changes in lifestyle habits to warn caregivers of the onset or development of potential pathologies. 

The Centers For Age Control Inc promoted The HealthMeter™ which is built on the technology of the global cloud-based AgeMeter® Functional Age Test for longevity therapy and research; now on four continents, North America, South America, Europe, and Asia, and at Harvard Medical School. The HealthMeter™ reduces that risk with daily noninvasive physiological self-monitoring of 16 COVID-19 indicators and risk factors, including functional age vs. birth age, high-frequency hearing loss, mental confusion, short term memory, lung function, blood oxygen, heart rate, blood pressure, body fat, etc. No supervision of the test subject is required, video and audio guidance explain each test. COVID-19 harms many of the same abilities that are harmed by aging; every test result happens to also be a COVID-19 risk factor or indicator. Centers For Age Control added additional COVID-19 tests to complete the HealthMeter. The AgeMeter Global Cloud Database is anonymously updated every time each test is taken anywhere in the world. Therefore, every test and every viewing of previous tests has results based on calculations using the latest content of the AgeMeter Cloud Database.

Mighty Health, noticing that there are a million platforms for young to middle-aged people, launched the first digital wellness platform that was designed specifically for adults aged 50+ at CES in conjunction with AARP Innovation Labs. This platform is designed specifically for older adults — taking into account differing needs like exercises that are easy on the joints, lessons on healthy aging topics like menopause and loneliness, and a community of folks supporting each other on this journey. After winning AARP's latest competition the company launched a substantial new version of the app that gives people free access to low-impact workouts and weight loss nutrition at CES. This platform was aimed to create something that was less about being intense, exclusive, and intimidating, but more focused on inclusivity, accessibility, and sustainable health as you age.

Nexvoo Healthcare had an assortment of innovative products on display ranging from a smart clear mask with silent micro-fans and UV light disinfection, to health monitors, endoscopes, stethoscopes, and Health Ergonomic Breathable Chairs. The desk chairs are a welcome improvement for those that have to do a lot of sitting, having a built-in 3D armrest with a health monitor that displays heart rate, blood oxygen level, fatigue index and more plus it is fully adjustable to help provide supportive 8-hour comfort made with a breathable mesh back and an ergonomic design to provide the lumbar support and release spinal pressure needed to help reduce pain and stress associated with sitting throughout the body. 

HD Medical revealed HealthyU, the first at-home ECG & heart sound wireless device. This technology delivers five Intensive Care Unit (ICU) technologies in one simple device for the patient and provider to connect remotely. This cardiac device provides 7-lead ECG with a plethora of other critical health insights typically only available through multiple devices in the ICU or at a clinic. Its capabilities include heart and lung sounds, ECG, Heart Rate Variability, SpO2 (blood oxygen), temperature, respiration (through the finger), and cuffless blood pressure to take multiple devices and turns them into one easy-to-use device for the patient within a simple platform for the patient and the provider to connect via any video conferencing tool, connecting directly to the patient’s laptop and within any Zoom, Google Meet or other video tools, the provider can see the patient’s screen share of data and listen live to the heart and lung sounds. Providers can listen using standard headphones or connect their HD Steth Pod, smart stethoscope technology which is an intelligent stethoscope that helps clinicians simultaneously capture, record, replay, and visualize heart sounds and ECG waveforms on a smart device to help detect multiple cardiac abnormalities. Subtle heart sounds are difficult, if not impossible, to hear during auscultation. HD Steth’s sound fidelity is enhanced by its patented visualization technology to allow clinicians to see the heart sounds and receive instant cardiac insights.

Honestly, there were so many great exhibitors that I could write multiple articles. In fact, much to my surprise, even after the event has ended CES has kept the information coming with the digital venue open to registered attendees until February 15th, and also supplying B-roll media packages and access to archive files as well as keynote presentations.

I may well have to do another article on the other technologies that I wanted to see but was not able to fit into the schedule. At the very least I am going to try and look up all the wonderful things I like to stop and ogle at that are outside of the health and wellness space, like those jaw-dropping sleek concept cars and dreamland home theater/sound setups among other lofty delights. 

CES did announce that they will be back for CES 2022 from January 5-8th in Las Vegas. This comes as welcome news to many, especially those of us that prefer to stop and stare in amazement in person for the fully immersive experience. 

As with anything you read on the internet, this article should not be construed as medical advice; please talk to your doctor or primary care provider before making any changes to your wellness routine.

Article courtesy of Tamsyn Webber 

The image was taken by the author at  CES2020 in Las Vegas. 

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Content may be edited for style and length.

This article is not intended to provide medical diagnosis, advice, treatment, or endorsement

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