Health Innovation on the Horizon

Advances in technology have surged in recent years, introducing new methods of healthcare to help us in ways we never imagined. This preview highlights tech trends and innovative products that could soon change the way we live.

 

Virtual Healthcare

Meet Shae, your personal health assistant. Like other virtual assistants that have popped up in the past few years, Shae uses interactive technology to communicate with you and all your devices, tailoring a health plan for your body and lifestyle. Created by ph360 and launched as an individualized health app in 2014, Shae has been in development for a decade as part of a collaborative project led by an international team of doctors, scientists and researchers. Shae integrates your whole health history, genetic circumstances and preferences to find (and order!) nutritious meals, schedule social time, adjust your sleep schedule, give fitness tips and even re-route your commute to avoid allergens all to help maximize your health.

 

High-Tech Wear

Smart clothes have arrived and they are getting more intelligent all the time. For example, researchers at the University of Rhode Island are developing gloves and socks made from textiles interwoven with electronics to help monitor the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease (PD). The socks evaluate a person’s gait, noting movement that might indicate a need for therapy, while the gloves have embedded sensors to measure tremors and rigidity. The data is delivered to doctors, who can monitor treatment while the patient remains home.

 

Screen Time

Have you ever used a computer or smartphone screen to chat with your doctor? Telemedicine the use of computers, the Internet and other communication technologies to provide medical care to patients at a distance has seen huge advances in recent years. Telehealth apps and other services are emerging to eliminate hassles and to save people time and money. The National Business Group on Health predicts that nearly all large employers will offer telehealth services to their employees in states where it is allowed by the end of 2018.