Digital health products and advanced remote monitoring applications received more attention than ever at CES, driven by rapid evolution in the space during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Digital health products, including remote and connected monitoring devices, were highly visible and generated particular interest at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, held live and virtually January 5 – 8, 2022.
“’The continuing digital transformation of healthcare has certainly been influenced by COVID…and we’re seeing a lot of interest’ in new technologies and processes,” said Consumer Technology Association (CTA) vice president of policy and regulatory affairs Rene Quashie, in an interview with healthleadersmedia.
The extended need to maintain social distancing and the ongoing reluctance of many patients to return to in-person visits at clinics and offices made remote care essential and has likely quashed the early novelty of the concept. The shift to virtual care included an immediate turn to telehealth platforms and mHealth apps, smart devices, wearables, and other digital health tools.
According to a survey conducted by the CTA in 2021, since March of 2020, 20% of US households used online health services for the first time, and 20% plan to continue using them in the next year. One quarter of American homes now own air purifiers, 23% have smart or connected health monitoring devices, and 19% have connected sports of fitness equipment. Smartwatches and wearable fitness trackers, according to CTA, now have ownership of 35% and 31%, respectively, and that trend continues to grow.
Several of the innovations announced during the meeting will be of particular interest to primary care physicians.
Omron Healthcare – announced a new remote patient monitoring tool for patients with high-risk hypertension. The VitalSight service is offered through a physician and the components—an Omron connected blood pressure monitor and data hub—are delivered as a kit to a patient’s home. Monitor and hub are preset to securely share data digitally with the patient’s physician and care team. Neither WiFi or cellular connection are required, helping to narrow current gaps in access to virtual care.
Onera Health – showcased its patch technology with a complete diagnostic system for sleep disorders, replacing cumbersome, inconvenient sensors for monitoring at home or in medical settings. Onera also launched its Biomedical Lab-on-Chip, an ultra-low-power biosignal sensor hub that can acquire and process biosignals from multiple wearables and devices. Readouts cover EEG, ECG, EMG and photoplethysmography.
EveryDose – launched its all-in-one medication app that includes medication reminders, drug-drug interaction warnings, and an AI-powered medication assistant to help identify reasons for nonadherence. The app sends real-time medication adherence data to clinicians, including granular medication adherence details.
Breathings – focused attention on the Bulo breath analysis device; the handheld device measures and analyzes airflow and is described as a “smart breathing training assistant.” Bluetooth technology pairs the breathing device with a smartphone app that generates data including lung capacity for the user to see and suggests customized breathing exercises based on the specific goals.
Opteev – debuted its ViraWarn Freedom personal handheld COVID breath analyzer that provides accurate COVID-19 virus detection in 5 seconds. Studies from the Center for Infectious Disease Research have shown results to be 100% accurate. Cartridge is valid for up to 300 tests.