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Smart And Wearable Technology – From Fitness To Healthcare

Smart and wearable technology has made great strides in recent years, developing applications that often go beyond just being able to monitor a person’s physical performance and fitness. Examples of  these developments include research into the treatment of diseases, as well as in maintaining health in general, the Managed Healthcare Executive notes.

“In 2016, there were more than 101.9 million wearable devices sold”

The growth of the fitness and health wearable industry has been enormous. The International Data Corporation (IDC) reports that in 2016, there were more than 101.9 million wearable devices sold. This represented a growth of around 29% over 2015. It has been estimated that the market will grow further and sell 213.6 million units by 2020.

Currently, the most common wearables look like wristwatches. However, it is expected that clothing and eyewear devices will gain ground. The clinical application of wearable technology is evolving, as technology companies partner with healthcare organizations with the goal of solving some of the healthcare industry’s biggest problems.

The following are eight wearables in the healthcare industry which are worth exploring:

  1. The LIVE by EarlySense is a remote monitor system for bedridden patients. One of the hardest tasks for a caregiver is providing continuous care for bedridden patients. The device collects vital signs and sleep patterns in real time. The data is sent via a mobile app and received by caregivers, nurses and clinicians. The LIVE itself is not something that the patient wears, but is placed under the patient’s mattress. Studies have found that it is 92.5% accurate in monitoring vital signs like heart rate, breathing, movement, as well as sleep patterns and other factors.
  2. The Rapael Smart Glove is designed for people who have experienced neurological and musculoskeletal injuries, including strokes or heart attacks. It is used for physical therapy purposes, where it is used to create an exercise schedule with the use of a 30-minute exercise. It makes use of game software where the patient plays table tennis, baseball and other activities on the computer. The activity is given a score which is used to motivate the patient.
  3. The Rapael Smart Board is aimed at helping patients with mobility problems with their shoulders and elbows. The Smart Board also makes use of computer games to motivate the patient to play the games which entail moving the affected parts through a wide range of motion.
  4. The K’Track Glucose monitor is one of the simplest glucose monitor for people with diabetes (Type 1 and Type 2). The monitor makes use of micro-needles less than 0.5mm. These micro needles collect fluid right below the skin surface. These are also analyzed to provide blood sugar information. A replaceable cartridge houses the micro needles, and lasts up to 30 days. The cartridge can take an unlimited number of readings during its lifetime. To use the monitor, the patient presses a button, and in within a minute, the results are displayed on the device. The results can also be synchronized with a mobile app.
  5. The Fever Scout is a patch that reads the body temperature and sends this information to caregivers and medical health practitioners via a mobile app. Caregivers can remotely monitor the patient’s temperature. The Fever Scout continuously takes temperature readings and sends this data to the mobile app even when its 25 or 30 feet away from the patient.
  6. The AccendoWave is a pain management monitoring wearable. By reading the patient’s electroencephalography system (EEG), the device knows if the patient is in pain and tries to distract him away from the discomfort. AccendoWave is in partnership with Samsung and uses a Samsung tablet to entertain the patient depending on the pain level. The patient is also able to rate the device depending on whether the distraction alleviated the discomfort felt.
  7. The Ava bracelet monitors women’s fertility and their menstrual cycle. It uses a huge amount of information which show a relationship with female reproductive hormones. It monitors pulse rate, sleep, breathing, skin temperature, and others. The device is only worn at night and synchronizes data with the use of a mobile app. This device has been FDA-approved and has been on sale since 2015.
  8. The Omron Project Zero 2.0 is a wearable which looks like a regular wrist watch. It measures blood pressure, sleep, heart rate and other activities. It synchronizes with a mobile app and is powered by a battery which runs for about a week before it needs to be recharged. It was presented to the public at the 2017 Consumer Electronics show.

These latest developments in wearable technology show how technological innovations in one industry such as fitness can be applied to other industries such as healthcare. The Bold Impact of applying technological breakthroughs across industries could greatly improve people’s lives. From wearables in fitness and healthcare, to Virtual Reality in entertainment and education, the possibilities are endless.

What Role Did Gender Play In The Trump vs. Clinton Debates?

Maria Guadalupe, associate professor of economics and political science at the French business school INSEAD, had a bold idea. Suppose Donald Trump was a woman and Hillary Clinton was a man. Would gender reversal make a difference in the perceptions of the candidates in the minds of the millions of people watching the presidential debates?

Guadalupe’s research to find an answer to that question has potentially significant implications for future politicians hoping to win elections. The findings also challenge some widely-held assumptions about how males and females are perceived.

To discover the answer, Guadalupe designed and conducted an elaborate experiment. Collaborating with Joe Salvatore, associate professor of educational theater at NYU Steinhardt, the pair developed a production, Her Opponent. Two actors performed excerpts from the three presidential debates, accurately mimicking the words, tone, posture, and gestures of the two candidates—with one major exception. A male actor played the Hillary Clinton role as a character named Jonathan Gordon. A female actor played the Donald Trump role as a character named Brenda King. As the female Trump, King paced the stage, sniffed into the microphone often, interrupted Gordon repeatedly, and sharply attacked her opponent. Gordon, channeling Hillary, smiled and nodded continuously, and recited rehearsed statements in calm, measured tones.

“They didn’t listen so much to the content. She was just really committed and passionate about what she was saying”

The actors presented two performances of the production to standing-room-only crowds (of mostly academicians) on January 28, 2017, at the Provincetown Playhouse on Cape Cod. In true research style, the audience completed pre and post-performance surveys. The pre-performance survey asked about their impressions of the original Trump-Clinton debates. The post-performance survey asked questions about their reaction to the restaged Gordon-King debates.

Both Guadalupe and the audience were stunned by their reactions to the restaged debate. Guadalupe had assumed that observers would find Trump’s style of “interruption and attack” unacceptable in a woman and perceive Clinton’s steadiness and preparedness as even more commanding in a man. Instead, even during rehearsals, Guadalupe and Salvatore found themselves drawn to the female Trump, the exact opposite of their hypothesis.

The mostly liberal audience found themselves challenged by the experience, as well. Many failed to find in Gordon the qualities they admired in Clinton, rather finding his style grating. “They liked that [Brenda King] was more passionate,” Guadalupe said. “Genuine. Emotional. People were connecting with her emotionally. They didn’t listen so much to the content. She was just really committed and passionate about what she was saying.”

Trump’s victory is considered one of the great political upsets; however, this exercise in role reversal may help explain Trump’s appeal—making the emotional connection to a simple, repetitive message. It also provides an insight into the stereotypes in our society, and how age-old perceptions and emotional responses still greatly affect people’s decision-making.

What if Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton Had Swapped Genders? Hillary may have actually have won, but only if she had changed her style and had a message…

3D Printing Is Revolutionizing The Medical Industry

The use of 3D printing has increased across many industries over recent years, but the technology is making a bold impact on the medical industry where it is being used to improve healthcare and save lives.

Stratasys has created sophisticated additive manufacturing technology which is helping to improve processes and delivery times within many sectors, including healthcare.

“custom-made implants, fixtures, and surgical tools can have a positive impact in terms of the time required for surgery, patient recovery time, and the success of the surgery or implant”

According to Eureka Magazine, their innovative technologies are developing fully functional medical prototypes, such as knee braces and other equipment, for improved design efficiency.

The key use of the technology is to help hospitals test medical devices early in the production process, to make any required design changes before final production. It reduces the time taken for the products to be finished and is also seeing many new innovations coming to market.

As the healthcare industry grows around the globe, governments and independent organizations are looking for the most cost effective, innovative and efficient healthcare solutions – and, Stratasys is providing the answers.

According to a publication on the medical applications of 3D printing in NCBI, C. Lee Ventola, describes how “custom-made implants, fixtures, and surgical tools can have a positive impact in terms of the time required for surgery, patient recovery time, and the success of the surgery or implant”.

The technology is also helping doctors work faster, shorten patient waiting and theatre times, and improves operation and aftercare results.

Customization in 3D printing in the medical industryWhat’s more, the use of additive manufacturing is being used to aid complex surgical procedures during the planning stages to reduce surgery times, and improve accuracy.

The technology is aiding doctors when they practice surgery on 3D printed models – for example, using ‘dummy’ models where surgeons can fine tune their skills on a specific area to ensure the surgery they will undertake is the correct one.

Stratasys is expanding fast and has not only cornered the health industry but supplies solutions to aerospace agencies and the automotive industry.

The company stresses that their products are market leading and their practices prove there isn’t a drop in quality when using their technology. They offer organizations a speedy design and implementation alternative that is rarely rivaled in any industry.

Within all these areas of technological innovation, especially in healthcare, Stratasys holds a great deal of responsibility seeing as they quite literally hold people’s lives in their hands.

It takes bold ideas like these to encourage innovation and to change people’s lives for the better by improving medicine and healthcare practices globally.