Top Health Innovations

Our favorite products at this year’s International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas were those meant to help people monitor their health on the go, to improve life at home for seniors, and to make time spent in the ER a little more pleasant for patients.

X-ray Goggles Take the Guesswork Out of Needle Sticks 

California firm Evena, already known for their vein-imaging systems, premiered a new product called Eyes-On Glasses at this year’s event. The wireless goggles let doctors and nurses map the veins below a patient’s skin using four different light spectrums combined into a single image.

Like Google Glass, Eyes-On projects the vein map into the wearer’s field of vision so that a nurse can overlay it onto the patient’s body for an accurate injection without the usual false starts. 

Eyes-On can also detect whether IV fluid or medications are leaking out of a patient’s vein over time. And for good measure, the glasses can record video and enable audio conferencing using 3G and Bluetooth. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control, 385,000 needle-stick injuries occur among healthcare workers in hospitals every year.

“Studies have shown that up to 40 percent of IV starts require multiple attempts to locate and access a vein, which not only wastes valuable nursing time but also delays therapy and causes patient discomfort and dissatisfaction,” Frank Ball, President and CEO of Evena Medical, said in a statement. “With Evena’s Eyes-On Glasses, nurses can quickly and easily locate and access the best veins for each patient.”

Evena is betting that cost-conscious health centers will invest an estimated $10,000 per pair for Eyes-On to reduce rates of workplace injury and up patient satisfaction.

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Siemens Connects Hearing Aids to Home Devices via Bluetooth

German engineering and electronics giant Siemens is also banking on Bluetooth connectivity with a newer, smaller version of their Tek device, the miniTek.

The device lets hearing aid wearers wirelessly transmit audio signals back and forth from their TVs, smartphones, laptops, landline phones, and audio assist devices in movie theaters.

The miniTek pipes audio directly into a person’s hearing aids, so no more turning the TV volume up to 11 or conducting calls on speakerphone.

Washington Redskins safety Reed Doughty, who wears Siemens hearing aids, presented at CES on behalf of the company.

"I can listen to music and then seamlessly take a phone call,” Doughty told WTOP radio. “[The miniTek] is a really great way to turn my hearing aids into a personal headset.”

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Disposable Patch Measures Your Health for a Week at a Time

Last but not least, Vancive and Medisana have teamed up to create the Metria IH1 health tracker. Unlike the Fitbit Flex and other wearable health monitors, the IH1 sticks directly to the user's skin and can be thrown out after one week.

The device tracks the wearer’s activity type and level, sleep cycle, and calorie consumption, among other metrics. It’s a good way to get a snapshot of your health, whether it’s the week after your hospital stay or the week before your marathon.

Wearers can plug the device into their computers via USB to collect their data, and then send the IH1 on to be recycled.

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