Seal Shield Waterproof Covers

Seal Shield Logo

Todd and Don chat to Bradley Whitchurch from Seal Shield about their latest products aimed at both the healthcare market and technology users with active lifestyles. With expertise in waterproof and anti-microbial technologies, their core products are washable keyboards, mice and TV remote controls.

In the video, Bradley demonstrates the Seal Shield’s washable True Type keyboard by submersing it in warm water, along with an iPhone and iPad covered in Seal Shield’s Life Proof Shield. The Life Proof Shield is a skin which covers the product, keeping the water out and bug-free.

The Life Proof Shield is $29 for the iPad and can be purchased in a combo with the Life Proof Bumper case for $59 from Seal Shield’s site and other good retailers. More information at www.sealshield.com.

Interview by Don Baine, the Gadget Professor and Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central for the TechPodcast Network.

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Click “Like” for a Second Opinion?

FacebookThere are many reasons why you might be asked to click “like” on a Facebook page. You usually cannot access a coupon that a company offers until after you “like” their page. Bands might ask fans to click “like” to show their support. Political parties (or groups that favor a particular one) may want you to “like” their page or a post that is on it. Overall, this is fairly harmless.

Things get a little fishy when a health care provider asks you to do things on Facebook in order to be given a free second opinion. I’m not talking about those posts that get shared that tell a story of a child who needs surgery and who can get it after that post receives enough “likes”. I think most of us know that, in reality, there isn’t a surgeon frantically refreshing his or her Facebook page so he can dash into surgery the instant that last “like” is clicked and save a child’s life. Things just don’t work that way.

That being said, New Times SLO reports an odd story where Facebook and health care have collided. The Templeton Institute for Neurology has a Facebook page. They are offering a free second opinion, if you do the following things: “like” their main Facebook page, “like” their post, share their post, comment on their post, “like” their video, or share their video. Why? Here is their explanation:

Why your likes are so critical is that because this “one of a kind program in the world” depends in its funding and success on advancing name recognition of this free service measured by our “Facebook likes”.

The website for Templeton Institute for Neurology says:

Second Opinion is free at our institution, in excahnge (sic) for the “good will” of 50 of your firends (sic) liking us on Facebook. No insurance needed even if you have insurance.

According to the article from New Times SLO, a patient who does not want to use the “Facebook Free Program” that Templeton Institute for Neurology offers can still get the second opinion that they are seeking. However, it will cost them $2,500 for the initial consult and then $600 per hour for follow up through a place called Neurology Second Opinion Inc., (which is part of their practice).

Omron Strapless Heart Rate Monitor

Omron Healthcare LogoLifestyle health products are very popular and Jamie Davies looks at one of the amazing healthcare products on show at CES 2013, the new Omron Strapless Heart Rate Monitor.

The Strapless Heart Rate Monitor does away with more usual chest belt, replacing it with a device that’s more akin to a chunky wristwatch, which can be worn all day and not just at the gym or when working out. Optical sensors read the blood flow from capillaries in the wrist to calculate the heart rate, helping the wearer hit their fat burning zone and making their workouts more effectively. The monitor fully integrates with Omron’s lifestyle ecosystem, uploading heart rate data to their fitness portal.

The Strapless Heart Rate Monitor (HR-500U) will be available at the end of January for $149 and can be pre-ordered at Omron Fitness’ online store.

Interview by Jamie Davies of Health Tech Weekly.

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Ideal Life

Ideal Life Ideal Life has a complete end to end wireless biometric monitoring systems to monitor chronic heath conditions like cancer, diabetes, heart problems. They allow the patient to be monitor daily outside a hospital environment. Currently they work directly with businesses, such as hospitals, insurer and home health care companies who then give the devices to patients as they are being discharge. This way the patient can be monitored daily, The more data that can be provided the better it is for both the patient and the doctor. This allows an action to be taken before a situation becomes an emergency. The idea is to cut down on readmission to the hospital. Which is a major cost for everyone involve including society.

Ideal Life is currently working on a direct consumer model. This model is being tested by their partners. The expected prices for the devices will be from $50 to 150.00. There will be a monthly data or software plan that will run from $10.00 to $20.00 a month. The release date for the direct consumer model was not given. More information is available at Ideal life Online. Ideal life also announced a new partnership with ADT, the home security system company.

Interview by Jamie Davies of the MedicCast and the Health Tech Weekly

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GE Healthcare Reader, Capture Station, Quietcare, Intel Healthguide

Carissa O’Brien interviews Scott from Intel GE Care Innovations. Scott demonstrates the GE Healthcare text-to-speech reader in conjunction with the Capture Station.

Quietcare is a monitoring system for those living in assisted living facilities.

The Intel Healthguide is a remote monitoring unit that enables medical staff to do remote monitoring and interaction with patients in their own homes via the Internet, including video calling.

Interview by Carissa O’Brien of Geek News Central.

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Pomdevices’ Sonamba Helps Carers and Seniors

On the first night of CES, Andy talks to serial entrepreneur, Ajit Pendse, CEO of Pomdevices about Sonamba, a product aimed at helping older people stay in their own home when otherwise they might have to go into a care facility.

The Sonamba Internet-connected tablet is intended to be used by the elderly person for daily communication with family and reminders about medications. It also acts a base station for other devices in the home that monitor activity elsewhere, e.g. in the bathroom. Panic buttons can be used to summon assistance in emergencies.

Caregivers can install an app on their iPhone that shows the activity in the monitored home and also make changes remotely to alerts and other settings.

Available now from a variety of resellers, with many different purchase options, but starts from $69 per month.

Interview by Andy McCaskey of SDR News.

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Emerging Healthcare Technology

Earlier this week I attended a seminar on “Emerging Healthcare Technologies”, presented by the University of Ulster.  The content was fairly high-level but focussed on several areas that are in various stages of development but will reach the market in the next few years.

The first area was that of providing easy-to-use self monitoring devices, often with local data storage or wireless connections to the Internet. Examples shown were for heart monitoring or for blood sugar levels such as the one shown here. Much of the design focus was to get to the device to look like a gadget rather than a medical device and from the prototypes that were shown, they’re succeeding. There was also the promise of a “laboratory on a chip”, much like the one discussed here. This is a single device which can be programmed to diagnose multiple conditions and brings the potential benefit of cost reduction through mass production.

The second area was on assistive technologies, typically for those with early stages of dementia.  Imagine a house equipped with a variety of sensors, including motion detectors, fridge door sensors, sensors on cookers. Now imagine a computer monitoring this with rules based on “If the cooker is on but there’s no motion in the kitchen, alert the occupant” or If the fridge door is open for more than two minutes, remind the occupant”, with appropriate escalation procedures to 3rd parties if the problem persists. A system was also demonstrated that reminded the occupant what to do if they hadn’t done it yet, e.g. put on your clothes, brush their teeth, eat your breakfast, but it could also help with cookery by taking the person through recipes step-by-step. The interface for most of those was large flatscreens. Obviously, there are concerns regarding privacy but the purpose of these systems is to keep the individual in their own home and not moved into a residential home until their condition worsens.

The third area was that of well-being and most of us will have seen gadgets like the Nike+ running system. We can expect to see more of these systems which attempt to encourage well-being through the integration of multiple technologies such as heart-rate monitoring, GPS and social networking. The presenter commented on the relative costs involved. As it’s primarily a “toy”, it’s easy to produce a quite complex device for less than a 100 GBP. However, as soon as it becomes a medical device, costs soar with regulatory testing and approval.

Finally, a couple of small devices about the size of a pack of playing cards were shown off. They weren’t specifically medical devices, but their feature was that they were aware of each other and could communicate with each other using RF. There was a simple demonstration of the devices passing information between themselves using lights on the devices and their own relative positions. However, you could also see how a Lego-like construction system would permit units with different capabilities to be assembled easily and quickly and yet act as single device.

All very interesting and quietly reassuring for someone who might need to rely on this tech in a decade or two.