Category Archives: health

Skin Care Gets Smart with HiMirror



HiMirror‘s range of smart mirrors aim to be “your at-home beauty and health consultant”, and use high resolution digital cameras to record and assess skin condition including wrinkles, fine lines, clarity, dark circles, dark spots, red spots and pores to both identify problem areas and track improvement. Simply, the smart mirror takes a picture of the face, analyses it and recommends personal skincare routines to help improve skin quality.

Combined with a database of over 10,000 skincare products, the HiMirror measures and tracks product performance through changes to skin condition. With objective data, it’s now possible to work out which skincare products and routines actually make a difference to the skin, and those that don’t. Using “big data”, the system has been developed in conjunction with professional consultants in the fields of dermatology, cosmetics, skincare and medical beauty, and HiMirror have won awards at CES in both 2017 and 2018.

The device is a mirror with a flat screen display behind it, which lets the HiMirror interact with the user to show skincare information and videos. The HiMirror responds to both voice and gestures, and there’s a handheld remote control too. No self-respecting smart mirror would be without a digital assistant and Alexa is built-in.

Announced at IFA today, HiMirror has a couple of new models, including one smaller version and two aimed at the professional beautician.

The HiMirror Mini Premium is a compact model with a 13″ x 9″  touch screen for easy navigation. As with other HiMirrors, it can analyse skin and offer personalised skincare recommendations. Other features includes Skin Safe which spots allergens in health products and it also provides help with applying makeup for different light levels, such as dimly lit restaurants or brightly lit offices. HiMirror Mini Premium will be available to pre-order from the HiMirror website from 31st August 2018, with products shipping in November. UK price is GB£239.

On the commercial side the Enterprise Lite and Enterprise Pro will be joining the HiMirror line-up shortly. These models are aimed at beauty professionals and beauty salons as these mirrors can have unlimited accounts or profiles. With one profile for each client, historical data and photos can be stored individually to track progress over time.

I particularly like the HiMirror Mini Premium and I can see it being a popular choice in the smaller size. Perfect for dressing tables….


Lumen Hit Their Indiegogo Funding Goal



Lumen, a digital health and wellness company reinventing weight management and performance optimization through science and technology, quickly hit their $50,000 funding goal on Indidgogo in just three hours.

Lumen, the pocket-sized device that hacks metabolism in real-time, has helped beta users lose an average of 6.8 pounds in 30 days, and has quickly gained popularity amongst consumers since the July 17, 2018, campaign launch.

Simply by taking a single breath, Lumen’s powerful AI engine analyzes metabolism to determine whether users are burning carbs or fat for energy and provides immediate nutritional guidance and real-time insights based on that physiological data. Lumen then creates a daily personalized nutrition plan to help users lose weight, optimize workouts, and reach their health and fitness goals.

Lumen is available for pre-order at the “Early-Bird” pledge level price of $199. That’s 33% off of the retail price of $299. The Indiegogo campaign will run through August 25, 2018.


Activinsights Measures Health at Wearable Technology Show



Activity trackers with built-in heart rate monitors are incredible pieces of technology. Sophisticated electronics crammed into a tiny space at relatively inexpensive cost and generating vast swathes of data. Fantastic as these devices are, they’re aimed squarely at consumers. There’s no guarantee that a thousand steps is a thousand steps.

For medical applications, a validated wearable is required and these devices have gone through rigorous research programmes to ensure that they work within a confirmed margin of error. British firm Activinsights manufacture their own wrist wearables for medical and healthcare professionals to use with with patients and clients.  In the interview, Stephanie from Activinsights tells me how their wearables differ from the consumer market. For starters, some of them have a year-long battery life.

With a range of devices for different scenarios, detailed information is collected and subsequently downloaded for analysis. Activinsights’ analytic tools can assess the data to provide lifestyle recommendations for long-term prevention but can also identify when the wearer’s condition is deteriorating. Many physical manifestations can be indicators of serious medical conditions, so it’s worth keeping track of activity over extended periods to help make a diagnosis.

The devices are available now with prices from around GB£260.


Rubi Pregnancy Monitor at Wearable Technology Show



In my experience, expecting a new baby is a conflicting mix of emotions ranging from total joy to sheer terror…and I’m the dad. For mums-to-be there’s the extra worry from carrying the baby and 78% of women experience unhealthy levels of stress and anxiety during pregnancy. These concerns are not entirely unfounded as the risk of miscarriages and stillbirths is significant, and sadly there’s still considerable stigma associated with a failed pregnancy.

Many medical professionals recommend measuring kicks and punches after 28 weeks as a good indicator of a foetus’ relative health but there’s often natural variation and mum’s often got other things on her mind. Of course, this is where Rubi from Sensable Technnologies comes in. Rubi is a passive wearable pregnancy monitor that mum wears over her bump to automatically record kicking information. Eric and Nolan tell me more about Rubi at the Wearable Technology Show in London.

Typically Rubi records a running total for the last hour and keeps track of the last kick. The information is transmitted via Bluetooth to the parents’ smartphones and the complementary app shows the activity. If there is anything to be concerned about, the Rubi app will alert the mum and she can do a non-stress test to check.

Rubi itself uses strain gauges which are screen-printed onto the fabric to make the maternity band, and there’s a small microcontroller pod for collecting the kick data and transmitting it onwards. In addition to the maternity band, the team has produced an active tape which adheres directly to the skin.

Rubi is now live on Kickstarter with several early bird deals. Prices are slightly different from the interview but currently Rubi is priced at US$223 / GB£165 with delivery expected in February and March 2019. The active tape version will be delivered earlier at the end of 2018.

Please bear the delivery dates in mind when considering your own pregnancy as Rubi is best used from 28 weeks onwards.


Hospital VR Experience for Children at Wearable Technology Show



It’s stressful enough as an adult to go into hospital for an operation or procedure. Much as you know it’s for your own good and the doctors are there for your benefit, hospitals are still unfamiliar territory for most people and there are machines which you’re not quite to sure what they do and whether the beeping noise is normal.

Imagine how much worse it is for children when they go into hospital: they’re already unwell and in pain, and now have to cope with strangers and scary machines. It’s all very intimidating – the child will be afraid and uncooperative.

To help with this, the team at JSC have developed a game-based VR experience for children where the child is taken through a medical procedure with the help of a friendly in-game character. The child gets a 1st person view, interacting with the characters and exploring the hospital in a fun way. The child sees it as a game and enjoys the experience, instead of being afraid.

When it comes to the real thing, the VR pre-experience increases the success of the procedure, reduces the child’s stress and anxiety, and increases the active participation of the child. Currently the medical procedures include injections, blood-taking, x-ray, anaesthesia and surgery.

JSC is a South Korean company and the interview at the Wearable Technology Show took place with the assistance of a translator. I spoke with SeHwan Lee, JSC’s Chief Business Development Officer, but it’s the translator’s voice in the interview.


Digital Health London Innovates with NHS at Wearable Technology Show



The British National Health Service (NHS) is often thought of as a single organisation but it’s more of a Hydra-esque organism made of many semi-autonomous agencies each with their area of expertise and sources of funding. Consequently, it can be hard for entrepreneurs and startups to engage with the NHS – where do you start? I chat with Rose from Digital Health London, a programme aiming to speed up the development and scaling of digital innovations across health and care, and pioneer their adoption by the NHS…matching innovators with NHS need, and supporting them to navigate the UK health environment.

The Digital Health London accelerator programme works with small-to-medium companies to help these firms access NHS providers through an NHS Navigator. The Navigator is someone who has good understanding of how the NHS works and is funded, and can guide the company to make the right contacts.

The programme also provides guidance on how to work within healthcare, such as running clinic trials, patient safety and handling confidential information. Hopefully these startups can avoid some of the pitfalls seen recently with some of the larger social media companies!


Marvel-lous Massage Chairs at CES 2018



There are massage chairs and then there are BodyFriend massage chairs. With these chairs, it’s not so much getting a gentle pummelling from a recliner as putting on Iron Man’s exoskeleton with Jarvis as your masseur. Todd gets a sensational experience with Roy.

The premium BodyFriend chairs provide full body massage including shoulders, arms, waist, legs and feet, with more than a dozen massage modes (depending on model) including brain concentration and digestive massage. The brain massage uses sound waves to soothe the grey matter. There’s built-in heating, stereo speakers and Bluetooth.

Most recently, BodyFriend has partnered with Lamborghini for a new chair which is expected to ship in spring 2018. Other BodyFriend chairs are on sale now in the US with prices from US$5000 to $9000.

BodyFriend have partnered with Marvel for themed hugchairs including Spiderman and Captain America. Priced at US$1580, these are aimed at children and grown-up kids while providing a massage experience in a smaller, friendlier chair.

Todd Cochrane is the host of the twice-weekly Geek News Central Podcast at GeekNewsCentral.com.

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