From snoring to surgery, health gadgets shine at CES

From snoring to surgery, health gadgets shine at CES

World’s biggest consumer electronics show in Las Vegas even features a urine-testing toilet attachment

Earable Neuroscience representative Kimi Doan wears the Frenz AI-powered brainband, which tracks EEG brainwaves and uses algorithms to provide brain stimulation with personalised audio signals for better sleep, focus and relaxation, at CES Unveiled in Las Vegas on Tuesday. (Photo: AFP)
Earable Neuroscience representative Kimi Doan wears the Frenz AI-powered brainband, which tracks EEG brainwaves and uses algorithms to provide brain stimulation with personalised audio signals for better sleep, focus and relaxation, at CES Unveiled in Las Vegas on Tuesday. (Photo: AFP)

LAS VEGAS: Pillows that stifle snores, urine-testing toilets, and “digital twins” for safer surgery were all on display in Las Vegas on Tuesday, ahead of the opening of the world’s biggest annual consumer electronics extravaganza.

Fuelled by the pandemic, a rising trend in remote or home healthcare innovations is expected to be one of the major themes at the annual CES gathering.

“We are going to see some really interesting health gadgets that monitor or improve your well-being,” Avi Greengart, a technology analyst with Techsponential, said of the show.

Snore-silencing pillow

South Korea-based 10Minds showed off a pillow with a built-in microphone that detects snoring, then triggers soundless airbags that change size to gently turn a sleeper’s head to a position that makes it easy to breathe quietly.

“When you start snoring, right away it detects it,” company representative Daehyun Kim told AFP at the CES Unveiled event.

“It even distinguishes your snoring from your dog snoring, or your spouse.”

The pillow, which syncs with a smartphone app, collects data which is analysed to identify snoring patterns to hone its response over time, Kim added.

“It’s (a) very simple solution,” Kim said.

Toilet turned lab

The digital health and wellness company Withings showed off a U-Scan device that lets people analyse their urine by peeing as they normally might into a toilet.

A disk that hangs inside a toilet bowl can house changeable cartridges, one of which monitors a woman’s menstruation cycle and another of which measures nutritional health indicators such as vitamin C and ketone levels.

“It helps people monitor their metabolic intake to optimise their daily hydration and nutrients,” the French company said in a release.

“It recommends workouts, dietary suggestions, and recipes to achieve identified goals.”

The in-toilet device syncs wirelessly to a smartphone app.

U-Scan can even distinguish between various users based on “an individual’s urine stream signature”, according to the company.

Withings will debut U-Scan in Europe in the second quarter of this year, at a price of 500 euros for a starter kit.

It will not be available in the United States until it obtains approval from the Food and Drug Administration.

Digital twin

France-based Abys displayed technology that enables surgeons to create “digital twins” of patients using data from X-rays and other standard medical scans.

Surgeons can then precisely plan an operation, reducing the time it takes and the risk involved, company co-founder Arnaud Destainville told AFP.

In operating rooms, surgeons can use Microsoft HoloLens mixed reality headsets to access a patient’s hologram “twin” and other data as they work, Destainville said.

“All the planning, all the information becomes available during the surgery,” Destainville said.

US regulators approved the Abys innovation last week, according to the co-founder.

Armchair masseuse

The South Korean company Bodyfriend is taking aim at neck and back aches caused by sitting hunched over screens.

A Bodyfriend massage chair billed as a medical device kneads muscles, applies heat and even pulses electromagnetic waves that are supposed to ease aches and pains.

“Our technology helps solve problems created by technology” since spending time on one’s phone and other screens can create back problems, said Bodyfriend North America manager Changjoo Kim.


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