Article by Angie Kibiloski
Techfluence held their Virtual Health Tech Summit today, beginning with a Keynote presentation, and going on to feature 14 companies on their virtual showfloor, offering tech in the health and wellness sector. The Keynote began with Elizabeth Parks, President of Parks Associates, a market research and consulting company, discussing the connected health trends that have been on the rise, and which came into focus during the time of Covid. Her data analysis has suggested that the pandemic accelerated tech development in this market by 5 years, and shifted consumers’ perspectives on what they should be able to expect from their health-related tech at home. Whether that tech is used for monitoring vitals like heart rate and blood pressure, alleviating pain or other symptoms, connecting with healthcare professionals, or improving the health and safety of our immediate surrounding, there are many companies launching products to satisfy consumers’ wants and needs. I’ll be briefly discussing 5 such products that were showcased at the Techfluence event today.
Skiin is a new foundational garment line, from Myant, presented during the Keynote by CEO Tony Chahine, which incorporates sensors to track a range of biometrics. The idea for Skiin was inspired by the need for family members to monitor the health of their cognitively impaired loved ones from miles away, as well as make it easier for the user to remember to put on the product every day. It isn’t just for this demographic, however, but for anyone who wants a more accurate reading of their vitals than what a wrist wearable might provide. The foundational garments, including a sports bra and 2 styles of underwear for women, and a chest strap and underwear for men, are made of bamboo and conductive fibers, housing both sensors that are woven into the fabric, as well as small sensor modules that fit into small pockets at the seams. They currently monitor your core body temperature, heart rate, posture, activity, and location, with these stats viewable in the connected app. In the future, you’ll also have access to slip and fall detection, continuous ECG monitoring, sleep cycles, stress levels, and respiratory rate. With constant monitoring of your vitals, the app may be able to detect any readings outside of your normal range, and give you an early warning of an adverse health event. Skiin is currently in an open Beta stage, and you can pick up 4 pairs of men’s or women’s underwear, plus all the necessary accessories, for $99 at https://skiin.com, which will go up to $299 upon full release.
BreathBalanz is a coaching and monitoring system that detects your breathing patterns and helps you learn better breathing techniques. Through the combination of a soft sensor belt and helpful app, you’ll be able to gauge your respiratory health, and train yourself to breathe in a more regulated, healthy way. After determining where you need improvement, the app will give you a personalized 80-day program, including tips and guidance to help you calm your breathing in times of stress, be cognizant of the quality and types of breaths you’re taking, and even help you mitigate hyperventilation during an on-coming panic attack, through a step-by-step breathing exercise. By improving the way we breathe, we can reduce stress, improve sleep, increase energy, and boost immunity, all things that we can always find beneficial. Recently, Covid has drawn special attention to our respiratory health, and as so many people deal with recovery and the lasting effects of the illness, the ability to get the most out of every breath has come into sharp focus, making a product like this extremely timely. You can learn more, and pick up your own BreathBalanz for €199 at https://breathbalanz.com. The company is based in the Netherlands, but they do ship worldwide.
uHoo is an air quality monitor, touted as having the most comprehensive sensor on the market. Without further research, I’m not sure if that’s actually true, but it does track 9 factors of air quality within a stylish, tabletop device. It will sense temperature, relative humidity, dust levels down to a PM2.5 size, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, VOC (volatile organic compounds), ozone, and air pressure. Through the app, you can monitor these factors in real-time, and keep track of them over longer periods, to be alerted to changes in your immediate environment. Keeping these factors within optimal ranges is important for reducing adverse effects of poor air quality, including exposure to harmful elements, headaches caused by weather changes, allergy-induced breathing issues, and more. The app will also give you a virus index, letting you know how hospitable your in-home air quality is to airborne viruses, something that seems incredibly useful right now. uHoo can connect to your other smart home device too, like an air purifier, thermostat, other monitoring devices, and voice assistant, to help you create and maintain improved air quality in you home, leading to better sleep, fewer allergies, increased respiratory health, and an all-around healthier home. It normally goes for $329, at https://getuhoo.com, but is currently on sale for 25% off, so go get yours while you can scoop up that great deal.
Miiskin is a skincare app, which helps people monitor the health of their skin, keeping track of moles and other anomalies, by comparing photos taken over time. The app helps users get just the right angles to map the entire surface of their skin, and be able to look at images of the exact same spot, taken months apart, side-by-side within the interface. This is important, because the appearance of a new mole, or changes to an existing one, can point towards serious issues like skin cancer. Along with providing helpful information on what sort of skin changes to look out for, the app will also set alerts, to remind users to routinely check themselves, or schedule appointments with their dermatologist. This last point is important to keep in mind, as the app is only there to assist a user in noticing an anomaly, and not for diagnosis, which should always be left to a professional. We sometimes forget that our skin is the largest organ in our body, and it needs to be cared for and monitored just as vigilantly as our heart or lungs. If you’d like more info on Miiskin, visit their website at https://miiskin.com. You can try it free for 30 days, then choose to either cancel and use only the Basic app, or upgrade to the Premium subscription plan, if you’d like to track more than 3 moles at one time, securely back up your photos, and have access to a number of other extra features. This plan is $24.95 yearly, or $4.99 on a monthly basis.
ClearUp is a device for sinus pain relief, from Tivic Health. It’s a hand-held device that emits a low-level electrical current from its metallic tip, which can be maneuvered over key points across your cheeks, nose, and eye area, directly over your sinus region, to calm the nerves under the skin, shrink swollen sinus tissue, and reduce congestion, all of which should decrease pain associated with sinus pressure. The product claims to provide better breathing and sinus relief for up to 6 hours, after just one 5-minute treatment. ClearUp has been cleared by the FDA and clinically proven to help you manage your sinus pain and congestion, supposedly better than other treatments like nasal sprays or allergy pills. As an allergy sufferer myself, it’s been a life-long practice to pop a convenient pill, either to prevent the allergens from having an effect in the first place, or treat the symptoms after the fact, but if I could eliminate the need and expense of those products, that would clearly be preferable. If you suffer from sinus pressure and pain, whether it’s allergy-induced or otherwise, you can grab a ClearUp for yourself, for $149, at https://tivichealth.com/clearup-sinus-relief.
That wraps up the companies I wished to highlight from today’s Techfluence event, but only scratches the surface of what is to come in the world of health technology. During the past year, consumers have grown accustomed to the convenience of tele-medicine, and will likely lean towards at-home health services, supported by connected monitoring and treatment devices, even as we get back to a semblance of normal. Smart health products, especially those that can also be integrated into our smart home network, look likely to continue their upward swing, and become a part of more and more households going forward. Visit the websites of any of these 5 products that sound interesting to you, then keep your eyes on our Home Page for possible in-depth reviews of some of these, or other upcoming health tech products in the future.