I’ve been in touch with the developers of Ekso Bionics, a motorized exoskeleton that helps paralyzed people learn to walk again, therefore I’m always happy to see new developments in this area. Now, an exoskeleton designed by another company, ReWalk Robotics, received FDA approval which is amazing news for paralyzed people as well. We are truly not far now from giving every paralyzed people a chance to walk again.
A motorized exoskeleton designed to help some of the 200,000 people in the U.S. with lower body paralysis has won clearance from the FDA to market the device in the U.S., according to a company and FDA statement. ReWalk Robotics’ device is designed to help people with spinal cord injuries stand upright and walk.
ReWalk uses a fitted, metal brace that supports the legs and part of the upper body. Motors provide movement at the hips, knees, and ankles. There’s also a tilt sensor and a backpack that contains the computer and power supply. The idea is that by getting people out of their wheelchairs, users can lead healthier lives. Some of the risk factors associated with paralysis over timeincludes hypertension, blood clots and respiratory problems.
It can be used for personal and clinical rehabilitation purposes. Science fiction (Avatar, Ironman, etc.) is getting real soon!
I’ve been featuring the wearable health trackers I use on a daily basis and I was glad to see and amazingly detailed analysis of all these biosensing wearables on the website of Rock Health. The number of trackers has been rising for the past months faster than ever before, therefore the real challenge is to choose which one to use for what purpose. The ultimate goal is to track meaningful health parameters constanly without feeling the disadvantages of wearing a device no matter how small or smart it is.
It’s a crowded market, but there’s a growing tail of opportunity for biosensing wearables. We’re also pretty confident this space will continue to develop as tech giants like Apple, Samsung, and Googlestart playing in the sandbox.
By the way, you can browse among these trackers in the database of Amazon.com.
After 8 months of hard work, I just submitted the manuscript of my upcoming book, The Guide to the Future of Medicine, to the editor. Over 70 interviews and a lot of examples.
I cannot tell you how excited I’m about its release this August. 3D printing organs, artificial intelligence, home diagnostics, digital brains and many more topics in a guide that is meant to prepare all of us for the future of medicine. It’s coming soon!
In this edition of my series about wearable health trackers that I use, I have already described Tinké, AliveCor and Withings. Now let me share my experience with the Pebble smartwatch. This smartwatch got famous by being successfully crowdfunded on Kickstarter. Mine was shipped this April and since then, I still haven’t been able to discover all its functionalities and the possibilities it provides. The reason behind that is the app store of Pebble full of great applications. Due to its own system, developers can create applications specifically designed for the Pebble.
This way, I have these apps right now:
- I can control music on my smartphone from the Pebble.
- I get notifications about e-mails, phone calls or text messages (I don’t have to keep my phone in front of me during meetings any more).
- Pedometer measuring the number of steps I take.
- Morpheuz is waking me up at the best time.
- 7-min workout guides me to a healthy morning exercise.
- Compass (never know when it comes handy).
Its success truly depends on how rich the community of apps can become soon.
Among negative examples, I could mention that its screen is black and white; only a few apps can be added to the watch, although the battery life is amazingly long.
The rumors have been around for some time now and today, Apple might announce a new product called Healthbook that focuses on tracking health. We will see! Stay tuned!
Apple will put on its big show at its world wide developers conferenceon Monday, and you can expect it to take the opportunity to introduce its long-rumored health and fitness app and platform, “Healthbook.”
A very interesting video was published by Stanford University in which inventors describe how they re-designed batteries not to be bigger than a grain of rice therefore medical devices implanted into the body could be much much smaller.
It is not surprising that universities are ready to take steps into obvious directions of technological advances such as 3D printing. Two Australian, a Dutch and a German university just created the world’s first masters degree program that will allow students to claim that they are masters of biofabrication.
Such bold moves truly show how education must change in order to meet today’s needs.
The two year program gives students one Master’s degree in Regenerative Medicine & Technology from one of the above Australian universities and one of the above European universities. QUT’s biofabrication research has become famous for 3D printing bioink scaffolds infused with a patient’s stem cells to help a woman grow a new breast after a mastectomy.
I recently announced that I have been working on my new book, The Guide to the Future of Medicine, that will showcase the trends that shape the future and a guide about how to prepare for them for any stakeholders of healthcare from patients and medical professionals to policy makers. It will be released this August.
It has been a great experience so far interviewing about 70 global experts from different industries, world famous companies and organizations. I thought I would share the topics of some of the 25 trends therefore future readers could get a glimpse of what to see soon in the book:
- Health Sensors In and Outside The Body
- DIY Biotechnology
- Advanced Robotics
- Artificial Intelligence in Medical Decision Support
- Hospitals of the Future
- The 3D Printing Revolution
- The Rise of Recreational Cyborgs
- and many more!
Experimenting with new drugs on people? Giving patients therapies that usually work for people of the same age, sex, and blood markers? The Virtual Physiological Human is meant to solve this issue by developing a system and model that could simulate the future outcomes of therapies for patients.
“What we’re working on here will be vital to the future of healthcare,” commented Keith McCormack, business development leader at the institute. “Pressures are mounting on health and treatment resources worldwide. Candidly, without in silico medicine, organisations like the NHS will be unable to cope with demand. The Virtual Physiological Human will act as a software-based laboratory for experimentation and treatment that will save huge amounts of time and money and lead to vastly superior treatment outcomes.”
I’ve been using Alivecor for measuring ECG on my smartphone and now I was glad to find out new similar devices also got FDA approvals or are seeking to get it. Here are the recent examples for the evolution of the wearable revolution:
McKesson secured clearance for a mobile medical app called McKesson Cardiology ECG Mobile.
Vital Connect received FDA clearance for its Vital Connect Platform, which is the system that supports the company’s peel-and-stick, Bandaid-like vital signs monitorHealthPatch.
Tel Aviv, Israel-based HealthWatch previewed its hWear line of tshirts with interwoven ECG sensors, allowing the shirt to function as a 3 to 15 lead ECG.