CES 2023: Bringing high-tech health services into the home
This year’s CES was focused on how to tackle the world’s biggest challenges. From access to healthcare at home to greener methods of transportation and harvesting energy from more sustainable sources, companies came out strong, showcasing products that will make a real impact on our daily lives.
The digital health and wellbeing innovations at CES had a big focus on preventive, self-monitoring technology. In fact, these wearables and smart home health devices could easily be described as “technology people actually want to use” as opposed to futuristic ideas that are more cool than practical. Just a few of these useful innovations included a smart baby care system with AI biosignal processing, a portable defibrillator, and the world’s smallest glucose sensor to deliver continuous, real-time readings to your smartphone.
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Health tech trends of CES 2023: What’s the latest and greatest?
Throughout the many incredible innovations at CES 2023, there were 4 main themes in the healthtech space that stood out. For each theme, I’ve included some examples of the notable exhibitors that showed new technology related to these trends.
Well-being at home for the aging population
One of the major trends at CES was the increase in agetech solutions. Between an aging baby boomer population and the negative health impact that social isolation during Covid had on older populations, agetech is becoming an increasingly critical industry. I predict that there will be an uptick in partnerships with larger corporations like AARP, and its Agetech Collaborative ecosystem, to get smart technology into older people’s homes to help them feel more autonomous and less lonely.
- CarePredict: Innovative senior health monitoring technology that tracks changes in results from activities of daily living (ADL) to predict health issues.
- Crdl: A wooden instrument for caregivers to engage and create impactful connections between people.
- Nobi: A smart lamp that monitors distress indicators like falls, coughing, and trouble breathing in a non-invasive, invisible way.
Smaller, smarter wearables
While health wearables have helped users regain control over their health for many years now, new innovations provide even more data, seeking to close the information gap around our health statuses between doctor appointments. Companies are also releasing their smallest wearables yet to make collecting user health data more seamless and invisible than ever.
The final frontier: collecting the hard-to-reach health data
Certain parts of our bodies hold untapped yet critical information about our health, however the technology to collect and analyze this data didn’t previously exist. New research and developments will allow users to gain access to specific body systems that were previously difficult to track with at-home healthtech. These advancements will provide a new wave of empowerment and control around how people can measure and improve their daily health outside medical settings.
Neuropsychology-backed mental health at home
Following the rise of mental health and wellness platforms like Talkspace and Calm and an undoing of the social taboos around these topics, companies are now focused on creating innovative wearables to help users understand and regulate their mental health. From early screening for mild cognitive impairment to using physical techniques that hack the nervous system to reduce stress and anxiety, the latest wearables are bringing neuroscience solutions into the home for better brain health.
Looking at horizontal trends
Across digital health, there are three horizontal trends that companies need to adopt to stay competitive while building new products. First, with nearly half of the households in the US and over a third of European households using at least one smart home device, interoperability has never been more important. Matter is a protocol that is making interoperability for connected devices a reality. In addition to this, Baracoda is building their own BConnect protocol for their products and their partners’ products. Compatible with Matter, this protocol will extend access to device interoperability to more digital health and smart home companies.
Companies similarly need to ensure they are adhering to the highest privacy standards as the differences in government regulations mean that some products will be more secure than others. To reassure consumers, companies need to provide proof that they adhere to strict privacy policies, particularly with health data.
Finally, it’s no longer optional to create products in a sustainable way, but necessary as consumers become more concerned with what the companies they support are doing to help the world reduce waste and achieve the 2023 sustainable development goals.
Next steps: improving data regulation and fragmentation
During several of the speaker panels, audience members highlighted the issue of fragmented health data and how innovators could address this with health systems in mind. For EU companies, this will become increasingly possible as new data regulations like Europe’s Digital Services Act (DSA) and AI Act require companies to build products with health data protection in mind. These new regulations will pave the way for users to be able to share their personal health data with doctors in a secure and consensual manner. With all these innovative solutions exposed at CES, the next step will be to work together to make these products and services more integrated while maintaining a consistently high level of data privacy.