Instant personal COVID testing on the horizon!

Researchers at Rice University have developed a microfluidic device that can test for the presence of SARS-CoV-2 in a drop of blood and display its results once plugged into a cell phone. The test runs in under an hour, and works by detecting SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid protein using antibody-studded magnetic nanobeads. In tests, the device could detect very low levels of the protein, suggesting that it could function as a sensitive diagnostic tool.  

The fight against COVID-19 continues, and testing is one of our most commonly deployed and useful weapons in stopping the spread of the virus. PCR remains the gold standard test for the virus, but it is time consuming and requires highly trained lab technicians and equipment. Rapid tests, that can be performed in doctors’ clinics, airports, or even in pharmacies, would be very useful in helping to prevent transmission.

These issues have inspired this latest device, which can detect a viral protein in a small drop of blood, such as that from a finger prick. People may have personal preferences with regard to a finger prick or nasal swab, but it may be nice not to have to insert a large swab deep inside your nose to determine your COVID status. One of the other big benefits of the device is its portability.“What’s great about this device is that doesn’t require a laboratory,” said Peter Lillehoj, a researcher involved in the study, in a Rice announcement. “You can perform the entire test and generate the results at the collection site, health clinic or even a pharmacy. The entire system is easily transportable and easy to use.”The microfluidic chip contains magnetic nanobeads studded with antibodies against the SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid protein. “There are standard procedures to modify the beads with an antibody that targets a particular biomarker,” said Lillehoj. “When you combine them with a sample containing the biomarker, in this case SARS-CoV-2 N protein, they bond together. ”An external magnet draws the beads towards an electrochemical sensor that generates a current in response to the captured protein. When plugged into a standard smartphone, the device sends these data to an app for easy interpretation of the results. The test is rapid, providing results in as little as 55 minutes.

Published in Stop Press
A  CES 2021 INNOVATION AWARD PRODUCT that caught my eye.Simple normal voice communication is the objective of Voiceitt's accessible app, designed to serve individuals with dysarthria caused by medical conditions, such as Cerebral Palsy, Stroke, ALS, Parkinson’s disease, Down's syndrome, Traumatic Brain Injury and any other type of non-standard speech to communicate and control smart assistants and smart home with their OWN VOICE for the first time. Voiceitt’s app identifies and adapts to the individual’s unique impaired speech patterns like breathing pauses and non-verbal sounds so that individuals with severe speech impairment can use it to communicate. Voiceitt does not need an Internet connectivity for usage and can be used everywhere.
Published in Stop Press

AURA Strap for Apple Watch - an accessory for an accessory for an iPhone! This clever watchstrap improves some of the Apple Watch's health/fitness tracking features and adds some sensing in the strap and analysis in their App and adds to the Watches capabilities to keep on top of performance and wellness when doing sports, on a diet or just want to stay fit and be healthy. The new strap and companion app (for Apple Watch and iPhone) help users to measure their body composition (fat/muscles percentage) and hydration levels to track fitness/diet progress and get more personalized insights to improve their lifestyle. Bioimpedance is the core technology which expands the Apple Watch health tracking capabilities. Analyzing the upper body, it can track lungs and breathing changes, compare them with pulse data and even assess risks of heart failure and notify the user, his doctor, or emergency contact about it. AURA Strap cleverly transfers results to the Watch via ultrasound, which is much more energy-efficient than BLE.

Oh, and it's quite a nice looking band as well. Noone will know what you are up to unless you tell them!

CyclePath: Another Last Gadget Standing entry that caught my eye.

 An all New Exercise Platform with connected App and Gaming Features.  This Hybrid technology that has both health benefits and game playing thrills and engagement, will make a new and fresh category in the home game console and exercise categories, crossing over into a new path showing children (and adults) how to combine both benefits. Promotes blood circulation through light to medium exercise. Help children become physically more active!  

Somewhat portable, so can be used at home, work, backseat of car, etc. CyclePath uses Bluetooth technology to link your smartphone to the bike pedeling unit. The information and statistics are then synced to the included fitness band. It requires no outside power, emits no gases or radiation and has no age limit. Since you generate energy while pedaling, you can also charge your phone or any other device through an on-board USB port connection.  Creates a healthier environment and homelife. Gives parents better tools to get kids to play on their smartphones while doing exercise at the same time, wherever they may be. Intuitive and infectious, easy as riding a bike and watching where you are going on your phone or tablet which also functions as a steering wheel. Games and moving exploration content becoming available (WCME Suggestion to CyclePath inventors: this is begging for coupling to a VR headset!)

MedWand™ - Last Gadget Standing award winning finalist.

MedWand™ enables the potential of home care aspects of telemedicine - contains a powerful Camera System, Pulse Oximeter, IR thermometer, Stethoscope and ECG all in a single 4 ounce enclosure.

Here's what caught my eye. MedWand houses multiple diagnostic tools in a single, easy-to-use handheld device. With a MedWand on the patient’s side, clinicians can conduct remote office visits, and through the real-time collection of multiple vital sign readings and key patient assessments, detect and follow numerous medical conditions from across town, or around the world.  It can be used in several different modes. In addition to the real time remote exams, it can be used by Home Health Care, EMS, Hospice and Palliative care workers, as well as assisted living home monitoring environments. Medwand can also be used as a store & forward device. Medwand will improve outcomes, reduce hospital readmissions, facilitate proper and correct treatment modalities, and also save lives.

Withings, pioneer of the digital health movement and connected analogue watches, unveiled its ScanWatch, a clinically validated hybrid smartwatch to detect both risk of arrhythmia (AFib) and sleep apnea – all from the wrist. Helping users and their physicians monitor overall health with a smartwatch that identifies highly prevalent cardiovascular and sleep issues early.
Worn throughout the day and night, ScanWatch can provide an early warning system, collecting and sharing critical health data. 

Although not a new capability in a smart watch/smartphone combination, it does increase the availability of AFib watches to most consumers from the top MHealth brands.  The real groundbreaker in this area was AliveCor who later merged with and incorporated the capability into OMRON’s watches. The latest version of Apple Watch now includes the capability as well. This all bodes well for the wellness/preemptive healthcare area for consumers. Giving early warning of conditions and acquiring important ECG data for personal early warning/physician diagnosis plus a database for further analysis across consumer sectors.  Through continuous monitoring of heart rate and detection of irregular heartbeat,the user can then take an ECG reading and in just 30 seconds get a more in depth analysis and storing of both data and initial determination for further action.

Nice to see combinations of existing technology and innovative development and integration exploited to create a highly valuable aid for the partially sighted.  Whether reading use-by dates on products, magazines and books or anything in between. Also recognising everyday things and people. The product was a finalist in the Last Gadget Standing event at CES (I was one of the judges) and the MC handed the presenter his stage script, and OrCam MyEye read it flawlessly! Very impressive! But OrCam MyEye is not just about reading. It also assists with Identifying products, money notes, colours and recognising faces and other everyday encounters that sighted people take for granted

OrCam MyEye 2.0 is an advanced artificial vision device for people who have vision and reading disabilities. The breakthrough device instantly and discreetly communicates vital visual information: printed and digital text – from any surface, faces, products, colors, and money.
The headset is designed with the needs of these users in mind. Many innovative technologies have been deployed in the design, this revolutionary wearable device is small, comfortable, and easy to use.
The newly-designed OrCam MyEye 2.0 exemplifies a revolution in wearable artificial vision technology for people who are blind, visually impaired or have a reading disability. OrCam MyEye 2.0’s platform is a quantum leap forward – a breakthrough of a breakthrough – of increased functionality, comfort, portability, and design for our users

Published in VR, AR, 3D/360.

Context is King! Lifefuels is a smart bottle that mixes drinks on the go - with nutrients and to your taste and situation. Personalidsed drinks designed to keep you at your best. Just add water, select your "fuel pods" and go!  Smartphone App, Hydration & Nutrient Tracking Syncs with Wearables. Why shouldn't we have great-tasting, personalized, tasty, nutritianally functional beverages to compliment our busy lifestyles?

According to Jonathon Perrelli, CEO, the Lifefuels waterbottle delivers personalised drinks designed to keep you at your best. Their simple mission: to help people thrive and keep them on track by letting them make beverages on the go that are tailored to fit their day. 

Published in Contextual Technology

I am always seeking what I call “technology enabled, consumer driven change”.

There is growing evidence that health conscious consumers will instigate much of the rapid change in healthcare, rather than organically in the healthcare industry itself. This is effectively where  personal emphasis on wellness and preventative healthcare will emerge rather than from the reactive nature of your relationship with your healthcare provider.

So here is one more personal item that could change the dynamics of heart health not just in terms of monitoring vitals, but also in building a very valuable contextual database of clinical data specific to the wearer! Normal Looking, and according to Omron, “Clinically Validated & Accurate” 

The HEARTGUIDE Wrist Watch works with a smartphone App and has a long list of vital sign monitoring sensors, but now Omron adds one measurement that has been missing from wrist wearables to date - a Blood Pressure Monitor.
It syncs with the Omron app to track and share vital data about your heart health and keeps track of physical activity and sleep as well.
Currently undergoing FDA testing, available later this year for about the same price as an Apple Watch.
But the real bonus for me came from a discussion I had with Dr. David Albert, MD, Founder & Chief Scientific Officer of AliveCor - an affiliate company to Omron Healthcare who I met with on the Omron booth. It is likely that the EKG Atrial Fibrillation sensing and recording of Alivecor’s Kardia Band device will also be incorporated in future versions. Kardia Band is an available product, a clinical grade wearable EKG which is already FDA-cleared and replaces your original Apple Watch® band. It provides access, analysis and data storage of a 30-second EKG anytime, anywhere.
Add that to your personal heart health Database!

A Cardiology Department on your Wrist!

Published in Digital Healthcare


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