CES 2020: AgeTech innovations are scaling-up

CES is exhausting, but is fast becoming THE place to discover cutting-edge technology: From SexTech (yeah) to Automotive, AgeTech is fast climbing-up the rankings of exciting technology innovations – we take a look at some of the latest innovations on show.

You might want to check-out our other CES 2020 review here.

The world’s population is aging. Researchers and investors are realising that the effects of an aging population that not only living longer, but demanding to live better is more than ripples on a pond – it’s a silver tsunami that needs to be surfed and leveraged.

This is evident at CES (the Consumer Electronics Show), the annual trade lollapalooza organised by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA) and happening in Las Vegas this week. The largest tech show in the world, CES showcases 4,500 exhibiting companies and more than a few piqued Longevity.Technology’s interest. Here is our first round up of some of our favourites – it’s Vegas, baby!

Image credit: Pria

Pria by Black+Decker styles itself as “smart technology with a heart” and is designed to assist independent living by crossing a smart home hub with a pharmacist. Pria can record and dispense medication, deliver alerts and answer questions. With a smartphone app, facial recognition and two-way video calling, it aims to provide peace-of-mind for both independent dweller and family. Nice example of an enterprise innovating in AgeTech.

Image credit: Wellscare

Originally crowdfunded and now into its next funding phase, WellsCare is turning heads with IASO, a wearable pain management device that uses cold-laser technology. Already FDA-certified, IASO uses IoT technology to link with a smartphone app to allow the user to monitor their pain management. It is estimated that about one in five, or about 1.5 billion people, suffer from chronic pain globally and it becomes more prevalent the older the age group [1]. Being able to manage that pain, especially being able to do it at home, would improve healthspan dramatically. Laser therapy has previously only been available in hospitals, but IASO’s Low Level Laser Therapy is a much cheaper and equally efficient alternative.

Existo tech
Image credit: Existotech

Grip strength declines with age [2]. It might seem trivial, but for both the aging and those suffering from reduced hand functions, using hands and fingers is a huge part of being able to live independently. Enter Sixto, a lightweight robotic exoskeleton device designed by Existo to augment hand function as a sixth finger. Sixto is able to adjust to different object sizes and shapes and we see the potential for other augmenting designs in the future – not just replacement prostheses, but augmenting the body to compensation for muscle loss and weakening skeletons.

Image credit: Omron

OMRON Healthcare have the bold goal of “Going for Zero” in terms of the number of heart attacks and strokes. They plan to play their part by advanced blood pressure monitoring as well as championing behaviour changes. HeartGuide claims to be the “first clinically accurate wearable blood pressure monitor” and their Complete device is both an EKG and blood pressure monitor, allowing sophisticated home monitoring. Both devices sync to a smartphone app allowing for fast and trackable information. We see IoT potential with devices being able to alert medical professionals in the future, or feed into patient records.

Above care
Image credit: Above Care

Not quite on the market, but showing promise is the Flow-EZ from Above Care. This portable medical device aims to prevent life-threatening thrombosis by detecting arterial stenosis (vessel narrowing) by analysing the acoustics and strength of the patient’s blood flow. Monitored through an app, this non-invasive monitoring system also has IoT potential and would allow for a proactive, rather than reactive, approach to stenosis. Aortic stenosis is an age-related condition and age-related aortic stenosis can go undetected for 10 or 20 years [3]; being able to routinely detect and treat it would be a Longevity winner.

Image credit: Caru

CARU, one of Switerland’s agetech companies, is wowing with its digital flatmate, CARU. The device aims to ease communication with both family and medical professionals for those for whom using a smartphone or tablet isn’t easy or practical. CARU is touch or voice-activated and has a raft of on-board smart sensors that can monitor wellness and flag-up any deviations from learned typical behaviour.

Check back tomorrow for more of our CES Agetech highlights.

[1] https://www.bu.edu/sph/2017/09/24/chronic-pain-and-the-health-of-populations/
[2] https://www.health.harvard.edu/healthy-aging/give-grip-strength-a-hand
[3] https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/heart-valve-problems-and-disease/heart-valve-problems-and-causes/problem-aortic-valve-stenosis

Image credit: CES®
Eleanor Garth
Staff Writer and Community Manager Following a degree in Classics, Eleanor organised biomedical engineering conferences and provided research support at Imperial College London and various London hospitals, before working as a science and medicine journalist.

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