5 Health Start-Ups to Watch in 2017
Their brand new or soon-to-be-available tech will help you sleep sounder, customize your diet, and more.
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Innovators are working hard to help make the world a healthier place. The advent of edible data trackers, for instance, is streamlining everything from monitoring vital signs to measuring internal body temperature. But the most exciting breakthroughs are yet to come.
Proof: The wellness exhibit space at the 2017 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES), which took place earlier this month, was 35 percent larger than last year’s. “The show featured some 90 health-related companies, all with the goal of enabling consumers to take better control of their well-being,” says Allie Fried, director of global event communications for the Consumer Technology Association (CTA). Plus, according to StartUp Health Insights’ Funding Report, more than $8 billion was invested in digital health companies in 2016 alone.
Regardless of whether they’re delivered in the form of gadgets, apps, or other software platforms, the services provided by each of these new, buzz-worthy start-ups could potentially make you (and those you care about) smarter, stronger, and fitter in the years ahead.
Two wireless drug injection devices are equipped with sensors to help prevent self-injection errors and ensure proper doses are delivered every time you give yourself a shot. Meanwhile, doctors are able to monitor, engage, and support patients with diseases such as diabetes or ulcerative colitis in real-time via a first-of-its-kind cloud platform. QuiO won the Accenture HealthTech Innovation Challenge at the 2017 StartUp Health Festival earlier this month.
This personal digestive tracker functions like a breathalyzer: You breathe into the device and information is collected about how your body could potentially respond to certain foods (based on how much gas is generated in your gut, passes through your bloodstream, and exits your breath). The data is wirelessly sent to an app, which helps track nutrition intake and lets you customize your diet to avoid common issues such as gas and bloating. The technology is already being used in health clinics, but now it’s micro-sized.
This app offers breathing exercises that allow your mind and body to relax into sleep. Place the small Bluetooth respiration sensor around your abdomen and your inhalations and exhalations will be wirelessly sent to your smartphone. Then, the software translates your breaths into tones that guide you to slow down and take longer, deeper exhales. The device also records your nightly sleep patterns.
This platform allows trained individuals to assist blind people with their everyday activities. The user wears a pair of Smart Glasses equipped with a tiny camera. The visual data syncs to a smartphone and connects to a network of “agents” who can see what the person is looking at in real-time and help navigate better than a seeing eye dog.
This tube-, cord-, and hands-free wearable pump includes two motorized cups that slip right into your nursing bra and a doughnut-shaped bag (no awkward bottles attached!) that your milk flows directly into. Willow’s corresponding app tracks your milk volume in real time and automatically adjusts the pump mode and shuts off when it senses your body’s ready. Unlike other versions, it’s quiet, so you can walk around or talk on the phone without the annoying sound of a motor in the background.