Even as we sleep, science and technology march on. While we weren’t paying any attention at all, medical researchers have been making our quality-of-care dreams comes true – and we all benefit!
Check out these two new gadgets designed to help folks manage their own personal healthcare.
1. HeartGuide – Omron is seeking FDA approval later this year for its new wearable blood-pressure smartwatch capable of making “medical-grade blood pressure measurements, sleep tracking, [and] notifications” whether the wearer is awake or asleep.
If approved, the HeartGuide could mean the end of those clumsy and often broken or inaccurate traditional blood pressure cuffs used in medical offices, as well as by self-treating patients.
The Omron Fact Sheet for the Heartguide proclaims it as “the first wearable oscillometric wrist blood pressure monitor.”
Not only will the HeartGuide be “ultra-compact and stylish,” it will come in three sizes (S, M and L) for “better fit and comfort.” But the most amazing feature is the patented wristband made from “a flexible synthetic material five times stronger than steel.” Wow! The band inflates when taking a reading “while withstanding air pressure and maintaining its shape to ensure accurate measurement.”
Like other digital fitness monitors, the HeartGuide will be able to sync via Bluetooth with Omron’s proprietary app, to provide storage, tracking, and information sharing between patient and medical provider.
2. Portable peanut sensor – A clever company called Nima has invented a small, triangular gadget that can detect the presence of peanuts, the potentially dangerous allergen that afflicts millions of Americans.
A peanut allergy is no joke. According to the folks over at Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE):
“Peanuts can cause a severe, potentially life-threatening allergic reaction (anaphylaxis).”
Anaphylaxis often presents with “swelling, hives, lowered blood pressure and in severe cases, shock. If anaphylactic shock isn’t treated immediately, it can be fatal,” according to the American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology.
FARE estimates that between 0.6-1.3 percent of all Americans are allergic to peanuts. That may not sound like much, but 1 percent of the people living in the U.S. comes to over 3.2 million asthmatics!
Nima’s pitch to these many Americans is seductive indeed:
“Let Nima take the first bite.”
That is a great idea if there is any chance whatsoever that the food before you might set off an allergic reaction. Those with peanut sensitivities will now be able to dine out, order in, or eat over at the neighbor’s house with no fear of the (culinary) unknown.
The Nima Peanut Sensor is simple to use: place a bit of food into a Nima test capsule, insert the capsule into the sensor and press the start button. A smiley-face display indicates “No peanuts here!” whereas a frowny-face means “You do not even want to put that in your mouth!”
Developed by MIT scientists, “Nima is optimized to detect 10 parts per million of peanut protein, which is the lowest adverse effect level observed by clinical research studies.”