When inventors, engineers, designers, start-ups and developers create new technologies, they bring those items to electronics conventions to share them with the world. At the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, which took place January 6-9, the future of technology was on full display. These devices spanned across nearly every industry, from home appliances to automobiles to mobile devices.
One sector that should be particularly excited about the innovation represented at the CES is the healthcare industry. In the world of patient care, the best technology isn't just about convenience – it could literally mean the difference between life and death. As such, healthcare equipment and platforms received special attention at the electronics convention. Health centers and hospitals both large and small can implement a number of the items displayed at the CES in order to provide their patients with more comprehensive care.
Better ways to track health
A significant recent trend in healthcare technology has been the emergence of health-tracking devices, be they targeted at fitness, weight management or illness. At the CES, such technologies were common. According to Tech Times, wearables that record health metrics, analyze the data and report back were a focus at the electronics event.
Smart watches have been around for awhile now, but new additions continue to push the way we think of a fitness watch. For example, the Activite Pop looks like a simple analog watch, but is actually a powerful smart device. It can count steps, tell the difference between running and swimming, and track sleep cycles. The VIBE Band VB10 takes it a step further, as it links to a user's smart phone to push notifications. The Vivofit 2 takes a different approach to activity – it measures the amount of time the user has been sedentary and activates an alarm once that time has accumulated to a certain point. After the user gets up and moves around, the clock starts over again.
Not every device came in the form of a watch, however. The AmpStrip looks like a Band-Aid and adheres to the abdomen, so it can easily be worn discreetly beneath clothing, reported PC Magazine. The device monitors heart rate, movement, skin temperature, respiration and other metrics. A similar product, the TempTraq, is designed specifically for infants. The adhesive is meant for the underarm and can allow mothers, babysitters or other caregivers to monitor the baby's health at any time.
A healthy future
In addition to the developments at the CES, a number of technologies are slated to make an appearance at hospitals sometime in the future. In a press release from ECRI Institute, a number of topics are raised as possible trends that healthcare officials should keep an eye out for.
Some of these include the use of disinfectant robots, 3-D printing, Google Glass for physicians and doctors, anti-obesity devices and telehealth technology.
"Hospital leaders must carefully examine their strategic and operational plans, and assess the relevance of these new technologies or infrastructure initiatives for their organizations," Robert Maliff, director of applied solutions for ECRI Institute, said in the press release. "Our list shows them what's coming around the bend so they don't miss out on the newest innovations or get caught up in hype that can lead to a costly mistake."
Equipment and healthcare industry piece brought to you by Marlin Equipment Finance, leaders in healthcare equipment financing. Marlin is a nationwide provider of equipment financing solutions supporting equipment suppliers and manufacturers in the security, food services, healthcare, information technology, office technology and telecommunications sectors.