PSFK Picks: Top 10 Health Innovations Of The Week

PSFK Picks: Top 10 Health Innovations Of The Week

We bring you the most stimulating and exciting stories from the world of wellness research.

Wesley Robison
  • 14 april 2012

PSFK has partnered with Boehringer Ingelheim to bring you a snapshot of Ten Innovative Ideas each week that are reshaping the health care industry. Continue reading below for the most exciting innovations from the past seven days.

Nike Turns To Crowdsourcing For App Development For The First Time

Nike has opened the beta version of its NikeFuel API to developers interested in combining music with its FuelBand, a rubber wristband that tracks user movement and links the data to an iPhone app. Marking the first time Nike has released an API of any kind, developers will use it to hack together apps, platforms, and technologies that can work with Nike’s fitness offerings. Though the API is only available in a limited beta for developers participating in a hackathon at the SXSWi event in Austin, Texas, the move is likely to lead to wider API availability in the near future.

Pre-fab Hospital Cabin Turns Any Room Into A Sterile Surgery Room

Spanish medical supplies company IMEX has created an expandable bacteria control room that protects immunodeficient patients and lets observers watch high risk surgeries without added risk of infection. Arc Sterile uses two columns of impulsion and an air filtration system to purify the incoming air. Using G3 pre filters, HEPA filters and sweeping waves of non-turbulent clean air, the flow system keeps harmful in-air particles out of the surgery area. The cabin should help independent doctors perform invasive surgeries in their own offices and help teaching hospitals by letting students easily observe surgeries.

Two Needle Syringe Puts An End to Needle Phobia

Industrial designer Oliver Blackwell, has designed an injection system that delivers both anesthesia and medicine in one syringe to decrease the risk of contamination and pain to recipient. The counter-intuitive two needle system injects a small local anesthetic before a second larger needle delivers a medicine dose. The new system is particularly beneficial for diabetes patients who undergo regular injections and procedures that require multiple injections that increase the risk of bacterial exposure.

Free Software Minimizes Risk Of Gene Mutations For Researchers

Brown University has released a program called Spliceman that identifies mRNA mutations that will help cure gene mutation diseases and increase gene-based research in lab animals and humans. The free online program compares data from the Human Gene Mutation Database to predict erant splicing errors that occur in DNA transcription. Medical geneticist will be able to use the program to assist research surrounding 11 different species included in the database from humans, chimpanzees, rhesus monkeys, mice, dogs, cats, guinea pigs to frogs.

Artificial Intestine Computer Helps Build Database Of Food’s Health Effects

The Swiss based research institute EPFL has created an artificial intestine computer to test the inflammatory response of certain food on human digestion.  The NutriChip device recreates the internal environment of a human intestine using a dual layer chip connected through a porous membrane. The upper layer replicates the intestine wall while the lower layer imitates the circulatory system and immune responses that can generally cause indigestion. CMOS high-resolution optical sensors measure cells with biomarkers to determine the inflammation caused from a specific food. Comparing these results to blood tests will give researchers a food’s inflammation potential.

Mobile App Streamlines Healthcare Decisions, Links Patients To Doctor Ratings

The iTriage mobile application from health insurance provider Aetna was designed to help consumers make better healthcare decisions by providing them with relevant medical info, transparency around quality, and access to local healthcare facilities. Users can now use the app to search for providers based on ratings. Providers can also be sorted by gender, languages spoken, years of experience, and distance from the consumer’s house or office. iTriage also sends news and alerts to its users as well as updated content for a number of additional diseases and average cost data. iTriage users can also book appointments for physicians who can best address their symptoms.

Weight Scale Lights Up To Show Fitness Progress

The TargetScale by Medisana is a wireless weight-monitoring solution that uses a set of animated glowing rings synced with a smartphone app to track and determine user progress. Depending on the pattern that set of animated glowing rings lights up, users monitor their weight loss over time and determine whether they are making progress towards their fitness goals. TargetScale also offers versatility to determine body mass index, body fat versus water content, and even muscle and bone mass, providing users a comprehensive view their overall fitness levels.

iPhone App For Wirelessly Monitoring Patients Satisfies Regulation Compliance

An iPhone app from mobile solutions provider Vignet can wirelessly control home health monitoring devices to help individuals and their healthcare providers better manage their health and wellness anytime, anywhere. The first Apple iOS product to meet Continua Health Alliance interoperability standards based on WAN guidelines, the app connects with Continua-certified personal health devices such as weight scales, pedometers and blood-pressure monitors to provide care-providers real time access to patient vitals. WAN is a telecommunications network that handles secure data transmission securely between local-area networks so devices can communicate with medical records repositories such as electronic health records and personal health records.

Low Cost, Origami-Like Paper Kit Democratizes Testing For HIV And Malaria 

A team of researchers at the University of Texas at Austin has designed a three-dimensional sensor crafted from paper that could make diagnosis of diseases like HIV and Malaria cheap and simple. Similar to the premise behind a pregnancy test, the Paper Analytical Devices, or PADs can be spot-tested for Biomarkers of diseases once it comes in contact with urine, blood, or saliva. At a cost of less than 10 cents each to produce, the innovation stands to revolutionize how doctors work in underfunded labs across the globe.

Smart Inhaler Makes Treating Asthma Into A Video Game 

The T-Haler is a prototype designed by Cambridge Consultants that trains patients in using inhalers properly through a straightforward, yet effective game. Fitted with Wi-Fi and sensors, the system works in tracking three essential components to correct inhaler use: shaking, actuation (pumping the inhaler), and inhalation. The T-Haler gives real-time feedback on a computer screen, as inhaler users visualize a ball rolling across tic-tac-toe- like board. If everything goes right, the ball rolls down a hole in the middle, indicating proper usage. The design firm claims that, with just three minutes of training with the T-Haler, proper use of inhalers skyrockets from 20% to 60%.

PSFK has partnered with Boehringer Ingelheim to bring you a steady stream of inspiring news and ideas in the health and wellness space. Once each week, we will be posting an article on If you would like to gain access to the full stream of content, please check out Boehringer Ingelheim’s Facebook page, where they are publishing a regular stream of inspiring and informative content.


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