PSFK Picks: Top 10 Health Innovations Of The Week

PSFK Picks: Top 10 Health Innovations Of The Week

From an exoskeleton designed to helped the earthbound and astronauts alike to a DNA test to tell you if those crunches will work, we bring you the most innovative stories from the world of wellness research.

Scott Lachut, PSFK Labs
  • 4 november 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 ideas from the past seven days.

Exoskeleton Could Help Astronauts Run A Marathon In Space
NASA has built a robot exoskeleton called X1 in conjunction with the Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition and engineers from Oceaneering Space Systems, that helps astronauts exercise in space, and paraplegics walk on earth. The 57-pound device is designed to be worn over their body to assist or inhibit movement in leg joints. X1 has 10 degrees of freedom, or joints — four motorized joints at the hips and the knees, and six passive joints that allow for sidestepping, turning and pointing, and flexing a foot. There also are multiple adjustment points, allowing the X1 to be used in many different ways. In the inhibit mode, X1 would be used as an exercise machine to provide resistance against leg movement in space’s zero-gravity environment; the very same technology could be used in reverse on Earth by helping some people walk. The suit is currently in a research and development phase.

Stamp-Sized Tests Can Detect Liver Damage With One Drop Of Blood
Diagnostics For All, a nonprofit based in the US, developed a simple laser print that diagnoses liver damage for the price of 10 cents. The test consists of a stamp-sized piece of paper with wells that change color when a drop of blood is applied, disclosing results quickly without the need of lab services. The system, which is designed to work as simply as possible, can be a great step forward for countries with very few health resources, where liver injuries are often a side effect of HIV and tuberculosis drug administration. The company is also working on several other paper-based diagnostics test, including malaria, dengue fever or even preeclampsia in pregnant women and nucleic-acid test to find pathogens in blood.

App Helps Those With Chronic Illness Track Important Health Goals With A Smartphone
Healthrageous is a self-management platform for managing behaviors such as poor diet, lack of exercise, bad sleep habits, smoking, and drinking alcohol that could lead to chronic disease behaviors. The platform pulls in data from health records, mobile apps, and health devices, such as a blood sugar monitors or scales, to track important medical benchmarks. The information is fed into a dashboard viewable on smartphones and the web where both the patient and doctor can see important medical data. Doctors can then send medication reminders or suggest appointments, and patients get cues on what they can do to reach their health goals. When someone joins Healthrageous, they answer a few questions about their lifestyle and set a goal, such as losing weight or running a certain distance. They then get a custom plan and a condition-specific medical device to reach that goal.

iPhone Accessory Can Diagnose Ear Infections
Researchers at Georgia Tech and Emory University have developed the Remotoscope, an accessory that turns the iPhone into an ear-inspecting otoscope so doctors can diagnose and treat ear infections. The clip-on attachment places a scope over the iPhone’s camera lens and flash allowing it to snap photos of an ear canal, while an accompanying app magnifies the image and sends it along to a doctor who can study it remotely. In addition to providing diagnosis, the system could be used to monitor the progress of the infection, enabling physicians to prescribe antibiotics only when needed, which helps reduce the risk of antibiotic resistance. The Remotoscope is currently undergoing clinical trials and the researchers hope to publish the results by the end of the year.

Create A Geo-Tagged ‘Emotions’ Map With This Headset And Heart Monitor
Japanese wearable tech company Neurowear has developed a new concept for geotagging your mood. Using NeuroSky’s brain activity-measuring headset and a heart monitor, they determine your emotional state and tag your current location with an icon showing how you’re feeling. This creates a map of places that you found exciting, relaxing, or even frightening. This can be shared with friends to let them search by emotions if they’re looking for a place to suit their mood. Neurowear has also developed a tail that communicates with the headset via Bluetooth, which they unveiled at this year’s Tokyo Games Show. ‘Shippo’ (which means ‘tail’ in Japanese) is a brain-controlled motorized tail that demonstrates the wearer’s current mood by wagging fast (concentrating/excited) or slow (relaxed).

Startup Aggregates Comments From Health Forums To Create Shared Experiences
MyBetterFit is a startup that leverages the social data taken from conversations online to help patients discover the side-effects experienced while taking certain medication. MyBetterFit aggregates comments from health forums, culling out relevant information about treatments and side effects to create patient profiles against which users can compare their experiences. MyBetterFit has analyzed 100,000 comments from online health forums eHealth and Topix and observed that for each drug there are about half a dozen cohorts of patients who respond similarly. The plan is to expand the platform to patients taking less-understood medication for other conditions, such as autoimmune disorders like psoriasis, depression, ADHD and menopause.

Take A Spin Class In A Hot Tub With This Exercise Bike
The FitWet Jet Bike is a new exercise concept that combines a hot tub-like vestibule with a standard exercise bike. When pedaling within the unit, the Jet Bike promises the benefits of a spinning workout alongside the benefits of working out in water, such as helping blood flow, working muscles with resistance greater than air and cutting down on cellulite. Spending 30 minutes on the Jet Bike is equivalent to two hours on a standard one. The units are currently only available in Europe and retail for $18,000.

Are Your Genes To Blame For Your Exercise Results?
A new test developed by British company XRGenomics claims to tell people whether or not their bodies are genetically wired to benefit from exercise. The test is based on the findings of a 2010 study that identified roughly 30 gene variations that predicted how fit an individual might become through aerobic endurance activity. Would-be athletes can send the company a cheek swab, and within six weeks they will receive results identifying them as low- or high-responders based on their DNA profile. The basic test and report run about $318; the price goes up to $478 for a more detailed analysis and personalized exercise recommendations from the company’s experts.

Are Public Health Messages On Facebook More Effective Than Safe Sex Classes?
A new study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine suggests that public health messages on Facebook are effective at increasing condom use among young adults–thus decreasing the chance of spreading STDs. Researchers from the University of Colorado recruited 1,578 young adults between 18 and 24 for the study. Some were asked to ‘Like’ and receive news from a sexual-health Facebook page called Just/Us, which shared articles about condom use and sexually transmitted infection testing, while the control group signed up for a Facebook page called 18-24 News, which provided general news items targeted to the age group. Two months later, researchers conducted a survey of the participants and found that 68% of those who signed up for Just/Us said they’d used condoms during their last sexual encounter, compared to 56% of those in the control group.

Underwear Shocks Patients To Prevent Bedsores
In an effort to improve the health and comfort of bedridden patients, a team of doctors at the University of Calgary have developed undergarments that can deliver small electrical shocks to prevent bed sores. The garments, called Smart e-Pants, are designed to deliver stimulation for 10 seconds every 10 minutes for 12 hours a day. The stimulation mimics the typical fidgeting most people do while laying in bed, which can relieve actual pressure to prevent sores. The team successfully tested the garments on 37 patients suffering from spinal cord injuries, but further testing is still needed.

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.


PSFK's Workplace Vision: How The Nurturing Of Seeds Will Come To Define The Onboarding Process

Brand Development
Work Today

Editorial Roundtable: The Arrival Of The People-First Workplace

Managed By Q, Soma, Workbar, Primary and thinkPARALLAX enumerate the reasons why companies need an employee-embracing workforce in order to exist

Arts & Culture Today

Transforming Light Waves Into A New Art Form

An artist uses glass treated with layers of metallic coatings to create a unique installation called lightpaintings


Get PSFK's Latest Report: Future of Work

See All
Design Today

This Windbreaker Lets You Explore The Outdoors While Charging Your Phone

The apparel includes solar panels that allow the wearer to stay connected through the power of renewable energy

Asia Today

The Goal Of This Game Is To Not Get Laid Off From Your Job

A hit mobile app has you working really, really hard to not get fired as you climb the corporate ladder


Mick Ebeling

Development, Health, Community

Advertising Today

Movie Critic Bot Guides Viewers Through Festival Offerings

The Toronto International Film Festival has created a Facebook Messenger chatbot to help attendants curate their schedule

Food Today

Disable Your Wi-Fi For Family Dinners With This Pepper Grinder Hacking Device

Dolmio has created a gadget that shuts down internet access so you can eat without being distracted

Entertainment Today

Nosulus Rift Delivers Horrible Smells Just For The South Park Videogame

Ubisoft has developed a unique peripheral for the upcoming title that will put players to the test


Future Of Work
Cultivating The Next Generation Of Leaders

PSFK Op-Ed august 24, 2016

Why Building Better Offices Is The Key To Employee Engagement

Interaction Designer and Audio-visual Technologist at ESI Design illustrates the value in creating environments filled with surprise and delight

PSFK Labs august 24, 2016

PSFK’s Workplace Vision: The Annual Review Becomes An Everyday, Collaborative Activity

Our Future of Work vision is a web-based platform through which teams can collaborate on and monitor performance reviews across all channels, ensuring a happier workplace

Europe Today

Netflix’s Newest Programming Is As Slow As It Gets

Norwegian network NRK is coming to the streaming platform with their successful 'Slow TV'

Media & Publishing Yesterday

CNN Launched An Entire Drone Division Of Their News Network

CNN AIR incorporates aerial footage into the corporation's ongoing news coverage

Advertising Yesterday

Uber’s Breathalyzer Cards Let You Know If You Are Sober Enough To Drive

A new campaign from the ride-sharing service raises awareness about the importance of a safe trip home

Design Yesterday

Milk Proteins Could Be The Packaging Material Of The Future

A newly discovered casein-based alternative is biodegradable, sustainable and even edible

Technology Yesterday

Intel’s New System Will Help Technology See And Understand The World

Joule is a tiny board for developers designed to bring powerful computer vision to cheap and easy-to-make prototypes


Innovation Debrief: Boston
Business Concepts Born In 'The Hub'

Design Yesterday

This LA Hotel Is Designed Specifically For Cocktail Drinkers

The Walker Inn is a new Los Angeles "Bed and Beverage" experience that offers guests an intimate setting for their night cap

Education Yesterday

Bringing Virtual Reality And Telepresence Robotics To E-Learning

This Learning Management System is embracing new technologies to reallocate teaching resources to where they should be going

Advertising Yesterday

Interactive Art Exhibition For Dogs Provides Endless Fun

Installations created by artist Dominic Wilcox are based on activities loved by canines, such as fetching tennis balls and splashing in water

No search results found.