PSFK Picks: Top Five Health Innovations Of The Week

PSFK Picks: Top Five Health Innovations Of The Week

A pair of off-the shelf headphones converted into a pulse rate monitor and a fitness band that tracks what you eat. Innovative stories from the world of wellness.

  • 17 november 2013

Each week with its partner Boehringer Ingelheim brings you a snapshot of five innovative ideas that are reshaping the health care industry. This week’s innovations include a pair of off-the shelf headphones converted into a pulse rate monitor and a fitness band that tracks what you eat.


Device Turns Any Set Of Headphones Into Pulse Monitor
Researchers at the Kaiteki Institute in Japan have developed a processing technology that turns any pair headphones into a pulse wave sensor, able to track the wearer’s heartbeat. The approach converts in-ear earphones into microphones that listen for eardrum movement, which is usually in sync with the pulse rate of a person’s arteries. As the technique compensates for background noise, it lets users monitor their pulses while they listen to music, and without having to wear a head-mounted gadget. Its small form factor makes the device efficient enough that it could slip into conventional mobile devices almost unnoticed.

surgery gps

GPS For Health Gives Patients Greater Control Over Their Surgery
Health-tech startup Wellbe is developing technology that gives patients greater awareness and control over the entire surgical process and helps hospitals improve the care experience. The online PGS gives patients 24-hour access to relevant information and resources. Each stage of the treatment involves educational guidance, instructions, decision support, tips, and feedback presented in simple checklists with email reminders to keep patients on track. Patients can also use secure messaging and video conferencing from the browser to connect with their care teams, making the entire process simpler and easier to follow.


Fitness Band Tracks Exactly What Food Users Eat
Canadian startup Airo has creates a fitness band that not only tracks users’ sleep and heart rate, but also their eating habits. The band achieves this by using a spectrometer to peer into the bloodstream and detect metabolites as they are released during and after meals. In addition to food intake, the device measures stress, exercise, and sleep. By actively monitoring food intake users won’t have to manually keep track of their meals; a difficult hurdle in the fitness tracker market.

ibm heart disease

Big Data Utilized To Predict Heart Disease Long Before It Strikes
IBM has received a $2 million grant to use big data analytics to detect the signs of heart disease years earlier than we can today. The research will comb through patients’ electronic health records, using data like demographics, medical history, and medication to find common signals indicative of heart disease. The insights from the analysis will eventually be integrated into primary care, which should make it easier for doctors to predict which patients are at highest risk for the disease.


Concussion Sensing Helmet Could Save Athletes’ Lives
Riddell sports equipment has recently unveiled the InSite Impact Response System, a new integrated monitoring helmet with alert capabilities designed for proactive concussion protection in football players. Riddell InSite uses a Head Impact Telemetry (HIT) System to help determine potential trauma to a player’s head through impact exposure. Data collected and analyzed by the system includes how often impact occurs and how much force the head receives. This smart helmet platform then sends the information from the field of play to a sideline handset that alerts proper medical staff. Trainers and sideline medical personnel are then able to assess players that register alerts outside the permitted thresholds for possible concussion symptoms.

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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