From the weird and wacky to the genuinely adventurous, here are the most popular health innovations that got our readers talking.
2013 saw huge advances in the health field that will no doubt be bringing improvements to people’s lives and businesses in coming years. Let’s look back at some of the most popular – and the weirdest.
The baby goods manufacturer Huggies teamed up with Ogilvy & Mather Argentina to create this way of strengthening the bond between two people when they’re expecting their first child. Using two waistbands – one worn by the mom, and the other by the dad – the device is able to detect the baby’s movements in one, then transfer them over to the other. Whether the baby is kicking, or making any other kind of movement significant enough to be picked up, it will mean dad is able to feel it as well.
British designer Gabriele Meldaikyte redesigned the first aid kit to make it easier to use with only one hand and by someone who doesn’t have medical training. The first aid kit is laid out in such a way that anyone can use it with one hand so that even an injury on the other hand can be treated easily by a person who is alone.
Evena Medical has recently unveiled a pair of glasses that can ‘see through’ skin, and make it easier for doctors and nurses to find the veins in patient’s arms. It’s not always easy to find the right vein for an intravenous drip, since the target vessels are sometimes hidden below the skin; often it can take multiple attempts, causing much discomfort of the patient. The Eyes-On Glasses can be worn over existing eyewear, and incorporate “multi-spectral 3D imaging” (multiple spectra of projected light) to make veins show up when viewed via the glasses’ dual cameras.
BBDO created a book for the Thailand Association of the Blind called ‘The Storybook for All Eyes’ that involved developing a special font where children of any vision can read out loud together. The font combines braille with the English alphabet. In addition, illustrations in the book were embossed with a hidden image for the visually impaired to discover.
Designer Vadik Marmeladov and his team at Lapka have created an inconspicuous breath alcohol monitor that sends its results to the users’ smartphones and also lets them compare their results with friends or share them. The Lapka Breath Alcohol Monitor is a sleek buttonless ceramic cylinder that contains a police-grade electrochemical fuel cell sensor. It can estimate one’s blood alcohol content and then send the information to the user’s smartphone using sound waves when he or she blows into it.
Ricola teamed up with agency Jung Von Matt, digital studio The Scope, and illustrator and graphic designer Julien Canavezes to create their “Unwrap Your Voice” advertising campaign for their herbal cough drops. The humanized cough drops came with the tagline “Unwrap Your Voice” and were handed out to people at concerts. A print ad campaign was also released featuring the quirky cough drop wrappers with the same tagline.
A Tokyo beauty salon is offering a new kind of facial where several snails move across a person’s face and cover the skin in their mucus. The salon claims that this mucus helps to hydrate the skin, remove dead skin, and soothe inflammation. This treatment, which would set you back around $245, also includes masks and an electrical pulse machine.
Last week at the D11 Conference, Regina Dugan, head of Google-owned Motorola’s research division, introduced an ingestible vitamin prototype that transforms your entire body into an authentication passcode. Made by Proteus Digital Health, the FDA-approved pill contains a small chip that can be switched on and off by your stomach acid. Once swallowed, the pill creates an individual 18-bit signal that would be detectable by external devices like your phone, computer, and even car.
A team at Boston Children’s Hospital have invented a micro-particle that can be injected into your bloodstream to oxygenate your blood – without any help being required from your lungs. The particles are able to keep a patient alive for up to 30 minutes after respiratory failure – which is normally enough time to prevent a heart attack or brain damage due to oxygen deprivation.
Marketing communications company JWT Singapore teamed up with global fragrance company Givaudan to create “Smell a Memory,’ kits that are designed to bring out emotional memories in Alzheimer’s and dementia patients through different scents. The group worked with medical staff at Singapore’s Soo’s Nursing Home and another care facility, and tested the scents during therapy sessions. The Smell a Memory kits were able to trigger emotions and reactions among the patients.