Top Five Health Innovations Of The Week

This week’s innovations include a cup that automatically tracks your drinking habits and a mouthguard that detects head injuries.

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 cup that automatically tracks your drinking habits and a mouthguard that detects head injuries. Be sure to check out Boehringer Ingelheim’s FacebookTwitter and Pinterest pages to stay on top of all things health.


Can Data From Fitness Trackers Be Used To Transform Medicine?Fitness bands that track physical activity are becoming increasingly ubiquitous, and now a growing number of physicians are formally studying how these wearables can improve patients health by urging people to get moving and stay active. Amy Wheeler, a primary-care doctor at Massachusetts General Hospital, gave FitLinxx pedometers to 126 patients with Type 2 diabetes, in order to track how many steps the patients walked and linked to a software program that calculated whether patients met their exercise goals. Based on patients’ progress in meeting their goals, data from their electronic medical records, and whether it was sunny or rainy that day, patients would receive motivational tips via text message. Overall, patients who received the tips did a better job of controlling their blood-sugar levels than those who didn’t.


Wearable Device Breaks The Smoking Habit
SmartStop is an electronic cigarette quitting device that takes nicotine replacement therapy to a new level. Worn on the arm, wrist, or torso, the device uses replaceable nicotine cartridges with programmable tailored timing and dose size to cater to each smoker’s individual cravings. If a user knows they absolutely need a cigarette as soon as they get up, they can program a dosage to be emitted at 7am. In addition, using Bluetooth technology, people can employ a smartphone app to get real-time behavioral support from professionals and others who are committed to kicking the habit. Studies show that the wearable can increase long term cessation success up to 60%.


Cup Automatically Knows What’s Inside And Tracks Drinking Habits
Vessyl is a drinking cup with an electronic display that can detect what’s inside and tracks consumption in real time. The 13oz tumbler features sensors that can identify the liquid it’s holding — whether it’s water, coffee or orange juice, and even down to the particular brand in some cases. When the vessel is filled up, its contents are displayed on the side, along with calorie information that helps drinkers watch their weight. As well as the instant identification, Vessyl can be connected to owners’ smartphones to track consumption in real time and create a history of users’ intake across a variety of metrics. Users can check if they’re consuming too many calories, getting enough hydration, or keep tabs on their caffeine intake.


Mouthguard Alerts Wearers Of Dangerous Head Injuries
The FITguard is a mouthguard designed to indicate the severity of an impact immediately, through a colored strip on the front of the mouthguard. Undetected concussion can pose a serious threat to players of any contact sport, and although there are tests which can be carried out by medics to detect early signs, this relies on medical staff spotting a collision in the first place. According to FITguard, there are 3.8 million sports-related concussions per year, with 47 percent of athletes not self-reporting concussions symptoms. The FITguard removes this problem altogether. The device contains motion sensors which, upon detecting impact, trigger the illuminated strip on the front of the mouthguard to change color. Blue represents a safe level of impact, while red is an indication that concussion may have occurred and action is required.


Human Protein Cleans Bacteria From Drinking Water
Researcher Teruyuki Komatsu and co-workers at Chuo University, Tokyo have shown that they can remove Escherichia coli from drinking water using tiny tubes made of human protein. The method begins by depositing microtubes made from alternating layers of human serum albumin (HSA) and poly-L-arginine onto a polycarbonate template. The template is then dissolved away to leave a hollow tube, which is just the right size to fit the E. coli bacterium. Key to removing E. coli from a solution is its strong binding affinity for HSA, which attracts the bacteria into the tube. So effective is this binding, that just 1.5μg of microtubes, added to a liter of contaminated water containing 100,000 bacteria were able to remove the bacteria with almost 100% efficiency.

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 FacebookTwitter and Pinterest pages, where they are publishing a regular stream of inspiring and informative content.