Top Five Health Innovations of the Week

Maintaining a free ecosystem within the Internet of Things is crucial to the survival of our freedom as individuals, and society as a whole.

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 an app that monitors depression in employees and 3D printing to help train surgeons. Be sure to check out Boehringer Ingelheim’s FacebookTwitter and Pinterest pages to stay on top of all things health.


MoodHacker Helps Employees Track Depression As Well As Overcome It
MoodHacker is an app designed for companies to improve the wellbeing of their workforce, by giving employees tips to de-stress at the right moments. Developed by health technology firm ORCAS, the app was initially released to the public as a beta-version web app. Using techniques from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Positive Psychology, the service offered personalized tips to help anyone reduce the symptoms of depression through actionable tasks. Now, the company wants to work with businesses to deliver the app direct to workers through employee assistance programs. Users log onto the service at the end of each day and rate their mood out of 10. They can also record the positive activities they’ve accomplished each day, whether it’s exercising, a walk outdoors or even something as small as laughing with a friend. Based on this data, MoodHacker then recommends activities, articles and video that may be relevant to those who find themselves feeling down.


Bluetooth Device Allows Users to Play Games and Reduce Stress Using Only Their Breath
Zenytime is a device designed to help users improve their well-being by playing mobile games using only their breath. Mixing self-improvement and gamification, it promotes serenity, clarity and energy for busy minds and bodies in just a few breaks a day. The device enables gaming apps to act as breathing coaches thanks to a Bluetooth accessory called ‘the Puck’ which features a sensor that tracks controlled breathing and translates it into game controls. To deliver a comprehensive experience, the Puck also captures heart rate and blood oxygen levels. Zenytime games are founded on scientifically proven breathing patterns for improving stress management, cardiovascular health and cognitive and athletic performance.


Smartphone App Can Detect Neonatal Jaundice With Photo
Engineers and physicians at the University of Washington have developed an app called BiliCam that can detect jaundice in newborns using just a smartphone’s camera and flash plus a color calibration card the size of a business card. The app is meant to be used by either parents or healthcare providers as a screening tool to help in deciding when a blood test is needed, in the first few days after birth. The app works by placing the calibration card on the baby’s belly, after which a photo is taken with the card in view. The app uses the card to calibrate and account for different lighting conditions and skin tones. Acquired data are then sent to the cloud and are analyzed by machine-learning algorithms after which the result is sent back to the app almost instantly.


‘Pocket Doctor’ Phone App Could Measure The Progression Of Parkinson’s
Researchers have developed a new app that enables smartphones to act as a ‘pocket doctor,’ spotting early signs of parkinson’s disease by measuring slight changes in speech and movement. Parkinson’s is currently difficult to diagnose because there are no blood or laboratory tests available to detect it. As such, the diagnosis is often based on medical history and a neurological examination, and doctors may sometimes perform brain scans or lab tests to rule out other diseases. The app works by recording information such as movement and speech data every 20 microseconds. This information can be analyzed to determine if the users is showing early signs of tremors or shaky voice. Researchers are taking it a step further and using the data gathered from the app to come up with new ways to help doctors examine people who are susceptible to developing Parkinson’s.


3D-Printed Hearts Are Helping Trainee Surgeons Learn
A researcher at Nottingham Trent University is using 3D-printing to create prosthetic human hearts with lifelike detail, to help train surgeons before they operate on real patients. The prosthetic hearts feature lifelike internal detail and have the varying tactile qualities of real human hearts. Using silicone gels, the different areas of hardness of the human heart – such as around the heart’s arteries and valves – are recreated using specific blends of the material.  As well as enhancing the education of trainee surgeons, it is thought the models could help teach medical students advanced anatomy and improve surgeons’ clinical skills.

PSFK has partnered with Boehringer Ingelheim to bring you a steady stream of inspiring news and ideas in the health and wellness space. Every two weeks, 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 to stay on top of all things health.