PSFK Picks: Top Five Health Innovations Of The Week

PSFK Picks: Top Five Health Innovations Of The Week
Design & Architecture

An iPad app to calm your nerves leading up to surgery and a 3D visualization of the body's movements: the most innovative stories from the world of wellness.

  • 21 april 2013

PSFK has partnered with Boehringer Ingelheim to bring you a snapshot of Five Innovative Ideas each week that are reshaping the health care industry. Continue reading below for the most exciting ideas from the past seven days.


Doctors Use Apps To Improve Outcome Of Surgeries
Touchsurgery is an app which allows patients preparing for operations to view videos of their actual surgery, or view computer-based simulations on their ipads. The premise allows surgeons to use these apps to help de-mystify surgical procedures, and also helps build trust and confidence in patients who are filled with anxiety before a procedure. A patient’s mental state is important before surgery, and in fact may contribute to improved outcomes and shorter hospital stays. The app allows patents to visualize the steps of the operation in graphic detail, taking the mystery and fear away from the actual procedure. This technology has the potential to positively impact patient satisfaction as well as overall patient outcomes.

3D Human Anatomy App Virtually Reproduces Movements Of The Human Body
Tokyo-based team Team Lab Inc. in collaboration with Professor Kazuomi Sugamoto of Osaka University have created ‘teamLabBody‘ the world’s first 3D Human Anatomy App and Digital Textbook which accurately reproduces the elements and joint movements of a living human body. It is designed to be easily understood by the general public and also is a useful reference tool for doctors when explaining concepts to their patients, or as a handy tool for medical students. The app demonstrates the potential of combining medical science with 3D technology on a mass-market, user friendly application for the purpose of education.

xpression app

App Senses Users Emotions And Quantifies Their Well-Being
Xpression is an app developed by EI Technologies and Soma Analytics, which utilizes the native hardware of users smartphones to diagnose whether they are happy or experiencing stress. By recording the speech of users throughout the day, it analyzes the acoustic patterns and scans for attributes such as pitch, intensity and frequency, which are indicators of emotional well being. By quantifying emotions, patients and workers have access to data about mood patterns, and could be able to work out what events trigger negative feelings. Stress in particular plays a part in over 60% of all illnesses, and finding the root may work to improve overall quality of life.


Head Impact Indicator Guards Against Brain Injury
Reebok and MC10 have teamed up to build Checklight, a head impact indicator meant to make it easy to tell whether an athlete has taken a serious blow to the head. The device is a thin skull cap, which is fitted with sensors connected to a small microcontroller module with three indicator LEDs. One LED serves as a battery level indicator, one flashes yellow after moderate impacts and a third flashes red for severe blows. It’s flexible design measures the impact on the wearer’s head, as opposed to the impact on a helmet, which means that the data it provides is more relevant and accurate than competing systems. The device is planned not just for professional athletes, but also for casual players to help guard against the risk of serious brain injury.


How Design Can Uncover New Insight Into Children’s Health
The SMART Platforms Project combines medical expertise with design thinking to give clinicians an interactive growth chart on children that quickly highlights the most important information. Led by doctors at Harvard Medical School and Boston Children’s Hospital, the interactive tool gives clinicians an easy way to view graphs showing a child’s entire growth picture, including length, weight, head circumference or body mass index, while letting them choose the graphs and comparisons that are most appropriate for that child. For example, while most clinicians might only look at a standard Centers for Disease Control chart, SMART’s tool lets them choose from other charts from the World Health Organization or those for children with Downs Syndrome and also lets them quickly plot development measurements against several charts at once. In addition, SMART’s app actually detects anomalies and notifies doctors where to take a deeper look.

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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