PSFK Picks: Top Five Health Innovations Of The Week

PSFK Picks: Top Five Health Innovations Of The Week

An Instagram for doctors and a surgical knife that detects cancer. The most innovative stories from the world of wellness.

  • 11 august 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 innovations include an Instagram for doctors and a surgical knife that detects cancer.


Instagram For Doctors Helps Build A Visual Medical Database
Developed by healthcare tech startup Movable Science, Figure 1 is a platform similar to Instagram that enables medical professionals to create their own feed of images from the cases they deal with. In order to protect patients’ identities, the app uses facial recognition to block out faces, while users can add their own marks to cover up other identifiable marks. They can also add pointers and annotations, as well as choosing who sees it, before uploading the image. Photos can be tagged with relevant terms to allow the community to easily find them through search and others can comment on the images, fostering discussion among members. Images can also be starred, which acts simultaneously as an indication of quality as well as enabling users to save useful images for later reference. The platform provides a tool that could help doctors and students share their knowledge and learn from others in an engaging way.


Healthy Food App Helps Users Make Sense Of Their Diet
Kitchenbug is a Web based platform that allows users to search for and store recipes from anywhere online, analyze the ingredients and learn whether it meets the standard and criteria of their specific dietary needs. According to founder Ofir Shachar, a graduate of Israeli culinary school Bishulim, Kitchenbug is different from rival recipe sites like Evernote Food and Ziplist in that Kitchenbug analyses recipe ingredients and relays the practical nutritional implications to the user. The platform provides an easy way for people with restricted diets or specific needs to control and expand their culinary repertoire.


Shirt Helps Wearers Keep Track Of Their Physical And Emotional Wellbeing
OMsignal has developed a shirt embedded with sensors that are able to detect and track the wearer’s emotional state, and share their data socially. The shirt features sensors that make direct contact with the skin to monitor heart rate and breathing, as well as recognize the activity being performed. This data is then sent to the user’s smartphone in real time, where it can be analyzed and tracked over a set period, offering a more detailed look into their emotional state at any time, as well as monitoring of health conditions. Through the companion app, this information could then be shared socially for fun or to keep a check on friends and family members’ health. OMsignal hopes that, with further development, the shirt will help users track a wide range of metrics, from eating habits to the health of unborn babies.


App Identifies Unlabeled Pills Using Only A Smartphone Camera
MedSnap ID is an app which uses a smartphone’s camera to help patients accurately identify pills to ensure they take the right ones. Users first place the medication they want to identify onto a precision imaging surface that comes with a subscription to the MedSnap ID service. Multiple types of pills can be placed on the surface before the user takes a photograph with their smartphone. The app instantly recognizes pills by matching them with images in its database, bringing up information such as name, use, dosage recommendations and other important information. Patients with multiple prescriptions can ensure they know which pill they’re meant to be taking, and doctors can use it to quickly identify unlabelled pills in their inventory. The app has also been designed to work without an internet connection, making it useful for health professionals operating in remote areas or in the field.


Surgical Knife Can Instantly Detect The Presence Of Cancerous Cells
Researchers have developed a surgical knife that can analyze the smoke made as it cuts tissue and determine whether cells are cancerous or healthy. The “iKnife” can read out results in 1-3 seconds, whereas it can take up to 30 minutes for a doctor to examine a tissue sample. Hungarian chemist Zoltán Takáts discovered that the vapor containing ionized molecules could be analyzed by a mass spectrometer. His team at the Imperial College London have tested the “iKnife” in the operating room. The iKnife was found to be able to distinguish normal and tumor tissues from different organs and could even identify the origin of a tumor that was a secondary growth. The researchers also tried out the iKnife during 91 cancer surgeries using the 3,000-sample database as a reference. The device has the potential to greatly improve the speed and accuracy of doctors diagnosis.

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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+Imperial College London
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