Top Five Health Innovations Of The Week

Top Five Health Innovations Of The Week

An app that fights childhood obesity and a device that uses the sun to purify water. Innovative stories from the world of wellness.

  • 14 may 2014

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 fights childhood obesity and a device that uses the sun to purify water. Be sure to check out Boehringer Ingelheim’s FacebookTwitter and Pinterest pages to stay on top of all things health.


Telepsychiatry Brings Emergency Mental Care To Remote Areas
A recent initiative in North Carolina is giving patients in need access to telepsychiatry, in areas where the service would otherwise be unavailable. Funded as a state health initiative, When a patient comes into an emergency room, they can be connected via a two-way video connection with a psychiatrist. A recent study by the nonpartisan North Carolina Center for Public Policy Research found that the method is having success in providing more timely treatment for mental health issues. The program uses a secure teleconferencing system to connect doctor and patients rather than services like Skype, and offers a low cost method to give patients access to mental care.

kurbo health

Mobile Service Helps Children Fight Childhood Obesity
Kurbo Health is a health startup that recently debuted its mobile subscription service designed to teach children and their families how to eat healthy. The goal is to combat the growing issue of childhood obesity, where currently over 30 percent of kinds in the United States today are overweight or more than 25 million children between the ages of 10 and 18. The app combines a food-tracking program, games, challenges, a food diary and coaching to encourage kids to make smarter eating choices. While adult-aimed programs track a variety of metrics, like calories, sugar, carbs and fat, this kid-friendly approach uses a simpler ‘traffic light’ system, automatically categorizing foods as ‘red,’ ‘yellow’ and ‘green,’ and tells them how many of each they can have per day. In addition, once per week, Kurbo Health users connect with their weight-loss coach either via phone, Skype or text, who works on behavior modification techniques.


Brain Implant Could Help Restore Memory In Patients With Alzheimer’s
DARPA, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, has recently unveiled a project called Restoring Active Memory, or RAM, which is a brain implant that could help restore memory in patients that have lost cognitive ability. If successful, this initiative would be the first to demonstrate that memories of people, facts, and events can be restored once lost. Initially developed as a treatment to soldiers who had suffered impairment as a result of wartime injuries, the technology could also be used as an effective treatment for those with Alzheimer’s disease. One of the challenges is that memories are wholly based on patterns, and restoring memories would require knowledge of those patterns. Experiments have shown that scientists can bolster short term memory in animal models by analyzing and replicating the patterns created by the neurons.


Service Brings Doctors Directly To Your Doorstep
An engineer from Uber has launched an on demand service to brings doctors right to people’s doorstep. The service, called Pager, is mobile app that easily connects patients and doctors, allowing those who live in Manhattan to request a visit from a doctor. Users have to install the app and set up a personal profile and credit card information. Then, when they are not feeling well, can enter the app, find a doctor searching by specialties, credentials and fees, and one will call the patient for a phone consultation. For phone consultation there is a fee of $50, and for a doctor’s visit the app charges $300. Doctor’s can also easily provide prescriptions through the app.


Simple Device Uses Solar Power To Create Safe Drinking Water
Wadi is a simple device that replaces the cap on a plastic bottle, and uses the power of the sun to create clean, disinfected drinking water. The basic method of putting water in a plastic bottle and leaving it in the sun for a few hours has been endorsed by UNICEF and the Red Cross as an effective method, however the time needed is always variable, and drinkers have no way of telling if the water has been truly disinfected. Wadi solves this problem offering a simple measurement tool that reveals when the water is safe to drink. An unhappy smiley indicates bad water. One, two, three, four bars (like on a mobile phone) show water getting cleaner, and finally, when there’s a happy face, it’s safe to drink. The inexpensive device offers an effective way to ensure access to clean drinking water in remote areas.

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.

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