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Health

The contact lenses that can diagnose diabetes

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Eve Simmons travelled to Las Vegas where she witnessed some of the amazing new high tech gadgets which will be soon available on the market. 

From contact lenses which can diagnose diabetes to a smart bulb which monitors an elderly person’s vital signs and can alert relatives if they suffer a fall, scientists and engineers have been developing new products for making our lives safer. 

The early-warning system in your contact lenses  

These high-tech contact lenses monitor the eyes for signs which could indicate major health problems, including diabetes.

They are soft, made from a flexible hydrogel, much like normal disposable contact lenses, and are designed to be replaced each day.

But they are also embedded with a microchip which connects to sensors laced around the rim.

These high tech contact lenses will soon be on the market and are able to diagnose diabetes

These high tech contact lenses will soon be on the market and are able to diagnose diabetes

These continuously monitor the size, thickness and shape of the outer surface of the eyeball, as well as changes in the tiny blood vessels in the retina – the light-sensitive layer of tissue at the back of the eye.

This information is beamed from the lens to a smartphone app or computer in real time, and can be used to spot the early signs of common age-related eye conditions such as glaucoma, as well as high blood sugar levels, which could indicate that the wearer is at risk of diabetes.

inwithcorp.com, price yet to be confirmed

They are soft, made from a flexible hydrogel, much like normal disposable contact lenses, and are designed to be replaced each day

They are soft, made from a flexible hydrogel, much like normal disposable contact lenses, and are designed to be replaced each day

Lightbulb that keeps an eye on your frail relatives’ health

Sengled Smart Health Monitoring Light

It is a lightbulb, but with a difference. This gadget also beams out a radar that keep tabs on the health of those in the room.

Sengled, the smart-lighting company that makes the device – which won the coveted CES innovation award for 2022 – says it is a useful method of keeping track of elderly loved ones as it tracks biometrics such as sleeping patterns, heart rate and body temperature.

And if it senses unusual movements, day or night, that could indicate a fall, it sends an alert to relatives or friends via smartphones.

eu.sengled.com, expected autumn 2022 

This smart lightbulb can monitor sleep patterns and even detect falls before calling for help

This smart lightbulb can monitor sleep patterns and even detect falls before calling for help

Headphones that clean the air around you 

Airvida E1 air purifying headphones

This is exactly what it says on the tin – headphones that double as a wearable air purifier.

It plays music from a smartphone like normal wireless headphones, but has a microscopic generator which releases compounds into the air that remove 99 per cent of bacteria, pollen, viruses and cigarette smoke.

The device also targets the most harmful type of pollutant, called PM2.5, released mainly by car fumes, which has been linked to asthma, lung cancer and stroke. The company even claims it can ward off Covid.

airvida.co, from £199

This is exactly what it says on the tin – headphones that double as a wearable air purifier.

This is exactly what it says on the tin – headphones that double as a wearable air purifier.

The electric spoon that makes diet food tastier

SpoonTek Enhancer

This plastic spoon – the size of a normal teaspoon – is said to stimulate the tastebuds, making low-fat food more flavourful, and reduce the unpleasant, lingering aftertaste often associated with low- calorie alternatives.

The secret lies in two tiny electrodes embedded in the base of the spoon and the handle which deliver a mild electrical current to taste receptors on the tongue and the food itself.

This increases the number of taste-detecting signals sent to the brain, enhancing dull flavours. Best with soft foods such as yogurt, ice cream and soup.

spoontek.com, £21.40 

The secret lies in two tiny electrodes embedded in the base of the spoon and the handle which deliver a mild electrical current to taste receptors on the tongue and the food itself

The secret lies in two tiny electrodes embedded in the base of the spoon and the handle which deliver a mild electrical current to taste receptors on the tongue and the food itself

Goggles that could spot dementia 

Looxid Labs LUCY cognitive assessment goggles

These virtual-reality goggles have sensors embedded in the front that scan the brain, and have been hailed as a potential screening tool for dementia.

Users play video games that test their memory, spatial perception and attention. The results go to a paired smartphone app and the data is shared with medical professionals.

Below-average activity in certain parts of the brain is believed to indicate cognitive decline.

Although not yet suitable for medical use, the LUCY goggles are currently being studied for accuracy at Korea University Ansan Hospital.

looxidlabs.com, launch date yet to be confirmed

These virtual-reality goggles have sensors embedded in the front that scan the brain, and have been hailed as a potential screening tool for dementia

These virtual-reality goggles have sensors embedded in the front that scan the brain, and have been hailed as a potential screening tool for dementia

Stylish ring that gives person health advice 

Movano Ring

A sleek, brass-coloured ring that is one of the first of a new generation of wearable devices that go one step beyond simply tracking health data. Movano pulls together trends in your metrics – such as blood oxygen levels, fluctuations in heart rate, sleep quality, physical activity and more – and issues snippets of handy advice to a paired smartphone. Unlike rivals that offer graphs and charts, Movano tells you exactly what steps to take to avoid chronic disease, such as drinking one unit less of alcohol a week.

It will also tell you if a new exercise routine has improved sleep quality. The device’s conclusions are computed via a sophisticated algorithm, which uses the health data of hundreds of thousands of people. The manufacturer is awaiting a verdict from US health chiefs after applying for approval to market the device as a medical product that can be recommended by clinicians. 

movano.com 

Movano pulls together trends in your metrics – such as blood oxygen levels, fluctuations in heart rate, sleep quality, physical activity and more – and issues snippets of handy advice to a paired smartphone

Movano pulls together trends in your metrics – such as blood oxygen levels, fluctuations in heart rate, sleep quality, physical activity and more – and issues snippets of handy advice to a paired smartphone

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