February 21, 2020Preventive Healthcare

7 recent smart home devices, apps and wearables for health & well-being

Innovators and pioneering thinkers from all over the world come every year to Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas to present breakthrough technologies. Many of them are launched first at CES, just before entering the market. Among thousands of gadgets, I’ve picked up a few noteworthy 2020’s premieres for better health.

The smartest of all smartwatches

The French company Withings surprised the CES visitors with the newest wearable overshadowing Apple Watch Series 5. ScanWatch with ECG monitors heart rate and shows alerts when the user’s heart beats irregularly, which may be the first symptom of atrial fibrillation (AFib). The built-in Sp02 sensor measures the blood oxygen level, detecting abnormalities in breathing (night apnea) and other cardiorespiratory issues. The watch also monitors the quality of sleep and physical activity (number of steps, calories burned, training routes, distance), recognizing whether the user is running, swimming, walking, or cycling.

Smart bathroom mat controls your posture

You step on it every morning, so why no to use it to track your health? A smart bathroom mat Mateo offers a non-invasive measurement of weight and posture. It’s made of two separate parts: a classic washable cloth and a thin insert with embedded sensors. The device identifies the user by the pressure of the foot so it can be used easily to track the parameters of all family members. With the Mateo app, you can also monitor “foot heat maps” and receive tips for exercises when sensors detect incorrect body posture.

All-in-one infant monitoring system

Pampers, a well-known manufacturer of diapers and other baby care products, goes digital. Lumi is a set of smart devices that monitor the child's health and well-being: sleep, feeding times, diaper condition, room temperature/humidity. It also follows the child activity using an HD camera and a tracker that attaches to special diapers. A connected app informs the parents if the baby is feeling well and when it requires feeding or changing. Lumi automatically tracks the child's sleep (including naps), allowing to detect sleep patterns and creating a personalized program that optimizes the life of the family. In-app educational content includes tips by pediatricians.

Learning how to sleep before going to bed

Do you have sleep problems? Train your brain on how to improve the quality of the night's rest! URGOnight is a head-worn device with an integrated electroencephalogram (EEG) and personalized training programs available in a connected mobile app. How does it work? The app visualizes brain waves. The user follows training tips that lead to strengthening those waves involved during sleep. The headset gives direct feedback on the progress made. URGOnight system is intended to be used 20 minutes a day, three times a week. Therefore you do not need to wear any electronic devices at night. According to the manufacturer promise, URGOnight users "fall asleep 40% faster, reducing the number of night awakenings by 53%".

Mobile doctor at a patient’s fingertips

In the “Start-Trek” movie series, the Enterprise spaceship crew could be quickly diagnosed by a small, portable device called tricorder. Now the science-fiction technology is available in real life. MedWand has been honored with the CES 2020 Innovation Award. This small telemedicine device – or “a doctor’s visit at a patient’s fingertips” – includes multiple diagnostic tools: thermometer, stethoscope, ECG. It also allows the user to measure blood oxygen level, inspect skin and eyes, look inside the nose, throat, mouth, and ears. The patient can make the assessment individually following the instructions, send the results to the doctor, and discuss the health issues via remote video chat. There are different options available: for individual patients, telemedicine kiosks, but also more advanced sets for professional care in remote environments.

Smart textiles for intimate health monitoring

Instead of wearing an armband or a watch, put on your smart and fashionable underwear. The system developed by Skiin Connected Health & Wellness System continuously monitors the user’s activity, temperature, stress level, sleep quality, care circle, and ECG. The detached sensor is placed in dedicated mini-pockets subtly sewn in the underwear. The Skiin app makes it easy to follow all body signs and understand what is happening with the owner’s body.

Baby’s diary and parents’ mentor

After the big success of the Pregnancy+ mobile app (over 30 million downloads), Philips is introducing Baby+. The app has been developed for parents who want to track and keep notes on the growth of their baby, but also who search for assistance and practical tips tailored to every phase of the child’s first years of life. Baby+ includes a diary to capture the most important moments, to track weight and height. It also monitors the daily baby’s routines so that the parents can customize their habits to the baby’s needs. The photos saved in an electronic diary can be shared with family and friends.


Artur Olesch

Digital health freelance journalist, blogger (aboutdigitalhealth.com), researcher, editor.