An all-in-one domestic kit to rapidly measure your body temperature and blood oxygen

Meet the “Aware” a standalone kit to quickly detect whether someone is showing underlying symptoms of the COVID-19 virus. Designed by Yash Gupte, the Aware is the kind of device that sits well in homes, offices, and retail spaces. The two-piece wireless unit is a lot like a cordless phone. With a base that houses an intuitive main interface and a Pulse Oximeter input, and a handheld receiver that works as an infrared thermometer and a control device. Aside from being a convenient go-to device to quickly measure temperature and blood-oxygen levels, the Aware also lets you keep historical records of the readings, comparing them day-to-day. Plus, it works as an alarm too, reminding you to take your daily readings as well as adopt healthy practices like taking medicines, sanitizing your hands, etc. It does all of this while maintaining an appearance that’s simple and non-medical… two design cues that not only make the Aware fit well into homes and office spaces, but they also make getting checked up less scary or daunting!

Designer: Yash Gupte (Wacko Designs)

Medical innovations that will revolutionize the future of your healthcare: Part 5

Turkeys, desserts, food, fun, family – and a Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at YD! I love how festivities bring us all together – be it good, bad, or ugly and even though we are to be in touch virtually this year, that won’t abate the cheer that spreads through our hearts while we recall the eventful family gatherings throughout the years (you know, we all have that ONE funny story about an uncle who enjoys his drink a bit too much). Among the list of things to be thankful for this year, I want to add one more, which is good health. Especially given the pandemic this year that has disrupted our normal on a scale we have never seen before, we need to be thankful for our health and for everyone in the medical field who is saving lives every day. While the near future looks promising with vaccines coming up, the devices or innovations we focus on over here are designed to help prevent a medical emergency or treat it at our earliest. Each of these designs not only reduces the load on the medical force but it keeps the patients feel more secure in the knowledge that they can accurately monitor their health, whatever comes their way

Literally, the size of a quarter, Adam Miklosi’s Dab is an unobtrusive Holter ECG/EKG that rests comfortably on your chest, constantly reading your heart’s movements. Designed to be minimal, non-invasive, and simple, the Dab tries to bridge the gap between medical appliances and wearables. Its tiny yet classy design sits on your chest via a gel patch, while the electrodes capture your heart activity. The Dab’s dry-electrodes allow it to be used and reused, while constantly measure one’s heart activity (requiring periodic charging via their wireless charging hub), and keep logs of accurate readings, quietly sitting on your chest while you absolutely forget that they’re even there in the first place!

The Seattle-based cross-discipline design firm Teague collaborated with Nike to come up with the Athlete’s Plane that keeps athletes in top playing condition, even when they traverse three timezones to play a crucial away game. Specifically designed for a basketball team, the airborne facility has everything a player needs to be 100 percent mentally and physically fit to negate the “away disadvantage.” To extract the best performance out of players, when it matters, the quality of travel is important – for the team staff as well. To this end, Teague closely interviewed professional players, coaches, and operational staff to conceptualize this athlete-centric Boeing 787 Dreamliner’s interior.

scaled

While we can’t control accidents, we can be better prepared for them, and SCALED is a project from RCA aimed at doing exactly that – protecting and healing you to improve the quality of life to keep pace with longevity. This could be the next generation of casts that merge protection, healing, and mobility into one superhero-like wearable! Research shows that human joint injuries are often recurrent and likely to cause long-term immobility. Designer Natalie Kerres then looked at nature for inspiration to come up with a solution and zeroed down on animals that physically protected from threats by skin, shells, or scales. She wanted to design a product that mimicked the natural protection and healing while allowing flexibility – that is how SCALED was born. “The geometry of animal scales has changed through the process of evolution according to environmental parameters which are critical for survival. A scale structure is capable of impact force distribution and, moreover, is flexible in one direction and limiting/interlocking in another,” she explains.

Designers Chris Barnes and others at Cambridge Consultants of Cambridge, UK have designed a wearable health monitor for newborns in areas where current solutions are not easily available. Called ‘Little I’, their innovation empowers parents in low resource countries to monitor the health of their newborns by providing a low-cost, durable device that gives them assurance of their newborn’s survival despite lack of medical knowledge. This service is implemented by NGOs first buying and transporting the device to the community and teaching the workers how to use it. And in parallel, the mother/caregiver would hear about the device within the community and then later be provided one by a health care professional after giving birth. After 28 days, the device is returned which is then cleaned and recharged to be used by another newborn.

A band of Korean designers (Hong Seonghwan, Lee Hyungtaek, Lee Taekkyung & Song Yoojin) created the Median AMB, a special ambulance that can directly reach the point of the accident without getting affected by the traffic congestion created by the accident. The Median AMB sits on the road divider/median and drives up and down the highway almost like a monorail. It features sliding doors on both sides, seating for a driver and an assistant, and an area for a stretcher that holds the victim. The Median AMB drives down the dividers, right to the victim’s location, picks them up, and brings them to a proper ambulance that can take the victim to the nearest hospital.

Designed to help you get a more holistic view of your body, vitals, and internal organs, RaDoTech is a simple hand-held device that can, in a span of 5 minutes, help you perform a full-body scan to see how healthy you are on the inside. Bring it in contact with certain acupressure points on your body, and the RaDoTech reads electrical currents to judge the health of your internal organs. The clinically tested results are sent to your phone, allowing you to see how each individual organ is performing, giving you an accurate health reading, along with personal, actionable insights to help you live better.

While it is mainly a problem to get children to swallow tablets, I know many adults too who will go to any lengths to swap their tablets with syrup. This water-free medicine jelly is a life savior for many! Not only does this medicine design make swallowing easier, but it also addresses the larger problem of access to clean water in poorer countries. Since drinking water is a problem, even if medicines are available, it is harmful to people to be taking them with contaminated water. This innovative jelly medicine is created to be water-free so people don’t have to pick between curing themselves or adding on to existing health risks. The jelly is the same size as a sip of water so the patient won’t need to drink anything when taking the medicine. “Poor hygiene and poor water quality are causes of many diseases, including cholera and typhoid fever. When taking medicine in such conditions, there is a risk of acquiring additional illness if the medication is taken with unsanitary water. Jelly medicine eliminates this hygienic problem because it can be easily swallowed without water,” says the designer.

The concept behind the Pimoji by Jong Hun Choi tackles the two biggest problems of taking meds. Firstly, the ambiguity, given that almost all medicines look the same and their names are usually a complicated bunch of characters that often don’t convey anything, and secondly, the fact that the very act of taking medicines feels slightly daunting, and can often seem scary to most. The Pimoji’s solution to both those problems is simple, and between you and me, pretty innovative! Design each pill around an emoji-esque representation of the ailment they’re trying to cure. Heart meds are shaped like hearts, bone-strengthening meds are shaped like bones, toothache tablets are shaped like teeth, and the list goes on!

When sinus hits, we are willing to do anything to breathe normally again. It doesn’t just cause pain in the nose but also your head, temples, and even teeth! ClearUp (FDA approved) was designed to help alleviate the discomfort and provide a long-term solution instead of taking pills every time the season changes. It emits gently microcurrent waves when you glide the gadget over the affected area to reduce the pain and keep it all clear for up to 6 hours. This is especially beneficial if you deal with chronic rhinitis or year-long allergies which means a lot of medication that you can now get rid of. ClearUp’s study shows that 72% of the users got relief after using the device and 82% preferred it over medicines. It also eliminates the hassle of constantly having to clean or sterilize nasal sprays etc.

With as many as 6 patents (and 9 pending ones), Intake turns mouth-breathers into nose-breathers. Unlike those nose-strips that promise to work but fail to deliver on most accounts, Intake has a pretty straight-forward way of widening your nasal passages. Intake’s nose-breathing solution relies on two simple steps. Intake’s kits provide adhesive-strips with magnets on them that fasten to each side of your nose, right above the nostrils. A precursory alcohol-wipe makes sure the skin around your nose is free of dirt, dead skin-cells, or skin-oils that would cause the magnetic strips to fall off. The next step is fastening Intake’s nasal bridge across your nose. The relatively rigid bridge attracts the magnets towards it, pulling gently on your nostrils to widen them. With wider nasal pathways, it’s much easier to breathe through your nose rather than your mouth. Intake’s design solution is non-invasive, discreet, and works even through the sweatiest of workouts (and even in the rain)!

Check out more innovative and revolutionary medical innovations with more posts of this series!

Medical innovations that will revolutionize the future of your healthcare: Part 4

2020 has ingrained in me an age-old adage my mom loves to quote – health is wealth. Focus on our healthcare and the strain on our healthcare system has increased exponentially this year. While the world altogether has jumped up to help improve our healthcare systems, what can truly help is improved preventive methods, devices that help the patients monitor their health from home as well as to stay in touch with their doctors virtually while providing accurate data. The best example of the data’s impact is how an Apple Watch helped saved a man’s life by detecting problems with his heartbeat – and this is just the beginning. The products here show the best of healthcare we can provide to make this world a better place!

Chicago-based startup Cast21, however, has designed a sleeve that fits over any hand. Cast21’s cast takes shape around your hand once it’s filled with a patented gel that hardens over time. Doctors select a sleeve-size based on whether the patient is a child or a fully-grown adult. The sleeve is slipped on, and filled with a patented mixture of resins that become a malleable gel after a while. The doctor can then adjust the gel to perfectly hug the limb, giving it the support it needs. Patients can even choose between gel-colors, opting for combinations and gradients, breaking the stigma that casts need to look horribly clinical. The resins harden through an exothermic reaction, providing soothing heat to the limb as the cast begins to take shape.

Literally, the size of a quarter, Adam Miklosi’s Dab is an unobtrusive Holter ECG/EKG that rests comfortably on your chest, constantly reading your heart’s movements. Designed to be minimal, non-invasive, and simple, the Dab tries to bridge the gap between medical appliances and wearables. Its tiny yet classy design sits on your chest via a gel patch, while the electrodes capture your heart activity. The Dab’s dry-electrodes allow it to be used and reused, while constantly measure one’s heart activity (requiring periodic charging via their wireless charging hub), and keep logs of accurate readings, quietly sitting on your chest while you absolutely forget that they’re even there in the first place!

A band of Korean designers (Hong Seonghwan, Lee Hyungtaek, Lee Taekkyung & Song Yoojin) created the Median AMB, a special ambulance that can directly reach the point of the accident without getting affected by the traffic congestion created by the accident. The Median AMB sits on the road divider/median and drives up and down the highway almost like a monorail. It features sliding doors on both sides, seating for a driver and an assistant, and an area for a stretcher that holds the victim. The Median AMB drives down the dividers, right to the victim’s location, picks them up, and brings them to a proper ambulance that can take the victim to the nearest hospital.

The Medisight aims to solve this comfort issue and improve on existing PPE options for a post-pandemic world. Unlike a standard surgical mask, this product allows for continual airflow behind the face cover, so the user isn’t trapped breathing the same stale air. For added comfort, the Medisight’s frame wraps around the head, staying secure with minimal face contact. The clear shield also lets patients see the user’s face, helping them form a more personal connection. It is also helpful for hearing-impaired individuals, who may rely on reading lips to communicate. Additionally, as a small but important bonus: the Medisight is reusable, unlike standard medical masks, which would help reduce medical waste. The designer says, “The plan is to continue the functional study of materials through various experiments. In addition, in order to realize the concept design of medical devices, we would like to contribute to the development of international medical services by conducting joint research through contact with various medical device companies. Through this, the ultimate goal is to provide more convenient products in the medical environment of medical staff.”

bend_finger_cast_3

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Deviating from current medical procedures that require surgery, the Bend just needs a long fingernail. A piece of thread is tied to the fingernail at one end, and the Bend splint at the other. The string is then wound around the splint, so that the finger is pulled into shape again, allowing the bones to align properly. The bend even allows for finger movement, letting the patient heal as well as recover from the injury as quickly as possible!

Alice Turner decided to design Amplify, a hearing device that was made to be seen, to feel confident about, and to help people experience life to its full potential! Amplify was created to give the hearing-impaired demographic an added value that made the hearing aid more than just a medical accessory. “In the ’60s, glasses were aids for a disability. Now, glasses have evolved into ‘eyewear’, a fashion statement, and an extension of your personality. This shift made me question why the main innovation in hearing aid design is developing technology to make them smaller and more hidden,” says the designer on her thought process behind starting the project. Using bone conduction technology, Amplify provides users with high-quality audio for a more comfortable and wholesome sound experience. This technology enables the device to decode sound waves and convert them into vibrations that can be received directly by the Cochlea so the eardrum is never involved. Amplify essentially becomes your eardrum!

Austin-based startup Diligent Robotics has brought to market a robot nurse that is designed to reduce workloads so that hospitals can use their staff as efficiently as possible. Meet Moxi, a hospital robot assistant that helps clinical teams with their routine, non-patient facing tasks so they have more time for patient care. Handling tasks like collecting supplies, gathering soiled linens, and delivering fresh ones, Moxi could help to reduce health care professionals’ exposure to disease. The robot comes to market as the number of coronavirus cases around the world grows, and frontline workers — including doctors and nurses — are feeling the pressure and this could be the easiest, safest method to prevent our medical staff’s burnout.

Imagine a smart insulin port attached to your skin, delivering the right dose, and at the right time. At the same moment, getting all information regarding your sugar levels, meds timings, and health data, managed and analyzed with the accompanying app. Miltul Lad & Cambridge Consultants designed Kite to replace the need to pump yourself with over 30 injections a week, thanks to the soft cannula insertion. It turns any device into a ‘smart’ device and automatically dispenses the accurate insulin dose. Designed to be affordable, a device like this can be very helpful in the lifestyle management of diabetics.

Designed by Lara Laddey, the Auvis here is a digital stethoscope that is structured to detect early signs of arthrosis. The instrument has built-in sensors to catch sounds emitted by joints, making it easier to pick up degenerating cartilage inside them. Arthrosis that this digital stethoscope intends to detect is a non-inflammatory degenerative condition that’s mainly associated with aging. It occurs as a person grows older and the joint cartilage becomes rugged and begins to wear out. Since, the designer says, “cartilage degeneration, the starting point of arthrosis, can neither be seen on X-Ray nor MRT,” the Auvis presents itself as a viable med gadget. Degenerating cartilage tends to generate sounds that the sensors on the Auvis can pick up to let a physician interpret the feedback and give the diagnosis. Like an ordinary stethoscope, Auvis also comprises an examining tool and a neckpiece – the only difference being, these are wirelessly connected and offer an unrestricted opportunity to examine various joints on the body.

Aria by Minwoo Lee is a portable medical product created with the sole purpose of detecting malaria utilizing Infrared Light. Aria eradicates the need for medical specialists, expensive equipment, and highly trained staff. It performs the functions of all. Lee chose infrared light as the hero of the day, because it can be used to detect the presence of Malaria causing parasites in the blood, and can even ascertain the number of parasites present. ‘Attenuated Total Reflection-Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy’ is a test that harnesses infrared light to detect parasites through the molecular vibrations they create. The light increases the amount of oxygen in the blood, in turn killing the viral, bacterial, and fungal toxins in the blood.

 

A quick look at how much time, money, and stress this could save us – 1/5th of doctor’s consultation time is spent on non-medical issues and there are more than 13.5 million GP appointments that do not require medical attention, most of these can be attributed to the human nature of worrying and because there is no other way of ruling out how we feel. Devices like Kala that use existing technology in innovative ways can pave the way to make monitoring devices digital, smaller, non-invasive, and most importantly, accessible. Over 60% of the world’s deaths are caused by heart disease, stroke, cancer, respiratory disease, and diabetes. The first step in diagnosing these ailments requires simple tools like a stethoscope, thermometer, blood pressure pump, and self-glucose monitor – Kala includes all of these and more. It tests lung functions, temperature, blood glucose, blood oxygen, stethoscope, electrocardiogram (ECG), blood pressure which can reduce panic doctor visits and save time on follow-ups too.

 

 

The pandemic has seen a surge in the demand for items like masks, face-shields, and PPE, aggravating our plastic waste problem. Countries have ramped up production for medical kits too, and more testing often leads to more waste being created. Fernando Sánchez from Tecnológico de Monterrey in Mexico proposes a solution to this rising waste problem with his Biodegradable Medical Test kit. Made entirely from plant-based materials that can easily biodegrade into soil, these kits help ramp up testing without leaving a massive ecological footprint behind. The kit consists of a nanoparticle-based immunochromatographic test that helps detect antibodies present in a blood, serum, or plasma sample. The tests are accurate and easy to read as the results display in under 8 minutes.

Check out more innovative and revolutionary medical innovations with more posts of this series!

Medical innovations that will revolutionize the future of your healthcare: part 3

The age-old adage goes ‘Health is Wealth’. Not till the pandemic brought all the sci-fi movies we watch to life did we realize how fragile life is. Changes in our lifestyle, be it staying cooped up indoors has made us susceptible – facing challenges from physical health to mental health. The only solution is to stay in tune with the times, take the necessary precaution, and focus on staying healthy – which is what these futuristic innovations are here to do. Each innovative design revolutionizes a part of modern medical diagnostic and treatment with ease!

Literally the size of a quarter, Adam Miklosi’s Dab is an unobtrusive Holter ECG/EKG that rests comfortably on your chest, constantly reading your heart’s movements. Designed to be minimal, non-invasive, and simple, the Dab tries to bridge the gap between medical appliances and wearables. Its tiny yet classy design sits on your chest via a gel patch, while the electrodes capture your heart activity. The Dab’s dry-electrodes allow it to be used and reused, while constantly measure one’s heart activity (requiring periodic charging via their wireless charging hub), and keep logs of accurate readings, quietly sitting on your chest while you absolutely forget that they’re even there in the first place!

scaled

Research shows that human joint injuries are often recurrent and likely to cause long-term immobility. Designer Natalie Kerres then looked at nature for inspiration to come up with a solution and zeroed down on animals that physically protected from threats by skin, shells, or scales. She wanted to design a product that mimicked the natural protection and healing while allowing flexibility – that is how SCALED was born. “The geometry of animal scales has changed through the process of evolution according to environmental parameters which are critical for survival. A scale structure is capable of impact force distribution and, moreover, is flexible in one direction and limiting/interlocking in another,” she explains.

bend_finger_cast_3

bend_finger_cast_4

Deviating from current medical procedures that require surgery, the Bend just needs a long fingernail. A piece of thread is tied to the fingernail at one end, and the Bend splint at the other. The string is then wound around the splint, so that the finger is pulled into shape again, allowing the bones to align properly. The bend even allows for finger movement, letting the patient heal as well as recover from the injury as quick as possible!

The pandemic has seen a surge in the demand of items like masks, face-shields, and PPE, aggravating our plastic waste problem. Countries have ramped up production for medical kits too, and more testing often leads to more waste being created. Fernando Sánchez from Tecnológico de Monterrey in Mexico proposes a solution to this rising waste problem with his Biodegradable Medical Test kit. Made entirely from plant-based materials that can easily biodegrade into soil, these kits help ramp up testing without leaving a massive ecological footprint behind.

Anish Shakthi’s Kenko laughs in the face of the stereotypical aesthetic of medical products, as it instead carries a stigma-free, far more approachable design style. However, it isn’t just the aesthetics that have received a revamp… the entire user experience has been redesigned; the raised detector gives the user a tactile indication of where to position their finger, whilst the silicone insert can be removed for effective cleaning! Another of Kenko’s features that is rarely seen on a more conventional Oximeter is the OLED Display that provides the user with pointers and information regarding the seamless operation of the device!

Joining this force is Rice University’s Oshman Engineering Design Kitchen (ODEK) who has managed to develop a $300 ventilator with the help of Metric Technologies, named the ApolloBVM. There is a worldwide shortage of medical equipment, especially ventilators as traditionally they are expensive and time-consuming to produce at the rate this virus is moving. ODEK’s alternative costs less than USD 300 and it works on an automated mechanism that squeezes the common bag valve mask ventilation devices that are available in hospitals. This device is usually called an Ambu bag and the ApolloBVM can save the hours that healthcare professionals spend on manually pumping bags when there are no ventilators available. An exhausted human cannot pump air for extended periods of time with the precision of a machine, so with this device, it will be a lot easier to assist patients that need help to breathe. The device will also include feedback sensors that help fine-tune the flow of air to the lungs, as well as motors similar to those that power 3D printers for hours on end.

The team at Cambridge Consultants have designed an electronic strip called Tapp, that uses NFC technology to transfer the medicine’s data (stored on the blister pack) to a dedicated Tapp App. From the App, the user can select the reminder times and integrate other essential information of the prescription. Goals can be set, and reminders can be defined – the idea of this combination is to ensure you take your correct dosage on time. And, that your medical records be updated and handy.

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A winner of 2018 Red Dot Award, the NIMB ring offers unprecedented safety in the form of one stylish, compact fashion accessory! When would you need NIMB? Whether you were having a medical emergency or being mugged, it serves as a one-step lifeline for the help you need. At the heart of the design is an integrated panic button that sends an emergency alert through the dedicated smartphone app. It also provides haptic feedback that indicates to the wearer that the message has been sent and help is on the way. Simple, symmetrical, and elegantly polished, it’s as subtle as it is reassuring.

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The Steth IO smartphone case modernizes the 200-year-old stethoscope! The design merges the technology, display, and microphone on a smartphone with the time-tested geometry of a stethoscope to create a powerful handheld medical device. The case captures audio sounds made by the lungs or a heartbeat and converts them into a visualization on the screen. Rather than just listening to a heart rhythm like they would using a traditional stethoscope, medical professionals can hear the heartbeat, visualize it, record the data, and review it anytime. Something impossible with a standard stethoscope!

Designers Chris Barnes and others at Cambridge Consultants of Cambridge, UK have designed a wearable health monitor for newborns in areas where current solutions are not easily available. Called ‘Little I’, their innovation empowers parents in low resource countries to monitor the health of their newborns by providing a low-cost, durable device that gives them assurance of their newborn’s survival despite lack of medical knowledge. This service is implemented by NGOs first buying and transporting the device to the community and teaching the workers how to use it. And in parallel, the mother/caregiver would hear about the device within the community and then later be provided one by a health care professional after giving birth. After 28 days, the device is returned which is then cleaned and recharged to be used by another newborn.

The new Apple Watch Series 6 – There’s nothing really new about it, and Apple knows that too…

“It Already Does That”…

If you watched the keynote just a few hours/minutes back (depending on when you’re reading this), the words “It Already Does That” will sound incredibly familiar to you. The words are proof of two things. A. The Apple Watch is a pretty remarkable device, and B. It’s so remarkable there’s little you can do to really improve it.

There was an entire video in Apple’s keynote dedicated to what the Apple Watch can already do – which is a testament to the company’s vision and cutting edge technology, but it also goes to show that the Apple Watch 6 isn’t VASTLY better than the Apple Watch Series 5. It’s just slightly better, and comes with a few embellishments to make it seem ‘new and better’.

The keynote starts with what a great life-saving device the Apple Watch is, and Tim, as is customary, talks about how he loves to read letters every day from Watch owners about how the miraculous device saved their life. This isn’t really too different from any of the previous Apple Watch reveals over the last 2-3 years. The Watch is a great device when it comes to keeping track of your vitals – that hasn’t changed – and it still tracks your heart rate, heart rhythm, EKG, and can tell if you’ve fallen or not… it already does that. This year, the Watch 6 comes with a built-in blood oximeter that can calculate the amount of oxygen in your blood by using infrared sensors to detect the color of your blood and parse it through well-written algorithms. The Blood Oximeter feature comes at a great time – given the nature of this pandemic, but it raises two questions. What feature would Apple have showcased had it not been for COVID-19? And how many of us will really use it after the pandemic’s long gone?

The Blood Oximeter runs on a new set of sensors embedded into the watch, but aside from that, there’s really no hardware upgrades to talk about other than the new S6 chipset and a larger, moderately brighter screen. It’s still the same old Apple Watch, which isn’t a bad thing, because the Apple Watch is a pretty remarkable device… but it isn’t a great thing either. The Blood Oximeter aside, the Watch 6 does practically everything the Watch 5 does. It comes with a heart-rate monitor, a sleep tracker, an EKG machine, an always-on display, an e-sim, and all the fitness tracking features your heart could desire. In short, “It already does that”.

Most of the Watch 6’s noteworthy upgrades come with WatchOS 7 and its UI, led by Alan Dye, VP of Human Interface Design and a successor to Jony Ive. The Watch 6 boasts of new faces that allow you to access a whole myriad of features and information right from the face of the watch. You could choose a minimal watch face, an artistic one (in collaboration with Geoff McFetridge), a color-striped one to correspond with your clothes, your home team, or Pride, a face that shows you your vitals, your appointments, or various time-zones, and even a Memoji Watch Face. Apple’s made improvements to its Nike and Hermès Watch-lines too, and even launched a Product Red version of the Watch 6 along with a ‘new type of single-loop’ silicone strap they call the Solo Loop.

I honestly believe there isn’t much Apple can do to make their Watch ‘vastly’ better. The Watch 6, at least according to me, is the pinnacle of smartwatch innovation and perhaps the only thing that can make it an absolute home-run is the ability to calculate blood-sugar without needing to prick your skin. The Watch 6 puts Apple in a very tough position because I’m struggling to think of what more a Watch could do, but that’s probably me living inside a box. That being said, Cook and his team did a great job so far, especially considering how now every part of the watch is made entirely from ethically sourced materials, recycled metals and plastics, with 100% renewable energy and no harmful chemicals. It’s worth noting that Apple’s even promised to completely carbon neutral by as early as 2030… here’s to hoping we all live to see that day.

Designer: Apple

Medical innovations that will revolutionize the future of your healthcare: Part 2

They say necessity is the mother of invention, so if there is one thing that has thrived in this quarantine period, it is medical innovations! There is no alternative for good health, we all know it, but some practices like the cast we use for a fracture are archaic in design. Just because a design provides a solution, it does not mean they can’t be improved and it is these improved designs featured here in the medical and healthcare field that, once implemented, are sure to change the face of caregiving in today’s world.

Literally the size of a quarter, Adam Miklosi’s Dab is an unobtrusive Holter ECG/EKG that rests comfortably on your chest, constantly reading your heart’s movements. Designed to be minimal, non-invasive, and simple, the Dab tries to bridge the gap between medical appliances and wearables. Its tiny yet classy design sits on your chest via a gel patch, while the electrodes capture your heart activity. The Dab’s dry-electrodes allow it to be used and reused, while constantly measure one’s heart activity (requiring periodic charging via their wireless charging hub), and keep logs of accurate readings, quietly sitting on your chest while you absolutely forget that they’re even there in the first place!

The purME by Ann Song is no ordinary N95 mask. It was designed to be an N95 face-mask that you could carry in your pocket, wear for hours, breathe safely under, and easily reuse for months, if not years. Its form and material of choice are, in fact, directly inspired by silicone respirator mouth-cups that medical personnel use to administer oxygen to people. The silicone construction of the purME allows it to fit all types of faces easily as its soft body conforms to the curves of your face, creating an air-tight seal while feeling comfortable enough to be worn for hours. The silicone body makes the purME easy to reuse as well as disinfect too, and replaceable filters ensure your mask lasts you for years on end.

Scaled

Designer Natalie Kerres looked at nature for inspiration to come up with a solution and zeroed down on animals that physically protected from threats by skin, shells, or scales. She wanted to design a product that mimicked the natural protection and healing while allowing flexibility – that is how SCALED was born. The goal of her design is to investigate the potential of a controlled motion-limiting structure in preventing hyperextension joint injuries. Usually, with injuries, you may have a cast, a brace, or a crepe bandage you use but that restricts movement and also makes the body in that region stiff as you wait to heal. “Mobility is commonly a trade-off with protection and SCALED, therefore, presents a nature-inspired solution for a flexible protective wearable.” It uses a parametric design that allows the structure to meet a wearer’s exact needs and the restriction in motion can be regulated through set parameters.

Chicago-based startup Cast21, however, has designed a sleeve that fits over any hand. Cast21’s cast takes shape around your hand once it’s filled with a patented gel that hardens over time. Doctors select a sleeve-size based on whether the patient is a child or a fully-grown adult. The sleeve is slipped on, and filled with a patented mixture of resins that become a malleable gel after a while. The doctor can then adjust the gel to perfectly hug the limb, giving it the support it needs. Patients can even choose between gel-colors, opting for combinations and gradients, breaking the stigma that casts need to look horribly clinical. The resins harden through an exothermic reaction, providing soothing heat to the limb as the cast begins to take shape.

Amplify was created by Alice Tuner to give the hearing-impaired demographic an added value that made the hearing aid more than just a medical accessory. “In the ’60s, glasses were aids for a disability. Now, glasses have evolved into ‘eyewear’, a fashion statement, and an extension of your personality. This shift made me question why the main innovation in hearing aid design is developing technology to make them smaller and more hidden,” says the designer on her thought process behind starting the project. Using bone conduction technology, Amplify provides users with high-quality audio for a more comfortable and wholesome sound experience. This technology enables the device to decode sound waves and convert them into vibrations that can be received directly by the Cochlea so the eardrum is never involved. Amplify essentially becomes your eardrum!

There is a worldwide shortage of medical equipment, especially ventilators as traditionally they are expensive and time-consuming to produce at the rate this virus is moving. ODEK’s alternative costs less than USD 300 and it works on an automated mechanism that squeezes the common bag valve mask ventilation devices that are available in hospitals. This device is usually called an Ambu bag and the ApolloBVM can save the hours that healthcare professionals spend on manually pumping bags when there are no ventilators available. An exhausted human cannot pump air for extended periods of time with the precision of a machine, so with this device, it will be a lot easier to assist patients that need help to breathe. The device will also include feedback sensors that help fine-tune the flow of air to the lungs, as well as motors similar to those that power 3D printers for hours on end.

Designed to make one clinical procedure less scary, the Bean thermometer for children comes with a design that feels more like a toy. Designed by Peng Da, the thermometer has an anthropomorphic design, looking like a creature or alien of some sort. Its bulbous features give it a child-friendly appeal, and the range of colors it comes in is a complete deviation from traditional medical apparatuses that are usually white or light-colored. A screen on the back of the Bean’s ‘head’ displays the temperature, while controls on the ‘belly’ allow you to toggle through functions and even switch between temperature units.

Designed by the Division of Industrial Design & Department of Hand & Reconstructive Microsurgery, the Bend is a medical finger-splint with a revolutionary design. Fingerbone fractures can be painful, however, dislocations of bones aren’t just about pain, if not treated well, you could lose functionality of that finger for life. The bend makes use of a polymer’s tensile strength, and clever design to provide a medical solution that is not just effective, it’s non-invasive too. Deviating from current medical procedures that require surgery, the Bend just needs a long fingernail. A piece of thread is tied to the fingernail at one end, and the Bend splint at the other. The string is then wound around the splint, so that the finger is pulled into shape again, allowing the bones to align properly.

Aalto is a self-injection device designed for use by patients suffering from a chronic disease that impacts their dexterity. The family of products that make-up Aalto each share the same geometric yet friendly forms that evoke a sense of trust. More significantly, they remove the stigma of medical devices and create a far more approachable product. This element of trust has been introduced to each aspect of the product, from the packaging through to the interface. By having these attributes projected onto each element, a far more considered and harmonized experience has been achieved. This design by Cambridge Consultants is just a beautiful example of a user-centered design.

CPR First Aider by Fang Di, Li Pengcheng & Yu Yuanyi aims at being able to increase those chances. Not only does it help people who don’t know CPR, it helps people who do know CPR to perform it efficiently. The CPR First Aider is an extensive kit that includes a breathing mask that automatically delivers oxygen while assisting the patient to breathe along with a CPR module that has 4 legs and chest straps to ensure stable, sustained and effective pressure to the patient. An LCD screen on the top guides you through the procedure, while also displaying the patient’s stats blood oxygen concentration and electrocardiogram in real time. Designed to fold into a compact device, the CPR First Aider could easily be stored anywhere a fire extinguisher could be placed.

For more marvelous Medical Innovations, check out our first part in the series!

Medical innovations that will revolutionize the future of your healthcare!

We are all aware of the three basic needs for human survival, while a fourth one is added to the list: medicines. Medical innovations are one of the few things that have the ability to change the world in a single innovation. WHO states that Cardio Vascular Diseases are the number one cause of death globally: more people die annually from CVDs than from any other cause. About 422 million people worldwide have diabetes, the majority living in low-and middle-income countries, and 1.6 million deaths are directly attributed to diabetes each year. The only way to handle these diseases is to improve our existing healthcare practices, focus more on monitoring which in turn will help us be more prepared for everything that comes our way. The designs showcased here today attempt to innovate and improve our existing practices – from the cast applied on a fracture to even motion sickness, these designs will improve our quality of life for the better!

Chicago-based startup Cast21, however, has designed a sleeve that fits over any hand. Cast21’s cast takes shape around your hand once it’s filled with a patented gel that hardens over time. Doctors select a sleeve-size based on whether the patient is a child or a fully-grown adult. The sleeve is slipped on, and filled with a patented mixture of resins that become a malleable gel after a while. The doctor can then adjust the gel to perfectly hug the limb, giving it the support it needs. Patients can even choose between gel-colors, opting for combinations and gradients, breaking the stigma that casts need to look horribly clinical. The resins harden through an exothermic reaction, providing soothing heat to the limb as the cast begins to take shape.

Citroën’s SEETROËN (clever name alert) is quite an ingenious device designed to help create a balance between nausea-inducing experiences, so your brain doesn’t get confused. The quirky-looking glasses (designed to be worn only while traveling) come with four rings on the front and side with a liquid suspended in them. When in a moving vehicle, the liquid moves around too, giving the brain a visual stimulus that helps it understand the way you’re moving. When the car moves from left to right, the liquid in the ring does too, informing your brain of the movement as you watch movies on a screen or read a book. The rings stay on the boundaries of your vision, allowing you to see normally, while the liquid rings on the periphery don’t obstruct your vision.

Literally the size of a quarter, Adam Miklosi’s Dab is an unobtrusive Holter ECG/EKG that rests comfortably on your chest, constantly reading your heart’s movements. Designed to be minimal, non-invasive, and simple, the Dab tries to bridge the gap between medical appliances and wearables. Its tiny yet classy design sits on your chest via a gel patch, while the electrodes capture your heart activity. The Dab’s dry-electrodes allow it to be used and reused, while constantly measure one’s heart activity (requiring periodic charging via their wireless charging hub), and keep logs of accurate readings, quietly sitting on your chest while you absolutely forget that they’re even there in the first place!

The Kardia is a tiny ECG (or EKG) reader that works in conjunction with your iPhone to give you heart-rate readings. Simple in its design, with just two textured sensor-pads for your fingers, the device takes readings and its partner-app guides you through the process, showing you your current heart rate. Place your fingers on the sensors & in just 30 seconds, you have a medical-grade EKG reading, to be monitored for irregularities, or shared with your doctor. Just like the thermometer became a household medical product, followed by the blood-sugar meter, the Kardia aims at becoming the next household medical device that helps people monitor their heart status and keep a check on their condition.

VanBerlo Agency’s LifeSaver can be mounted on walls at accessible and prominent locations. If someone is suffering from a cardiovascular attack, you simply grab it and press the button for calling 911 below it. So while you perform CPR, the ambulance is on its way! The first instruction provided is to remove the clothes from the chest of the victim. After that, you open the box and remove LifeSaver from it. Place the AED on the chest of the victim, and follow the instructions. OLEDs and touch sensors guide you through the entire process. LifeSaver even helps you with placing the electrodes correctly and guides you regarding the location and rhythm for the chest compressions. Via visual displays and an audio option, LifeSaver gives you critical feedback.

Using a trio of gyroscopic motors mounted within a sleek and futuristic wearable that dramatically wraps around the user’s hands, Tryro counteracts the shakes to stabilize the user’s hands and therefore induce a sense of confidence! Its designer, James Sanchez, recognized the various levels of tremors that an individual can have. To cater to this, a dial that’s located on the user’s wrist allows for adjustment of the gyroscopic motor’s speed! What makes Tryro so unique is the medical aesthetic that it has managed to avoid. Considered details and an attractive form lead to a more desirable product and one which doesn’t carry the stigma of medical devices!

Imagine a smart insulin port attached to your skin, delivering the right dose, and at the right time. At the same moment, getting all information regarding your sugar levels, meds timings, and health data, managed and analyzed with the accompanying app. Kite, designed by Mitul Lad & Cambridge Consultants, replaces the need to pump yourself with over 30 injections a week, thanks to the soft cannula insertion. It turns any device into a ‘smart’ device and automatically dispenses the accurate insulin dose. Designed to be affordable, a device like this can be very helpful in the lifestyle management of diabetics.

Ryan Krause’s VERO isn’t just some regular thermometer… it was built for helping companies monitor the health of their individual employees. The VERO reads temperature using non-contact infrared sensors, but it doesn’t just do that. It helps keep a tab of people scanned too, allowing offices or businesses to internally test their own employees. The VERO scans the patient’s temperature while also logging in their name, details, and their identity… like a biometric scanner that captures an employee’s attendance as well as their health!

I love how designer Manuel Hess put it… “a walker doesn’t have to look like a disease itself.” Harsh but SO true! His proposal for a walker, called PROSUS, ditches the stigma and is instead designed with dignity in mind. It takes inspiration from both sportbikes and modern furniture, applying the same sleek design language to the walker. Unlike “medical” looking walkers, this one totally looks Professor X worthy!

Taking inspiration from Airbus’ existing family of cutting-edge aircraft, the Airbus A-180 Drone project by Reza Salianeh looks a lot like something that might already exist in their modern fleet! To deliver a payload of emergency supplies, it utilizes three double engines – one at the rear for forward thrust and two integrated into the wings for upward and downward maneuvering. Able to take off and land vertically or horizontally, it can safely enter danger zones. Upon arrival, it releases a cargo capsule capable of transporting everything from medicine and antivenin to supplemental blood and even organs.

The award-winning Jelly medicine by Jeongho Oh, Dongho Choi, and Ryangtak Oh is individually packaged to minimize air contact and to prevent almost oxidation of nutrients from the moment it comes into contact with oxygen. It also provides customized medicines by individually tailoring the packaging. You can order medicines for specific diseases and age groups instead of having all tablets coming separately and wasting resources. The aim of this water-free jelly medicine is to ensure that people in developing countries do not needlessly suffer from diseases caused by contaminated water. Not only does this medicine design make swallowing easier, but it also addresses the larger problem of access to clean water in poorer countries. This innovative jelly medicine is created to be water-free so people don’t have to pick between curing themselves or adding on to existing health risks. The jelly is the same size as a sip of water so the patient won’t need to drink anything when taking the medicine. “Poor hygiene and poor water quality are causes of many diseases, including cholera and typhoid fever. When taking medicine in such conditions, there is a risk of acquiring additional illness if the medication is taken with unsanitary water. Jelly medicine eliminates this hygienic problem because it can be easily swallowed without water,” says the designer.

Behold the Full Metal Jacket… No really, this jacket from Vollebak is actually made from a germ-repelling metallic textile. Quite unlike those space-foil jackets that astronauts wear, the Full Metal Jacket actually uses a fabric with woven strands of copper, so it’s entirely breathable, flexible, and doesn’t make a crinkly sound when you move around. With as much as 11 kilometers of copper in each jacket, the apparel relies on copper’s innate ability to kill off any bacteria or viruses that it comes in contact with. The Full Metal Jacket comes with four large waterproof pockets on the outside and three chest pockets for your belongings. Designed to be your everyday jacket, it can be worn in any sort of weather outdoors, and remains as comfortable and soft to touch as any sort of synthetic outerwear would… in fact, you really can’t even see the copper strands unless under a microscope. However, unlike most outerwear, synthetic or not, it possesses the ability to completely obliterate any sort of microorganism that comes in contact with it, a feature that makes it a standout product in our uncertain future.

With reality and life catching up to our unchecked actions, it is time for us to clean up our act and while we repair the damage we inflected to the earth, we need these medical innovations to keep us healthy and safe.

This disease-repelling jacket made from a copper textile could be the new future of clothing

Don’t worry, it’s still surprisingly comfortable though…

Metal may not really sound like an obvious candidate when it comes to textile options for clothing, but the guys at Vollebak make a pretty good point when they say that the next 100 years won’t quite be like the last. The climate’s changing, the ice caps are melting, and if Bill Gates is right, COVID-19 may just be the proverbial tip of the iceberg. It doesn’t mean we’re going to completely surrender fabrics like cotton, wool, or denim entirely, but it just means we need to start looking into future-fabrics that do much more than clad us.

Behold the Full Metal Jacket… No really, this jacket from Vollebak is actually made from a germ-repelling metallic textile. Quite unlike those space-foil jackets that astronauts wear, the Full Metal Jacket actually uses a fabric with woven strands of copper, so it’s entirely breathable, flexible, and doesn’t make a crinkly sound when you move around. With as much as 11 kilometers of copper in each jacket, the apparel relies on copper’s innate ability to kill off any bacteria or viruses that it comes in contact with.

Making clothes from metal yarn is more complex than you’d think. Sourcing metal strands is expensive, has no real precedent in clothing beyond suits of armor, and there’s no established supply chain… but I honestly can’t think of a set of constraints that have ever stopped the guys at Vollebak from pushing boundaries. I mean they’ve literally made clothes from a grade of ceramic used on the International Space Station. The Full Metal Jacket comes with three separate layers, the first of which is made from a lacquered copper yarn which is woven on rapier weaving looms before being scoured, heat-set, dyed, and dried – a process that alone takes roughly a week. This process gives the jacket its grungy denim look, but as time passes, the lacquer wears away to reveal the true copper tones in certain places, giving the jacket a uniquely appealing patina that’s comparable to the aging on a leather jacket. The outer layer gives the jacket its germ-repelling properties while also allowing it to be wind and water-proof, while a middle layer made from a laminated copper fabric allows the jacket to respond uniquely to external temperature. This middle fabric, dubbed c_change®, has a weave-pattern that expands during the heat to allow your skin to breathe and release perspiration, and contract during the cold to trap body heat and keep you warm. An inner protective fleece lining makes the jacket comfortable to wear, giving your skin the familiar touch of a soft yarn.

The Full Metal Jacket comes with four large waterproof pockets on the outside and three chest pockets for your belongings. Designed to be your everyday jacket, it can be worn in any sort of weather outdoors, and remains as comfortable and soft to touch as any sort of synthetic outerwear would… in fact, you really can’t even see the copper strands unless under a microscope. However, unlike most outerwear, synthetic or not, it possesses the ability to completely obliterate any sort of microorganism that comes in contact with it, a feature that makes it a standout product in our uncertain future. This brand of standout innovation doesn’t come cheap though. Each jacket retails for $1095, but that can be attributed to the jacket’s revolutionary medical-grade fabric, and the fact that it’s assembled in Switzerland, Italy, and in Romania. Besides, you probably won’t need to wash it either, given its ability to resist water, stains, germs, and even odor particles. Just leave it out in the sun for a bit and it should be as good as new.

Designer: Vollebak

This pain-relief gadget will clear up your sinus without any pills!

We are in the midst of a pandemic and even a single cough can send our brains into overthinking but I am just here to remind you that seasonal allergies still exist. Yes, pollen is still coming out during COVID-19 (very insensitive of it) – remember that the next time you sneeze so you can avoid the anxiety. We may not have a vaccine for the virus but we do have a solution for your sinus problems – ClearUp!

When sinus hits, we are willing to do anything to breathe normally again. It doesn’t just cause pain in the nose but also your head, temples, and even teeth! ClearUp (FDA approved) was designed to help alleviate the discomfort and provide a long-term solution instead of taking pills every time the season changes. It emits gently microcurrent waves when you glide the gadget over the affected area to reduce the pain and keep it all clear for up to 6 hours. This is especially beneficial if you deal with chronic rhinitis or year-long allergies which means a lot of medication that you can now get rid of. ClearUp’s study shows that 72% of the users got relief after using the device and 82% preferred it over medicines. It also eliminates the hassle of constantly having to clean or sterilize nasal sprays etc.

Constantly buying pills can be expensive and your body becomes immune to it slowly which means you need stronger doses – that is not a good long-term health solution. ClearUp wanted to provide a chemical and drug-free solution to sinus and sinus related issues. It also eliminates the hassle of constantly having to clean or sterilize nasal sprays etc. Charge with the usual USB-C charger and you’re good to go!

Designer: ClearUp