AXA SA

01/24/2018 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 01/25/2018 12:00

At CES 2018, smart technologies are redefining the entire healthcare industry

Kinga Igloi, an Hungarian researcher supported by the AXA Research Fund, observed similar trends. She is studying at the University of Geneva, in Switzerland, on the role of sleep in memory consolidation. Her research proves that sleeping is crucial to improve memory, but also reduce stress, or risks of cardiovascular diseases.

The Philips SmartSleep, new headband from Philips unveiled at CES 2018, uses built-in sensors attached to a forehead in order to detect brain activity. Then when deep sleep is detected, the headband's speakers start producing customized audio tones that enhance the depth and duration of slow wave sleep. Nokia unveiled Nokia Sleep at CES, which is described as an 'advanced sensor' built into a mattress pad.

The WiFi-enabled smart sensors can monitor sleep patterns and also track snoring patterns. Nokia also developed dedicated sleep programs to help people achieve a better quality of life through sleep. Indeed, a lack of sleep among the U.S. workforce is costing approximately $411 billion and losing 1.2 million working days per year (source: Rand). An increasing number of companies are developing programs to encourage the workforce to sleep and to sleep well. For example, Shleep has developed an app that acts as a personal sleep coach. Shleep's corporate programs provide digital training, personalized assessments and sleep education.

Today, 8.5 percent of people worldwide (617 million) are aged 65 and over. According to a report by the U.S. Census Bureau report, An Aging World: 2015, this percentage is projected to jump to nearly 17 percent of the world's population by 2050 (1.6 billion). As the world's older population continues to grow at an unprecedented rate, an increasing number of high-tech products have appeared at CES for the elderly, ranging from an airbag belt for fall prevention to companion robots.

Falls often result in injuries to the head or hips, which leads to long-term complications and loss of independence. At CES, many technological innovations want to play a leading role in falls-detection programs. The startup E-Vone is working on a GPS-enabled smart shoe that features fall detection and alerts. The shoe can detect falling or abnormal movement and the system automatically sends an alarm message to the entourage (family, friends, neighbors, emergency services…) with geo-positioning.

Another startup is developing a wearable product called the Hip'Air that features airbags hidden on either side of a special belt. The system detects that the person is falling in 0,2 seconds and both airbags inflate in 0,08 seconds above the hips. This product is addressing a serious problem: in France alone, 65,000 people fracture their hips each year, and 23% of people above age 55 die within a year after a hip fracture and about 50% lose their autonomy (source: Hip'Air website). Adjusted for inflation, the annual direct medical costs of fall injuries in the U.S. are $31 billion with hospital costs accounting for two-thirds of the total.