These Wearables Detect Health Issues Before They Happen

MIT Technology Review

Future generations of Apple Watches, Fitbits, or Android Wear gadgets may be able to detect and mitigate health problems rather than simply relay health data, thanks to a federally funded project that is applying big-data tools to mobile sensors. The project, called MD2K, won $10.8 million from the National Institutes of Health to develop hardware and software that compiles and analyzes health data generated by wearable sensors. MD2K's ultimate goal is to use these sensors and data to anticipate and prevent "adverse health events," such as addiction relapse. Though the project is aimed at researchers and clinicians, its tools are freely available, so these innovations could turn up in consumer wearables. Commercial wearable devices aren't suitable for research because they only gather a few types of health data about a user, such as number of steps taken and heart rate, and they typically display specific results rather than raw sensor data.

AI Diagnoses Genetic Syndromes Just From Patients' Pictures - D-brief


An algorithm is able to identify genetic syndromes in patients more accurately than doctors can -- just by looking at a picture of a patient's face. The results suggest AI could help diagnosis rare disorders. "This is a long-awaited breakthrough in medical genetics that has finally come to fruition," Karen Gripp, a medical geneticist at the Nemours Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, Delaware and co-author of the new paper, said in a statement. "With this study, we've shown that adding an automated facial analysis framework … to the clinical workflow can help achieve earlier diagnosis and treatment and promise an improved quality of life." Severe genetic syndromes affect about six percent of children born globally.

Face-Scanning AI Identifies Rare Genetic Disorders


The photograph is cropped close on the face of four-year-old Yael, who is smiling and looking as healthy as can be. But a computer analysis of her features says something's not right. She has MR XL Bain Type, the computer predicts--a very rare syndrome that causes a wide range of health problems. It turned out that the computer was right. Yael is one of thousands of children who have contributed to the development of an artificial intelligence system called DeepGestalt that can identify rare genetic disorders based on facial features alone.

Digital Tattoos Make Healthcare More Invisible


What if markings on your skin could unlock your phone or get you access to entrance doors? And what if they could also measure your blood pressure or hydration level constantly in the background only alerting you in case of values out of the normal range? Digital tattoos could act as minilabs rendering our skin an interactive display and making healthcare more invisible at the same time. Here's our summary of the latest trends and research efforts to make it happen. In the course of the development of medical devices, a general trend has emerged: tools are getting more miniaturized, digitized and connected than ever.

Healthtech catalyzing efforts to achieve Universal Health Coverage


Healthcare technology, aka healthtech, is rapidly transforming the way healthcare services are accessed and delivered across the world, particularly to the vulnerable populations in the low and middle-income countries. Health technologies and interventions are critical elements that expand access to effective and affordable health services whilst simultaneously catalyzing efforts to achieve the goal of Universal Health Coverage (UHC). With the advent of electronic health records or digital records, concerns regarding the security and ownership of the sensitive health data have also arisen. For the medical data to be stored and accessed safely, healthcare providers and consumers are utilizing blockchain, the technology behind cryptocurrencies that significantly increases transparency and security by storing and distributing data to all participants across the entire supply chain. Besides data security, the distributed ledger technology is also being used to curb the menace of drug counterfeiting.