Apple patents multi-parameter, phone-based health tracking

Apple  has been granted a patent for phone technology using a front-facing camera and light, proximity, and multiple sensors to measure body fat, heart rate, circulation, blood pressure, and breathing, as well as emotional state via galvanic skin response. The device computes health data of the user based upon sensor data regarding the received light. It has been reported that Facebook and Google are also developing device driven health monitoring systems. Mindstrong Health, co-founded by former NIMH and Verily Life Science head Tom Insel, is developing phone-based technology to measure and monitor emotional and mental health. Insel will be a featured speaker at ApplySci’s Wearable Tech + Digital Health + Neurotech conference, on September 19th, 2017 at the MIT Media Lab.

Join ApplySci at Wearable Tech + Digital Health + NeuroTech Boston on September 19, 2017 at the MIT Media Lab – featuring  Joi Ito – Ed Boyden – Roz Picard – George Church – Nathan Intrator –  Tom Insel – John Rogers – Jamshid Ghajar – Phillip Alvelda – Michael Weintraub – Nancy Brown – Steve Kraus – Bill Geary – Mary Lou Jepsen – Daniela Rus

Registration rates increase Friday, August 11th.



Verily’s health sensing research watch

The  Verily Study Watch passively captures health data for continuous care platforms and clinical research. Key features described by the company include:

  • Multiple physiological and environmental sensors are designed to measure relevant signals for studies spanning cardiovascular, movement disorders, and other areas. Examples include electrocardiogram (ECG), heart rate, electrodermal activity, and inertial movements.
  • A long battery life of up to one week in order to drive better user compliance during longitudinal studies.
  • Large internal storage and data compression allow the device to store weeks’ worth of raw data, thus relaxing the need to frequently sync the device.
  • A powerful processor supports real time algorithms on the device.
  • The firmware is designed to be robust for future extensions, such as over-the-air updates, new algorithms, and user interface upgrades.
  • The display is always on so that time is always shown. The display is low power and high resolution for an appealing look and a robust user interface. Note: currently, only time and certain instructions are displayed. No other information is provided back to the user.

The watch will be used in Verily’s current and forthcoming studies, such as the  Personalized Parkinson’s Project, meant to track progression, and the Baseline study, meant to understand transitions between health and disease.

Join ApplySci at Wearable Tech + Digital Health + NeuroTech Boston – Featuring: Joi Ito, Ed Boyden, Roz Picard, George Church, Tom Insel, John Rogers, Jamshid Ghajar, Phillip Alvelda and Nathan Intrator – September 19, 2017 at the MIT Media Lab

Non-invasive nanosystem detects disease in breath

Technion professor Hossam Haick has developed a nanosystem that can identify the breath signatures of many diseases, including kidney failure, lung cancer, Crohn’s disease, MS, prostate and ovarian cancer.  Each compound’s relative abundance in a person’s breath is assessed, and disease signatures are compared against healthy individuals.

In a recent study, using mass spectrometry analysis, specific compound signatures for 17 different diseases were identified. The breath of 1,400 people was sampled, using a sensory array of carbon nanotubes and gold particles to register the compound mix they exhaled. Algorithms determined the presence or absence of each disease.

Haick’s goal is for the system to be used to screen widely for disease, even among those with no symptoms, to allow earlier interventions.

ApplySci’s 6th  Digital Health + NeuroTech Silicon Valley  –  February 7-8 2017 @ Stanford   |   Featuring:   Vinod Khosla – Tom Insel – Zhenan Bao – Phillip Alvelda – Nathan Intrator – John Rogers – Roozbeh Ghaffari –Tarun Wadhwa – Eythor Bender – Unity Stoakes – Mounir Zok – Sky Christopherson – Marcus Weldon – Krishna Shenoy – Karl Deisseroth – Shahin Farshchi – Casper de Clercq – Mary Lou Jepsen – Vivek Wadhwa – Dirk Schapeler – Miguel Nicolelis

DeepMind Health identifies complication risks

Google has announced DeepMind Health, which creates non-AI based apps to identify patientscomplication risk.  It is expected for AI to be integrated in the future. Acute kidney injury is the group’s initial focus, being tested by the UK National Health Service and the Royal Free Hospital London.

The initial app, Streams, quickly alerts hospital staff of critical patient information.  One of Streams’ designers, Chris Laing, said that  “using Streams meant I was able to review blood tests for patients at risk of AKI within seconds of them becoming available. I intervened earlier and was able to improve the care of over half the patients Streams identified in our pilot studies.”

The company plans to integrate patient treatment prioritization features based on the Hark clinical management system.

Wearable Tech + Digital Health San Francisco – April 5, 2016 @ the Mission Bay Conference Center

NeuroTech San Francisco – April 6, 2016 @ the Mission Bay Conference Center

Wearable Tech + Digital Health NYC – June 7, 2016 @ the New York Academy of Sciences

NeuroTech NYC – June 8, 2016 @ the New York Academy of Sciences


Ultra slim sensors for next generation wearables

LG Innotek has developed an ultra-thin optical bio sensor module for monitoring heart rate, blood oxygen, and stress.

High-end smartphones typically include these  modules, which complement fitness wearables and apps.

LG claims that the new module is more accurate and uses less energy than current sensors. Because of its size,  is can be used in very small devices with out compromising accuracy.


Wearable Tech + Digital Health San Francisco – April 5, 2016

NeuroTech San Francisco – April 6, 2016

Wearable Tech + Digital Health NYC – June 7, 2016

NeuroTech NYC – June 8, 2016


Phone tracks health with out wearable sensors

Javier Hernandez Rivera of Rosalind Picard‘s Affective Computing Group at MIT is developing a health monitoring phone that does not require a wearable.  BioPhone derives biological signals from a phone’s accelerometer, which the team says captures small body movements that result from one’s heart beating and chest rising and falling.

Hernandez said that BioPhone is meant to gather data during still moments, simplifying the capture of small vibrations without having to account for many body movements.   He believes that this can detect stress, which could trigger the phone to provide breathing exercises, or notify a loved one to call.

12 subjects sat, stood, and lied down, before and after pedaling a bike, with a smartphone in their pocket.  To compare results,  they wore sensors to capture heart and breathing rates. Heart rates reported by smartphone data alone were off by 1 beat per minute, and breathing rates were off by 1/4 of a breath per minute.

MIT Technology Review reported that the findings were questioned by a U of Alabama mobile health expert, who believes  that results will be affected by signal noise from inadvertent motions.



Piezoelectric sensor car seat monitors respiration, heart rate

Faurecia‘s “Active Welness” car seat monitors respiration and heart rate with embedded piezoelectric sensors.  The goal is to detect driver stress or alertness.  When low energy is detected, the seat responds with specific massage patterns and air flow through the ventilation system.  The non-contact sensors were developed by Hoana Medical.  Combined with advanced algorithms and signal processing, Faurecia claims that they can accommodate noise and vibration from the moving vehicle without compromising effectiveness.

Wearable monitors newborns within 40 mile radius

WAAA!  is a text-based neonatal surveillance system developed by David Swann of the University of Huddersfield.  It is a finalist project of UNICEF’s Wearables for Good Challenge.

Appearance, pulse, grimace, activity and respiratory data is captured, via a patch, during the first day of life.  Any deterioration triggers an immediate text alert to a carer.

Globally, more than 1 million babies die on the first day of life – mostly due to preventable or treatable causes.  The developers of WAAA! believe that helping babies survive the first day of life is the best way to reduce child mortality.

The technology is capable of monitoring multiple newborns at distances up to 40 miles.  This can provide some level of care in the world’s  poorest and least served regions.

Sleep sensor directs appliances, allows remote monitoring

Samsung’s SleepSense measures breathing, heart rate, and movement in real time, without  touching the body. The company claims that this monitoring results in a 97% accurate sleep score, delivered to one’s phone.

SleepSense can communicate with a television, audio system, thermostat, and other household devices, to create a favorable sleep environment.  TVs can be turned off automatically; room temperature can be adjusted; lights can turned on in the morning; and a coffee maker can be directed to start brewing.

The cloud based system allows remote monitoring of an elderly or disabled loved one (with a mattress sensor)  and can receive emergency alerts.

Mouthguard monitors health markers via saliva

A prototype mouthguard that monitors health markers via saliva is being developed at UCSD.

The large device must be streamlined and miniaturized for mass adoption, but the concept of noninvasive monitoring of lactate, cortisol, and uric acid, is excellent.  Previously, this was only possible through a blood test.  The device can be worn by athletes, patients, or the military.

The sensing platform is screen printed using silver, Prussian blue ink and uricase, an enzyme that reacts with uric acid.  It was nano-engineered to provide the chemical equivalent of a two-step authentication system, ensuring a uric acid-only reaction.  The system includes a potentiostat, microcontroller, and Bluetooth Low Energy transceiver.