Much of the tone regarding healthcare at this year's international Consumer Electronics Show focused on ensuring the safety of consumer data shared via wearable devices and other technologies, with both HIMSS (via its Personal Connected Health Alliance) and the Federal Trade Commission speaking out about looming privacy risks.
Still, that didn't take away from the bevy of innovative new tools on display in Las Vegas last week.
For instance, vendor Humanscale, according to Forbes contributor Dan Munro, unveiled OfficeIQ, an integration of sensors into desks and chairs to provide real-time information on the activities that take place at workstations.
"If sitting really is the new smoking, technology driven solutions delivered with aesthetic and ergonomic design ... represent an effective weapon to combat one of the oldest health dangers of all--just plain sitting," Munro said.
Meanwhile, PCMag.com's Jill Duffy pointed to a pair of smart adhesive bandages--TempTraq by Blue Spark and AmpStrip by FitLinxx--as standout products at the show.
The former, in particular, monitors a baby's temperature, and, she said, is more ideal than innovations such as smart socks or bracelets, which could easily be removed or might not make consistent contact with skin. It also sends smartphone alerts to parents and provides prior temperatures for fluctuation comparisons.
"A relatively temporary bandage is an ideal mechanism for sensors in this unique case," Duffy said.
Additionally, an automated belt known as Belty, which uses a built-in pedometer and Bluetooth capabilities to monitor waistline trends, was recognized by both Engadget (as a Best of CES 2015 product) and by CES itself. Belty also automatically tightens and loosens as a wearer sits or stands to preferred comfort levels.
BlackBerry and NantHealth also debuted the second generation of the latter's HBox, which provides a genomic signal that "interrogates" blood, cancer or potential diseases and shares data with a patient's physician.
Michael Docktor, a gastroenterologist at Boston Children's Hospital, writing for the Boston Globe's BetaBoston site, declared that at CES, he had "seen the future of medicine." Writing about various wearables on display, Docktor said:
"For the moment, these devices are largely fitness enhancers, however in the not-too-distant future, these pioneering examples will advance to become chronic disease managers and remote patient monitoring devices that will truly transform medicine as we know it. With the ubiquity of sensors and their declining cost and power consumption, everything has become, or is getting, connected and intelligent, from Wi-Fi scales and tiny glucometers to mattresses that can detect your child's restfulness, heart rate and breathing pattern."
Physicians, CIOs and self-proclaimed health technology geeks: which technologies stood out to you at this year's CES? And where, on the spectrum of health technology conferences, does this show rank? - Dan (@Dan_Bowman and @FierceHealthIT)