Cool new wearable devices can do miracles for your health

Cindy Krischer Goodman
Sun Sentinel

Miami Beach, Fla. – – From a small light-up pad that makes your bruise fade faster to a strip of gel that minimizes scars, new innovations to improve your health needs are on their way.

Inventors, manufacturers and health professionals from around the world descended on Miami Beach last week to make deals and show off the newest and coolest products that tackle everything from diabetes to incontinence to fall prevention and mouth care. The Florida International Medical Expo (FIME) is the largest its kind in the Americas with 1,200 exhibitors from more than 40 countries displaying their health care innovations.

The most excitement involved wearable devices that connect to apps and monitor various body functions in adults and children.

“For the average person, there are going to be a lot more innovative health products to choose from,” said Gil Alejo, the exhibition manager for FIME. “We are seeing what’s available in other parts of the world that hasn’t made it here yet. There is a lot of focus on convenience and using technology to create products that are new and improved.”

Anyone battling the pesky critters known as lice, or superlice, will be thrilled to learn a lice-zapping device has been developed by an Israeli company. Doron Kenigsbuch, founder and CEO of Sphinx Smarthead Technologies says his handheld machine will kill lice, superlice and nits on a full head of hair in 15 minutes using a heating flow system. Kenigsbuch said the product will be on Amazon or sold using a private label in mid 2020 with an estimated retail price of $149.

Also from Israel, Leon Eisen, founder and CEO of Oxitone, unveiled an FDA-cleared wearable wristband that connects with an app and monitors pulse rate, skin temperature, blood oxygen saturation, steps, sleep patterns and respiratory rate. It can also tell when the wearer falls or is about to fall.

“Hospital or rehab patients can put on the monitor, get connected and go home,” Eisen said, adding that he has five patents on the device that combines artificial intelligence predictive power with wrist-wearable medical technology. “The most important features is that can it track and send alerts in real time.

From the Czech Republic, Pavel Benes of Elon Techologies has created rechargeable blue and yellow light pads that fade bruises. Benes traveled to Miami Beach to court plastic surgeons, sports medical facilities and distributors who might find a use for his products. The blue light, explained Benes, decreases the level of bilirubin and helps yellowish bruises disappear faster. It also can improve acne healing.

The yellow light promotes cell stimulation, reduces swelling from injuries and accelerates blood and lymph circulation for faster wound healing, he said.

Until now, Benes has sold his light pads in Europe, but he said U.S. buyers showed interest in the product that he believes will retail for about $18.

From Asia to Latin America, multiple manufacturers showed off innovations in diabetes care including EPSBio of Taiwan with its Sugarwatch. The smartwatch syncs with a cellphone and measures glucose level along with sleep patterns, calories intake and steps. It also tells time and acts as an alarm clock.

Josephine Yang said her company has been selling the digital Sugarwatch in Germany, Taiwan, the Middle East and Europe and will soon sell it in the United States for about $300.

Also in the category of wearables, a company from the Netherlands debuted its smart underwear, with the brand name of Carin. The underwear, made by Lifesense Group, has a bluetooth sensor and app and helps women regain bladder control in a few weeks by tracking leaks, identifying triggers and tailoring an exercise program to strengthen the pelvic floor.

“We are happy to get rid of a stress incontinence for women,” said Paul Swinckels, director of business development. “In most cases, within eight weeks they are cured.”

Swinckels said he is trying to get FDA approval and have his underwear for sale in the U.S. by early 2020.

A product from Argentina made it clear wearables aren’t only for adults. Biotrend displayed its product for babies: a foot strap that monitors sleep position, temperature, heart rate and pulse. Parents receive all of the information from the digitized foot strap onto an app on their smartphones.

For cancer, new devices coming to the market offer relief from some of the side effects of treatment. A New Jersey company displayed its new product, CHEM Mouthpiece, which the founder says has multiple uses. For cancer patients, the silicone ice pack for inside the mouth stays cold for 30 minutes at a time and touches all the mouth surfaces.

“A lot of times chemo drugs cause sores that are so damaging, the patient has to stop cancer treatment,” said Christopher Rowland, while demonstrating the product. “Our founder wanted to find a better alternative to ice chips.” Rowland said the CHEM mouthpiece spent three years in research and development and also is being marketed to oral surgeons and dentists for relief after mouth surgery or wisdom teeth operations.

Along with devices to help people feel healthy, vendors displayed all sorts of inventions to help people look good. Lilfesil of Brazil unveiled a new type of breast implant as a option to silicone, along with gel sheets to minimize scars and keloids. BioPlus Co., a South Korean company, showcased its semi-permanent injectable filler with hyaluronic acid that can be used as a possible alternate to nose surgery, or to erase deep wrinkles.

On a grander scale, manufacturers displayed large innovations such as life-size robotic devices known as gait trainers for patients who can’t walk, in addition to high-tech wheelchairs and hospital beds.

OrthoNOW in Doral brought its state-of-the art digital wellness scanner that can measure body composition, fat, bone density, heart rate and other health information just from standing on the machine and placing palms on the sensors.

Nick Mendez, chief executive officer of OrthoNOW said the machine’s results are “very revealing.” His company is using it in South Florida for assessments and to offer help with health concerns that come to light.