NYC Gastroenterologist & Gut Health Expert

CES 2019: Review of Digital Health

CES 2019.jpg

Why I went to CES: 

CES = Consumer Electronic Show (bit giant conference for the latest and greatest tech)

Started in 1967….it’s been around for a long time

It has more than 180,000 attendees from 150 countries…lots of people from everywhere

VCR debuted in 1970… wow, we moved from that quickly. Though, I think my mom still has a VCR.

I specifically went to look at trends and to see if there’s a product that would be viable for a gastroenterology practice. I also follow healthcare tech + digital health and wanted to stay on top of the innovation in my field.


Overall trends in digital health:

1.           Make the user experience fun

People were very excited about the shiny TVs from Samsung and LG, but digital health was upping their game by making their products fun and interactive

For example, The Muse is an EEG device used for meditation – you hear peaceful weather when your mind is calm and stormy weather when your focus drifts off. You get points for how long you stay in the calm state. This let’s you compete with yourself or others.

Obstacles: Lots of sleep and meditation devices on the market = fierce competition

2.           Make the tech super helpful.  

Enter robot assistants. Samsung bot care is Wall E meets R2D2 plugged with all sorts of sensors. It detects your breathing as you sleep. It takes your vitals (blood pressure and heart rate) when you touch it. It reminds you to take your medicine and detects falls. This would allow health care workers to remotely monitor patients.

Obstacle: People have to get used to robots in the home. For my Short Circuit fans, Johnny Five is very much alive and sleeping next to you.

3.           Disintermediation

 Cut the middlemen and have a direct to consumer product. One of the digital health products, Foodmarble, works by analyzing hydrogen levels in the breath to determine if there are food intolerances or an overgrowth of bacteria. We use this test in GI already – it’s called the hydrogen breath test.

Obstacle: Foodmarble’s results need to be compared to the gold standard, the hydrogen breath test, to prove effectiveness.

4.           Tech will make things easy

Everything is going wireless. There were devices that just sit next to you, like a piece of furniture, and use radio frequency to measure your heart rate and breathing rate.

 Obstacle: the devices need to have a good WiFi signal. Ever lose Wifi at home? Yep, tracking will then be cut off.


Interesting products unrelated to Digital Health:

Intelligent connection of the Internet of Things (IoT) - Everything in the home will be connected and will be smarter than you! Well, not quite, but it will be like having a personal assistant maintaining the home - the frig can track and order products. Out of milk? Boom, it was already ordered before you had a chance to write it in the notes section of your phone.

Proctor and Gamble came out with the Opte Precision Wand. A beauty wand that you run over your skin to detect darker spots and essentially prints over them.

Facial recognition being used in customer experience at SK-II (skincare line in Japan) stores– I had my face scanned to determine my skin age and make product recommendations.


What would I have liked to see in the world of digital health?


This won’t appear in 2020, but I foresee a home where we have the most intelligent IoTs tracking our health without doing or wearing anything extra. We live our normal lives without being disturbed. Our bed can detect how we slept. Our mirrors can use facial recognition to detect emotion. Our toothbrushes can detect gum disease. Our toilets can analyze our poop and determine what we need to eat. Maybe our floors can detect our blood pressure and pulse. Who knows? Remember, the VCR came out in 1970 and that was a big deal.

Sam Nazareth