How Healthcare Made a Splash at CES 2019

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CES 2019, the Consumer Electronics Show, is heading into its last day and this year has not disappointed. The annual tech expo and conference is known for showcasing the hottest and hardest-to-believe trends in technology across almost every industry. Healthcare has been one industry that dominates the conference every year and 2019 is no exception. From new advancements in Virtual Reality to in-home healthcare robots, CES has once again shown why it’s the biggest conference of its kind. Here’s a look at just some of the showstoppers and jaw-droppers on display this year.

One of the most fascinating products at CES this year predictably came from one of the biggest companies in attendance. South Korean technology giant Samsung brought its newest fleet of in-house robots, demonstrating just how advanced modern healthcare is becoming. The Samsung Bot Care utilizes Samsung’s AI platform Bixby, along with highly sophisticated hardware and design to bring traditional healthcare routines into something out of a sci-fi film.

According to the company, the robot is “capable of measuring user’s blood pressure, heart rate, breathing and more, and can alert user’s when they need to take their medicine. It also notifies accredited family members when elderly user is experiencing an emergency, and support video calls for real-time communication.”

There are also features like sleep tracking capabilities to analyze a person’s sleep patterns and even day-to-day routine help providing weather reports, reciting the schedule for the day, and music to fit the person’s mood. Samsung also introduced its Samsung Bot Air, their new air-purifying robot. Using sensors placed throughout different areas of a person’s house, the robot assesses the air and, once detected, moves to any area with low air quality to clean it up.

AARP, the nation’s largest non-profit interest group for retirees, has a booth at this year’s CES showcasing a collaboration with VR Health. VR Health is a healthcare company that specializes in virtual reality and data analysis. With the help of VR Health’s telehealth platform, the companies are using sensors in conjunction with a VR headset as a remote diagnostic tool– collecting and analyzing data from VR therapy sessions to ultimately share with physicians or family members. This data can potentially help an elderly person avoid the hassle and cost of scheduling an unnecessary doctor’s appointment.

As mundane as preventing doctor’s appointments may sound, according to Pew Research “nearly one-in-five Americans aged 65 and older say they had a medical problem but did not visit a doctor, skipped a medical test or treatment recommended by a doctor… because of the cost constraints.”

The technology at CES is fun and exciting, but there are also serious ramifications that come along with these new advancements. Healthcare robots like Samsung’s have the potential to save countless lives while virtual reality is continuing to find new ways to enter and improve the healthcare sector. There’s a lot of reason to leave this year’s CES with a greater sense of hope, hope that the future of medicine, and all the great things that come along with it, is not so far after all.

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