Ten transformational health gadgets

Patsy Westcott / 22 June 2016

From helping people with Parkinson’s Disease walk to allowing the almost blind to see, check out these amazing new health devices.



1. Help for Parkinson’s Disease

What? Path Finder, pressure-activated shoe attachments.

How will they help? By triggering a green/red laser light that prompts wearers to step forward. This will help prevent one of the most disabling symptoms of Parkinson’s, ‘freezing’, where the brain fails to tell the legs to move. Freezing eventually affects six to seven out of ten people diagnosed with the disease.

When to look out for it? In the next 12 months. Keep an eye on developments at www.walkwithpath.com

Learn more about other promising treatments and therapies for Parkinson's disease

2. Help for diabetes

What? Timesulin, a smart cap with a built-in timer, that ‘remembers’ when or whether people with diabetes have taken their insulin and counts down to the next injection.

How will it help? By removing the anxiety that many people with diabetes feel about forgetting an insulin dose or accidentally taking a double dose.

When to look out for it? Now. £50 for two from https://timesulin.com

What you need to know about Diabetes: type 2

3. Help for lung disease

What? BuddyWOTCH is a medically certified smart watch for people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and other lung problems.

How will it help? By monitoring vital signs such as blood oxygen level, temperature, movement and heart rate, the watch can warn of exacerbations or flare-ups of the condition.

When to look out for it? Within two years.

Discover more about existing treatments and therapies for COPD

4. Help for stroke

What? TipStim®, a snug conductive glove, attached to a pulse generator the size of a mobile phone, that electrically stimulates the fingertips.

How will it help? The glove helps rehabilitate the brain and improve sense of touch after a stroke, by creating a pulse that reaches the brain through two major nerves, the ulna and median nerve. The device is already used in German hospitals for rehabilitation of the nervous system.

When to look out for it? Now. £1,058.40 from www.bhr.co.uk

Stroke - risk reduction and better treatment

5. Help for poor eyesight

What? Give-Vision is a pair of smart specs that can zoom in on objects such as the TV, bus stop signs, train-times boards, price labels. They also boost colours and negative contrast, making it possible for wearers to read books, decipher bank notes and recognise faces.

How will they help? By potentially increasing sight for many of the 95% of people who are registered blind, but have some residual vision.

When to look out for it? Within a year.

Glaucoma - can you see to drive?

6. Help for hand tremor

What is it? GyroGlove, an intelligent ‘glove’ with small lightweight spinning discs attached that help stabilise the hands. 

How will it help? By steadying tremor caused by illnesses including Parkinson’s, MS and other neurological problems, and enabling wearers to eat, write and do other tasks of daily life that are otherwise very difficult or impossible.

When to look out for it? By the end of this year.

Could your hands be showing signs of underlying health problems?

7. Help for glaucoma

What? A new medicated silicone ring that rests on the surface of the eye has the potential to reduce eye pressure in glaucoma patients by around 20 per cent in six months.

How will it help? By bypassing the need for eye drops, which research shows many patients neglect to use as prescribed due to forgetfulness or physical problems, such as arthritis.

When to look out for it? A phase 3 clinical trial is due to begin this year.

8. Help for insomnia

What? doppel is a pulsating wristband that works like an external heartbeat.

How will it help? By providing a drug-free, stimulant-free way to calm you down, helping to reduce insomnia.

When to look out for it? In October this year.

What to do when insomnia strikes

9. Help for heart failure

What? VitalPatch is a ‘peel and stick’ patch similar to a hydrogel sticking plaster. It contains a single-lead ECG (electrocardiogram) to measure heart rhythm, plus biosensors to monitor breathing, skin temperature, posture, steps and falls.

How will it help? Findings can be relayed to hospital staff, allowing them to monitor remotely patients with heart problems or who are leaving hospital after surgery.

When to look out for it? In the next year

Coronary heart disease: causes, symptoms and prevention

10. Help for skin problems

What? A fake skin, made from a synthetic silicon-based material, that is applied as a gel.

How will it help? By pulling on the real skin, it can help erase wrinkles and eye bags. The hope is, however, that further down the line it could be loaded with medications that would be absorbed to help treat skin conditions such as psoriasis, eczema and erase wrinkles.

When to look out for it? The product is currently in trials.

Tips for skin disorders

To read more about the latest revolutionary health gadgets that could improve you or your family’s life, read our article in the July issue of Saga Magazine. Subscribe to the print edition or download the digital edition today.

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.