Innovation Station

CES 2017 unveils a host of digital health tools.

By Mark Kaufmann, MD

From a fitness-tracking ring and a smart hairbrush to a walking cane with GPS capabilities and a high-tech pillbox, the recent Digital Health Summit at the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas unveiled 31 new health tools and toys. All of these gadgets got lots of oohs and aahs, but which, if any, will have a direct impact on patient care and medical practice?

Dring Smartcane

From the French startup Nov’in, the Dring Smartcane features built-in sensors and a GPS to help if someone has fallen or gotten lost. The cane can text, email, or call important contacts in any of these events. It’s a new twist on the “I’ve Fallen and I cant get up” Life Alert alarm.

Clinical Utility: This type of device can be helpful for many, including the elderly, assuming of course that they are not tech challenged or tech averse.


SimforHealth is a virtual reality training tool for doctors and other healthcare providers. Visitors will be immersed in a hospital and will play the role of a physician in simulated scenarios.

Clinical Utility: This 2017 take on the standardized patient could be a true game changer in terms of medical education.

Heart Monitors: QardioCore

QardioCore is a discreet and wearable heart monitor without patches and wires. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved wearable uses sensors to record clinically accurate continuous ECG, heart rate, heart rate variability, respiratory rate, skin temperature, and activity data.

The Motiv ring

The Motiv ring is replete with step counter, heart rate monitor, or sleep tracker.

Project Zero 2.0

Project Zero 2.0 measures blood pressure with clinical accuracy and tracks other heart health data, such as sleep patterns.


Bodytrak’s wearable ear buds measure body temperature, heart rate, VO2, speed, distance and cadence continuously in real-time. (Plus you can listen to tunes and make calls!)

Clinical Utility: This whole category of devices could help many of our psoriasis patients who are at increased risk for heart disease. This type of data can help us get a better handle on heart health.

Gyenno’s Smart Spoon, Fork, and Cup

Gyenno’s smart spoon and fork counteract hand tremors from Parkinson’s Disease and other conditions by keeping steady and collecting data in the cloud about the tremors. They also have a dehydration-fighting cup that reminds when to drink up.

Clinical Utility: These smart devices may be useful for many individuals.The spoon and fork may truly improve quality of life for anyone with hand tremors.

The Kérastase Hair Coach

The Kérastase Hair Coach Powered by Withings, developed in collaboration with L’Oréal’s Research and Innovation Technology Incubator, features Withings’ advanced sensors along with L’Oréal’s patent-pending signal analysis algorithms to score the quality of hair and monitor the effects of different hair care routines. An accompanying mobile app provides additional insights and customized product recommendations.

Clinical Utility: This could be a huge win for patients concerned with hair loss who may unwittingly be making matters worse by their brushing habits.


HiMirror rolled a new Plus edition that snaps a photo and analyzes complexion, sun damage, pores, and wrinkles, and then recommends products and routines. All data is encrypted and stored anonymously. The Plus model features LED makeup lighting for five different settings scenarios—sunset view, outdoor on a sunny day, brightly lit office, shopping mall or supermarket, and restaurant or party venue. It also includes increased memory to record and track skin analysis over time. HiSkin connects to the HiMirror to evaluate the skin’s cuticle moisture, subcutaneous pigmentation, dark circles, acne scars, and environmental factors.

Samsung’s S-Skin and Lumini

Samsung’s S-Skin addresses issues with “microneedle” patches that penetrate the skin with ingredients and take measurements simultaneously including hydration, redness, and melanin of the skin to provide customized skincare using LED light. The condition of the skin is saved in the accompanying app to track changes over time.

Lumini is a portable device that identifies skin problems under the surface before they occur. After taking a picture of the face, it analyzes the information using an algorithm and sends the information to an app. Lumini then recommends products based on the analysis and offers a remote consultation with a dermatologist or a skincare specialist.

Clinical Utility: Our patients adore at-home gadgets, and HiMirror, S-Skin, and/or Lumini may help them dramatically improve the look and feel of their skin.

Seenso Health

New from Montreal-based Cogilex is Seenso health, a specialized search engine that acts as a curator and guide to health information and offers “knowledge maps” with a guided exploratory interface.

Clinical Utility: We know our patients get a lot of information from Dr. Google for better or worse, and a smart, curated search engine may help make sure this is always for the better.


PillDrill’s medication adherence hub and companion app features a compact scanning system called the PillDrillHub that sits next to the user’s pills. When doses are due, it sends out alerts, and the user waves their medication container (which has a scanning tag). Each scan, or absence of a scan, notifies family members or other concerned parties with an update sent via a companion app.

Clinical Utility: Adherence is a major problem among dermatology patients and this device seems to increase accountability—and the data will also give us insight on when and why our patients are missing scheduled doses.

Mark D. Kaufmann, MD is an associate Clinical Professor of dermatology Dept. of Dermatology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City.


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About Practical Dermatology

Practical Dermatology is the monthly publication that provides coverage of medical care, cosmetic advancements, and practice management for clinicians in the field. With straight-forward, how-to advice from experts in various fields, we strive to enhance quality of care and improve the daily operation of dermatology practices.