LAS VEGAS- Here are some of the most recent technology solutions for people with impaired vision, hearing loss, Parkinson’s disease and Type 1 Diabetes, coming straight from CES.
OrCam helps people with low vision, blindness or severe dyslexia, said Rhys Filmer, the company’s sales director. The device is small enough to attach to one side of a pair of glasses. It tracks the movement of the wearer’s finger and when the finger points to somewhere on the paper, identifies the words and whispers into the person’s ear from its speaker.
OrCam can detect faces, colors and barcodes but cannot identify objects with its one-and-a-half hour battery. An earlier version of OrCam, larger in size, was released about two-and-a-half years ago, said Filmer, and sells for $3,500. The new version, OrCam MyEye 2.0, was released to the market last month and priced at $4,500.
While Beltone, an American company, offers personalized services with its hearing aid, Olive Union, a Korean start-up, gives you complete autonomy in setting up the hearing aid.
To order a pair of Beltone’s hearing aids, the user completes a hearing test with an audiologist and the hearing aid will arrive already programmed based on the patient’s conditions. Prices range from $1,000 to $3,000.
For Olive Union’s hearing aids, testing and programming are done with the company’s app. A pair of Olive Union’s “Next-Gen Hearing Aid” can be ordered on indiegogo.com for $100.
A Spoon and Walking Aid for Patients with Parkinson’s Disease
GYENNO, a Chinese company located in Shenzhen, develops products for patients with Parkinson’s disease.
GYENNO SPOON is designed to prevent food from falling off from shaking. Nuo Xian Chen, the company’s engineer, held the spoon and simulated the shaking at the company’s CES booth. Although the spoon was visibly shaking with her hand, Chen said food would not spill. The second generation of the spoon can be transformed into a fork and wind spaghetti noodles.
The company is also developing Gait Aid, which guides the patient’s steps with laser beams. Kai Yi, the company’s COO, said patients with Parkinson’s disease may experience sudden difficulties in walking but visual guidance can relieve the symptom. GYENNO’s Gait Aid consists of wearable sensors and a walking stick. When the sensors detect walking difficulty, the stick emits laser beams to show directions.
Yi said except for the earlier version of the spoon, GYENNO’s products have not been launched yet. He said mass-production would begin this year and the products would be available in the overseas market first, as China has stricter regulations for selling medical devices.
Autonomous Insulin Pump for Diabetes Patients
Diabeloop, a French company, offers a device that automatically delivers insulin in the body of Type 1 Diabetes patients. The patient wears a glucose sensor and an insulin pump and the censor monitors blood sugar levels and sends data to a server via Bluetooth. The server commands the pump to deliver certain amount of insulin into the patient’s body.
The insulin cartridge in the pump needs to be replaced every three days and the cost is covered by healthcare in France, said Elie Namias-Muntlak, Diabeloop’s software developer.