Not known for its salubrious qualities, Las Vegas will nonetheless be a locus for health, medical care, and well-being inspiration next week when the Consumer Technology Association convenes the annual CES featuring innovations in consumer technology.
Ten years ago here in Health Populi, I wrote about New Year’s Resolutions for Health and the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show. Then, one-third of consumers were keen to buy health tracking technology but most of those people were healthy, CTA’s research found. I talked about the “battle of the (wrist)bands” witnessed at CES 2013, and spotted the early hints of the consumer’s connected home for health.
A decade+ later, we see the maturing of the patient-as-consumer, taking on more self-care beyond fitness and wellness blurring into medical and acute care as hospitals re-locate services and monitoring to people at home and people becoming more activated in tracking chronic conditions, from head-to-toe. Whether dealing with migraines and mental health, heart conditions or diabetes, orthopedic and sports injury rehab or sleep disorders, #CES2024 will be a major stage for health/care.
The first diagram shows my evolving view on what I seek out at CES each year, from the traditional tracking of weight and activity to the mainstreaming of heart function and sleep, with the addition of the connected car for health and safety, and the smart kitchen and bathroom in the mix of health-at-home. While the North Hall of the LVCC will have a dedicated digital health area featuring at least 540 exhibits as listed in the CES 2024 app directory, I’ll find health beyond this area of the convention center all over town.
Some of the key trends I’ll be exploring for my own workflows will be…
The heart in health — Activity tracking has gone well beyond step-counts in 2024, with heart health table stakes for wearable technologies. Smartwatches’ sensors now embed heart rate and increasingly other aspects of heart metrics. Connected heart health is a big segment for digital health at CES, including blood pressure,
The CES 2024 Innovation Awards have anointed several heart-health innovators before the conference, seven of which are shown here in the diagram titled “Heart Health” curated from company press releases in advance of the meeting.
On my panel at CES 2024 addressing how technology can address health equity, one of my colleagues will be Ami Bhatt, MD, Chief Innovation Officer with the American College of Cardiology — further bolstering the heart-health message at CES.
Food as medicine – Segueing from the heart to health and nutrition, the food-as-medicine (or food-is-medicine) movement has taken hold in mainstream healthcare. The concept goes back to Hippocrates, and recently became fully embraced by the American Heart Association in collaboration with The Rockefeller Foundation. AHA has also aligned with the American Cancer Society, American Diabetes Association, Tufts Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, and the National Association of Chain Drug Stores on the #NourishMyHealth initiative, a resource for consumers and professionals to bolster health literacy on nutrition as well as information on how to access health foods in the community.
Note that one of CES 2024 keynote speakers is Elevance Health’s President and CEO Gail Boudreaux. “Elevance Health, a health insurance company? you ask.
Indeed — health/care is everywhere at CES 2024, including on the main stage, where Boudreaux will discuss holistic health which Elevance Health, rebranded from Anthem Inc., is working to address for its 118 health plan members. And one of Elevance Health pillar’s for this is….food as medicine.
One such company I’ll check in on, which I encountered at CES 2023, is Nuvilab. This innovator positions itself as “dataware for food managers” and offers several solutions — including helping clients manage diet and promote health eating, leveraging food raw data.
I’ll also be exploring innovations in smart kitchens and appliances, ag-tech (last year’s John Deere showed inspiring leadership in light of growing food insecurity), and personalized food futures at CES 2024.
Sleep as medicine — Sleep issues are an underlying factor for many chronic conditions, and good sleep bolsters well-being. So this category of products has been front-of-mind for consumers spending out-of-pocket dollars on the promise of a good night’s sleep for many years and CES has featured many sleep-tech innovators for many years. There are 26 exhibits listed under the “sleep” category on the CES 2024 app, featured here, and the National Sleep Foundation will also be exhibiting. Sleep-tech offerings range from beds and smart mattresses to wearable technologies and medical devices focused on sleep apnea and respiratory condition management.
Note that several of these vendors straddle other health/care areas, such as Withings which has grown its portfolio of digital health offerings for many years — a long-time exhibitor at CES since the launch of its weight scale (on a personal note, one of my favorite products used in the Kahn Cave/home).
2024, the Year of Weight Loss — Tech has played a role in weight loss as dieters began to track calories or food intake on paper (or probably on cave walls) and in the PC- and Quantified Self eras, on Excel spreadsheets. Food tracking and personalization, weight scale measurement, and behavior change support will all be featured at CES 2024. In our current age of Ozempic, Wegovy, and the hockey-stick growth of popularity for using GLP-1 medications for weight loss, technology’s role will also grow as a complement to supporting behavior change as a key to sustaining the weight loss over time.
For the first time, Noom will exhibit at CES, and the company’s Chief of Medicine Dr. Linda Anegawa will be speaking on a panel about behavior change. As mentioned, Withings a long-time trusted source among consumers for weight measurement will be at CES 2024 along with other companies in the space such as Garmin and InBody.
Abbott Labs, which was one of the first med-tech companies to exhibit at CES and the first to keynote on the main stage, will once again exhibit at the conference. Rumor has it via Wareable that the company could be expanding sales of the Lingo continuous glucose monitor (CGM) I discussed here during CES 2022 — currently available in the UK, and potentially expanding to the US — TBA at #CES2024 perhaps?
Aging as a driver for tech innovation — I’m really looking forward to exploring AARP’s AgeTech Collaborative which will feature research and innovations working on solutions for the so-called “longevity economy.” Beyond the expected mobility supports, I’m keen to see how AI and data will play into these solutions, along with enchantingly-designed devices that can support people aging at home as hospitals continue to shift care from inpatient beds to safer, more comfortable home environments.
The Pet Economy and health — Having a pet to care for has been shown to yield health benefits. New research published in JAMA on 26th December 2023 showed that pet ownership among people living along slowed rates of cognitive decline and memory among adults 50 years of age and older.
We saw the emergence of pet-tech at CES several years ago, which has been a fast-growing consumer spending category especially during the pandemic. CES 2024 will feature even more pet-tech with focuses on the health of the pet — which can initiate a flywheel of well-being for the pet-parent. CTA featured three of these companies in their reveal for the Show, including Invoxia (which supports GPS tracking and AI-enabled IoT sensing); Pawport, which offers pet door-technology supported by an app for access; and, Whisker, which manufactures a Litter-Robot solution as well as a Feeder-Robot for pets.
Note that Chewy, the subscription pet goods company, launched a telehealth service for pets in October 2020 — another tech-trend in the growing pet economy, of which you can read more in Health Populi here.
In addition to these aspects, I’ll also be tracking women’s health, mental health, and technology that can scale solutions to the risks of the social determinants of health. Cybersecurity and privacy of personal health information will be top-of-mind, as well, along with issues of the larger healthcare microeconomy and health policy issues such as telehealth reform and mental health payment parity, techquity and connectivity access, among others.
Stay tuned to the Health Populi blog all next week from 8th January to the 12th: I’ll be live and eyes-wide-open to all aspects of health, care, and well-being at #CES2024 reporting here from the event.