“Are we losing the battle against heart disease?” asks the lead article featured in the January 2023 issue of the AARP Bulletin.
“Despite breathtaking medical advancements since President Harry Truman declared war on heart disease 75 years ago, researchers have observed a disturbing trend that started in 2009: America’s death rate from heart-related conditions is climbing again,” the detailed essay explains.
AARP is in fact a very visible stakeholder in the 2023 CES, collaborating on the AgeTech content track at the tech conference. The track covers all aspects of aging well, from financial health to entertainment, mental acuity and of course, physical health.
And that includes heart health, which is ubiquitous at #CES2023 if you consider the holistic journey of the consumer and her heart, from prevention and fitness to tracking and treatment, and care at home — clinical, social, and nutrition.
To give you a visual idea of what I’m talking about, check out the American Heart Association’s concept of Life’s Essential 8: these are the eight lifestyle factors that are amenable to self-care. In other words, factors we can impact in our daily lives if given the right opportunities to do so.
The “8: include:
- Eat better
- Be more active
- Quit tobacco
- Get healthy sleep
- Manage weight
- Control cholesterol
- Manage blood sugar
- Manage blood pressure.
Technology can help support these modifiable behaviors that can help us re-shape our life-long health….some with the support of technologies we can find at #CES2023 in and beyond the digital health exhibition space.
Consider this the digital transformation of heart health, from our hands and homes to hospitals and back home again.
The biggest, most visible category here is focusing on blood pressure, which has been a growing digital health focus expanding at CES annually over the past decade. In 2023, OMRON celebrates 50 years of working on consumer-facing technologies for heart health.
Over these 50 years, OMRON has sold over 300 million blood pressure monitors in 110 countries around the world, and is among the most-recommended BP devices by pharmacists and physicians. As timing would have it, this week BrandSpark published its most-trusted health care brands by pharmacists, identifying OMRON’s blood pressure monitors as the top-ranked devices in the category.
In the U.S. OMRON launched the VitalSight remote heart health monitoring program at CES 2020, now collaborating with medical centers and physicians across America.
In this year’s golden anniversary news at CES 2023, OMRON launched the Viso remote health monitoring program with the UK’s National Health Service (NHS), supporting patients in self-care in partnership with their doctors to improve Britons’ health and longevity. OMRON received NHS approval for the Viso app and digital health service, which can support patients’ management of AFib, diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease.
I am especially gratified to see this development be adopted in the UK as the NHS has experienced tremendous strains in the wake of the COVID-pandemic and persistent underfunding, with patient care at-risk — reported in a range of news media from the Financial Times to The Economist.
This smartphone screenshot illustrates Viso’s patient-engagement dashboard, which provides a straightforward check-list for the consumer to address daily tasks for care management — including several of the Essential 8 such as measuring blood pressure, weight, and reminders to scheduling lab testing.
Valencell, a long-time participant in CES, announced it would expand its heart-health capabilities to join the chronic care management world, too. At CES 2023, Valencell announced a cuff-less blood pressure monitor via finger-measurement.
I’ve thought about Valencell as a sort of “Intel-inside” many other fitness and wearable technology products over the years I’ve been tracking digital health tools. If you’ve used tech from Bose, Jabra, or Samsung, for example, you may well have benefited from a sensor embedded in the product that came from Valencell.
Now, Valencell is out and proudly getting into chronic disease management with this program, pending FDA clearance to help patients manage hypertension.
For sleep, the ASLEEP exhibit at CES 2023 may win the prize for largest-footprint in the meeting. To build its clinical knowledge, ASLEEP has been collaborating with the Stanford Center for Sleep and Circadian Science, ASLEEP claims that it can detect REM sleep, non-REM sleep, and measure consumers’ wake-states about 15% more accurately than smartwatches that gauge sleep quality. The product’s Sleeptrack API technology has opened the door for collaborating companies in and adjacent to the sleep and wellness space to co-create a consumer’s sleep ecosystem; here’s a link to LG’s plan for working with ASLEEP in the company’s smart home vision.
CES has featured Food Tech innovators for over a decade, so we can find a variety of technologies to help us to eat better (with an eye toward addressing cholesterol. Speaking of API, VersaWare brought its smart nutrition assortment of kitchenware to CES 2023. Developed by two fitness-minded foodies, VersaWare’s smart mixing bowl and smart cutting board, can link via an open API to thousands of products that can be scanned in the kitchen — part of the growing home IoT ecosystem for healthy things.
And of course, for weight management and activity tracking, CES has featured smartwatches, activity bands (like Fitbit), and smart connected scales for many years — long a core category in digital health at CES. Launches of smartwatches with heart functionality are too numerous to mention, but for a shortlist to name a few, I’ve taken looks at those from Citizen, Fossil, the Nowatch, and the Bheart band. As a long-time and avid Oura ring user, I am also keen to learn more about Evie, the ring from Movano which has women’s health functions as well as heart health applications.
There’s a lot more on heart health throughout CES 2023 — a category that’s needed, in-demand. and getting better-and-better designed for health consumers who want to engage in life-long self-care for whole health.