Initial CES 2015 Observations

Posted on January 5, 2015 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

Yesterday was the start of the International CES (Consumer Electronics Show) 2015 conference in Las Vegas. My friend Dr. Nick from Nuance posted these stats for the CES conference:

For those interested CES attracts 150,000 visitors (they are all flying on the same planes and looking for the same cabs as me it would appear), occupied 2,000,000 square feet of space (35 football fields – American or the rest of the world soccer) and includes 3,500 companies

That gives you a small glimpse into the vastness of the CES event. Yesterday I had a chance to go to the CES press only event called CES Unveiled. It is a small subset of what you’ll find at the larger CES event. Based on this experience and the rash of press releases that have been sent my way for CES, here’s my prediction on the top 3 themes for CES 2015:

  • 3D Printers
  • Drones
  • Wearables

Healthcare has some place in the 3D Printing world, but I don’t expect much of that to be on display at CES. Unless we’re talking about drones that deliver medication to patients, there’s not as much applicability for drones in healthcare (although, they are cool). The wearables space on the other hand is largely about healthcare. There are some non-healthcare applications in wearables, but the majority of wearable applications I’ve seen are for healthcare or have some health and wellness component.

What’s Happening With Wearables?
As I browsed the various wearables yesterday, I noticed that the number of wearable options has proliferated. Companies I’d never heard about had their own wearable product that they were just launching at CES. Plus, the big health wearable players were offering more and more options to consumers. Along with this trend, we’re also seeing a trend to sexier wearables. I’ve seen a number of partnerships between fashion houses and wearable companies. This isn’t surprising since we want our wearable to match our own personal style. The previous options were limited.

I was also interested in many of the ambient sensors that were put alongside other wearables. I can see many companies linking the ambient sensor data with other wearable data to help in your health and wellness. We’ll see where this trend goes.

The most interesting health and wellness wearable I saw was the AmpStrip by FitLinxx (pictured below). The AmpStrip tracks heart rate, activity, respiration, skin temperature and posture all within a device as discrete and comfortable as a Band-Aid®. I think this is a step towards the invisible area of wearables. No one is going to see that you’re wearing it and it’s continuously monitoring your health data. It was susprising to me that they were able to get a tracker like this packaged into something so thin. I thought they’d need something much more bulky, but it was quite thin.
AmpStrip Wearable at CES 2015
I certainly haven’t dug into the science of the AmpStrip, but I like the approach to discreet health and wellness monitoring. They told me that the adhesive had to be replaced every 5-6 days. I wonder if that becomes a really easy task or if it starts to annoy over time. I’m also interested to know about the software that’s tied to the sensor. I’ve known FitLinxx for a while now through their pebble activity tracker. They didn’t have a direct to consumer approach with the Pebble, but they do now with the AmpStrip. I’ll be interested to see how well they do creating the app for the consumer world. Considering their IndieGogo campaign has reached it’s goal in 6 days, they’ll have an opportunity to see how they can do with it.

CES is just getting started. We’ll be back with more to report on as the week progresses. If you’re here as well, I’d love to hear your observations.