From selfie mirrors that predict risk of disease to gadgets to help the elderly, health tech is big trend at CES

Category: Technology/Innovations


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. innovation / ˌɪn əˈveɪ ʃən / (n.) – a new idea, device, or method

    Many technological innovations have improved our lives in recent years, like the internet and AI.

  2. portable / ˈpɔr tə bəl / (adj.) – easy to carry due to its light weight and small size

    The portable speaker allows you to enjoy music wherever you go.

  3. biometric / ˌbaɪ əˈmɛ trɪk / (adj.) – relating to physical characteristics of a person, such as the color of eyes, hair, etc., used to confirm his/her identity

    The biometric technology recognized his voice and allowed him to open his phone.

  4. prompt / prɒmpt / (v.) – to cause someone to do something

    The fire alarms are prompting the people to leave the building immediately.

  5. wearable / ˈwɛər ə bəl / (n.) – (in technology) an electronic device that can be worn

    The market for wearables, such as smartwatches and fitness bands, is growing rapidly.


Read the text below.

From gadgets for the elderly to selfie mirrors that can predict the risk of heart attack, health tech is a big trend at this year’s CES tech show. The innovations make monitoring health simpler and more portable than ever — with  AI powering many of the devices.

There’s a smart bed designed for older people, with safety rails but also hidden technology such as anti-snore features and biometric sensors to monitor health metrics. There’s also a toilet seat that can measure heart rate and blood oxygenation.

And of course, AI has been integrated into several of the devices, including something that looks like a normal weight scale.

“We have a device that you can stand on that works much like a weight scale, but it actually can predict whether or not you will have a serious fall in the next 12 months. And we know that for older people, falls is one of the main things that they fear to be able to go through,” explains Jo Ann Jenkins, CEO of AARP (formerly the American Association of Retired Persons).

AI also powers a little cube that acts as a companion and personal assistant, prompting its users to remember to take their medications.

The Anura Magic Mirror takes a video of the user’s face. It uses reflective light to see blood flow patterns and make estimates about the person’s health. It’s aimed at pharmacies, hospitals, clinics, and fitness centers.

The device can measure a whole host of health metrics, including blood pressure, pulse and breathing rates, facial skin age, and mental stress. It can also tell users their risk of developing certain health conditions, such as T2 diabetes, heart attacks, and strokes, thanks to the power of AI.

Fitness wearables are here to stay and they’re getting smaller and smaller.

One of the fitness tracker rings being showcased at CES this year is called the Evie and is aimed exclusively at women. Users can track all the familiar data for wearables but the Evie ring uses AI to put all that information together to spot patterns and tell the user why they might be feeling a particular way and what they can do to feel a bit better.

This article was provided by The Associated Press.


Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

  • What do you think about the integration of AI in health devices (ex. it’s promising, I have reservations about it)? Why? Do you think owning such devices will make people pay more attention to their health? Discuss.
  • Do you think that AI-powered health devices, like the smart bed with biometric sensors or the Anura Magic Mirror, genuinely enhance the well-being of older individuals? Why or why not? Discuss.

Discussion B

  • Which device mentioned in the article do you find the most interesting? Why? Would you like to have one of those? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • What kind of health and wellness device would you like to be invented in the future (ex. eyeglasses that zoom, a watch that tracks diet)? Why? Discuss.