Coolest new medical gadgets from CES 2020

By John Murphy, MDLinx
Published January 22, 2020

Key Takeaways

The Consumer Electronics Show (CES), held January 7-10, 2020, in Las Vegas, NV, is the world’s largest annual trade show for next-generation electronics and devices. Much of the show is taken up by companies displaying their newest computers, TVs, robots, and virtual reality devices. But, there’s also a growing niche of medical and healthcare devices on display. 

Take a look at some of the most talked-about items presented this year: 

Wearable blood pressure monitor

OMRON HeartGuide (1)

Wearables were everywhere at CES this year. Omron Healthcare displayed HeartGuide, the first wearable blood pressure monitor. Designed in the form of a wristwatch, the device measures blood pressure using “oscillometric technology, which is the FDA-recognized standard for accurate, automated, medical-grade blood pressure measurement,” the company stated. This summer, Omron will launch a new mobile app, Omron Connect 2.0. When paired with the HeartGuide monitor, the app will be like a “personal heart health coach” that provides users with heart health info, real-time coaching, and incentives for behavior change. Users can also share HIPAA-compliant monitoring data with their doctors. 

Doctor’s instrument in the patient’s hands

MedWand home

Everyone is talking telemedicine these days—but how do you check a patient’s heart or lungs through a screen? Enter MedWand, a handheld device that includes multiple diagnostic tools for the patient to perform and the doctor to view. The device includes attachments for evaluating the heart, lungs, blood oxygen level, nose/throat/mouth, and more. MedWand can also be used by home healthcare or emergency workers in the community, or by physicians or other clinicians in remote or inaccessible areas. 

Smart lighting for surgical applications

gentex smart lighting

Gentex Corporation and the Mayo Clinic unveiled an innovative lighting technology for medical applications. It’s a smart lighting system for surgical and patient-care environments that provides both ambient room lighting as well as camera-controlled, adaptive task lighting. Gentex said it worked with Mayo Clinic surgeons and staff to solve the problems found with current surgical lighting. The smart system uses voice commands, hand gestures, or a hand-held tracking device to create a “target lighting zone.” An integrated camera “orchestrates light-array activation, intensity, and direction to mitigate shadows and create optimal lighting conditions within the defined surgical field,” Gentex stated. Bonus: The system uses ultraviolet germicidal irradiation during off-hours to sterilize the environment. 

Health ‘breathalyzer’


Aidar Health showcased MouthLab, which is an amped-up breathalyzer that provides a snapshot of the user’s vital signs. When users breathe into the MouthLab mouthpiece, the multisensor device captures 10 or so health parameters—temperature, pulse rate, respiration rate, blood pressure, heart rate, oxygen saturation, etc—in less than a minute. Users can track their day-to-day and longitudinal data, but providers can also monitor the patient’s health trends, with an eye toward earlier intervention. The MouthLab must still be cleared by the FDA, however. 

Glucose monitoring without skin pricks

Glutrac JPG (1)

Noninvasive blood glucose monitoring is the Holy Grail of diabetes management. To that end, Add Care Ltd. showed off its prototype called Glutrac, a wearable intended to do just that. The device has optical sensors that collect data using four monitoring methods—absorption spectroscopy, electrocardiography, photoelectric plethysmography, and dynamic metabolic heat monitoring. “Based on the collected signals, it builds user-specific models in the cloud to calculate the blood glucose levels,” the company explained. “It allows users to measure body data as needed anytime and anywhere, while automatically monitoring users’ health condition in real time.”

Headset for relieving chronic pain


Sana is a bio-therapeutic headset that uses pulsed light and sound to reduce or eliminate chronic pain, without drugs. Put the headset on and the device emits a complex pattern of light and sound impulses to “restore a balance in brain wave patterns,” according to the company. Used at home, the Sana device takes 16 minutes per session. The developers said that results from their study in patients with fibromyalgia showed encouraging reductions in pain symptoms. The device is also being studied for treating neuropathic pain as well as opioid use disorder. 

Other interesting medical and health devices at CES: 

  • Wave Bracelet from Embr looks like a chunky wristwatch, but it provides “thermal relief” that can make you feel like the room temperature is 5 degrees cooler or warmer. It’s currently being studied in women with hot flashes. 

  • HeartHero is a low-cost, lightweight, portable, easy-to-use automated external defibrillator that’s small enough to fit into a purse or backpack. 

  • YO Home Sperm Test allows would-be parents to easily test semen at home for motility and sperm count with 97% accuracy, according to manufacturer Medical Electronic Systems. The FDA-cleared test comes with a little analyzer unit, and users can read the results on a smartphone app. 

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