As many of you know, I have a full time gig at Yummly as the Head of Nutrition and Wellness. A couple of weeks ago, I spent 5 days in Vegas at the Consumer Electronic Show (CES). The show is MASSIVE, and brings over 170 000 people to Vegas, including many of the world’s biggest tech players. Vegas is not my favorite destination, but it was a treat to scope out some of the latest and greatest offerings in wellness technology...
Biggest Trend: Wearables Everywhere
After walking the health and wellness section twice, it was clear that wearables are having their moment right now. Hugo Boss, Fossil and Skagen are just a few companies teaming up with smartwatch makers to bring design-forward watch offerings. As a fashion-lover and tracking enthusiast, it was great to see some less clunky designs enter the market. The downside is that many of the trendier options only come with half the functionality of an Apple Watch. For example, they track steps, and sleep, but not heart rate, and sit/stand time.
I also saw a few applications of wearable tech in clothing and shoes like Spire. This holds some interesting possibilities for things like sweat rate tracking and electrolyte repletion but smart watches still seem more practical to me. Mattress-based sleep tracking was also big with a number of companies showcasing this tech.
My Favorite Health & Wellness Finds:
There was no shortage of intriguing products at CES, but only a few health and wellness offerings found the sweet spot between useful and differentiated. Here are my favorite picks:
Orig3n offers health and wellness-focused DNA testing. Their nutrition, fitness, and skin DNA tests, and own their own lab which is unusual in this space. I’ve written about my experience with nutritional genetics before here. It’s great to see this space getting real traction in the market.
Quartz makes self-cleaning water bottles that use UV-C to kill >99.9% of bacteria, viruses and protozoa. My water bottle goes everywhere with me, and the biggest grievance I have with the traditional models is that they are hard to clean. Quartz tackles a piece of this problem head-on, AND keeps your drinks hot/cold for up to 24 hours. Great idea.
Founded by Sloan Alum, Shireen Yates, Nima makes gluten and peanut sensors for detecting gluten/peanut protein in food samples. Nima’s gluten sensor has been around for a while, but their peanut sensor is fairly new on the market. Food allergies and Celiac disease are tricky to manage, particularly when eating out, and I love that Nima makes it a little easier.
Mira Fertility Tracker uses luteinizing hormone in urine to evaluate ovulation status in women. Conceiving can be a difficult and emotional experience for many couples, and I like that this gives you real time feedback about peak fertility. This tech may apply to other things like thyroid hormone tracking which has implications for weight management, nutrition, and more. I can't wait to see what's next for Mira!
#5. Consumer Physics.
Consumer Physics has a hand-held spectrometer that can be used for everything from detecting the nutrient composition of food, to analyzing body fat percentage. I haven't dug into the science/ accuracy, but I love the ideas of a hand-held device that gives you data about the nutrient content of what’s on your plate. Stayed tuned for more on this one. Perhaps this technology could be used to non-invasively track blood glucose one day?!