Reading Time: 3 min | Dec 2020

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Inventive Medical Devices For Homecare

Trouble sleeping or with migraine? iF awarded state-of-the-art gadgets in personal healthcare are beyond simply curing symptoms.

Long gone are the days when you regularly must show up at your doctor for health services. Ventilators, otoscopes and Co. have been moving away from medical practices and hospitals. These modern medical devices are designed for personal use at home and offer an often simpler path to better health. The benefits are obvious for all participants. Costs and time for hospital visits and readmissions are reduced. Patients take control of their own health and feel more comfortable being in familiar surroundings. And even caregivers make fewer compromises between personal life and the other person’s needs.


GlucoStick | Manufacturer: Compal Electronics Inc., Taipei City, Taiwan
GlucoStick revolutionizes diabetes tracking by retaining all the monitoring conveniences of continuous glucose monitors, but reuses a sterilizable lancing stick where users merely twist on new, replacement lancets before each use, thereby reducing the amount of bio-hazardous waste generated.
Desktop Visual Aid | Manufacturer: Beijing Jadebird Vision Technology Co., Ltd., Beijing City, China
This product is a visual aid designed to help students with poor vision with their daily study and life. It displays enlarged content captured from a book or white-/blackbard on a high-definition electronic screen. Its most important feature is that it takes into account both far-end and near-end vision correction.
Ainos Flora | Manufacturer: Ainos Inc., Zhunan Township, Miaoli County, Taiwan
Ainos Flora is a portable testing device for vaginal infection and sexually transmitted diseases. In one minute, Ainos Flora tells you if you are infected, and the likely pathogen causing the infection. This product lets users do tests anywhere and takes telehealth services to a new level.
Embr Wave 2 | Manufacturer: Embr Labs, Boston, United States
This healthcare bracelet allows users to manage their own comfort through personalized thermal management which can help relieve symptoms of menopause, migraine and Co. The new form factor feels lighter and slimmer, distinguishing it from most wearable medical devices and making it a desirable part of the user’s self-expression.
Motion Pillow | Manufacturer: 10minds Co., Ltd., Seoul, South Korea
Motion Pillow is an ergonomic C-curved 'moving anti-snoring pillow' that aims to improve sleep quality through snoring alleviation. It consists of a pillow equipped with airbags that gently change the sleeping position without disturbing sleep, and a smart solution box that operates the airbags by learning from the user's snoring sounds.
Phonak Roger On | Manufacturer: Phonak Communications AG, Murten, Switzerland
This wireless microphone helps people with hearing loss to better understand speech amid noise and over distance. Roger On is very versatile and can be placed, among others, on the table or worn on the chest. Thanks to the display and the large center button, it is very easy for elderly people to operate.
LUISA | Manufacturer: Löwenstein Medical Technology GmbH & Co. KG, Hamburg, Germany
LUISA is made for ventilation patients at home. It works in a horizontal or vertical position and can be attached flexibly to a wheelchair or a bed. With a battery run time of up to 18 hours, it expands the user’s radius of action and gives the user a good feeling of additional security. Menu navigation is particularly intuitive while other features simplify everyday use.
ObeEnd Weight Loss Wristband | Manufacturer: WAT Medical Enterprise Ltd., Vancouver, BC, Canada
This is the world's first smart wearable device that integrates innovative TENS technology. For example, this smart bracelet generates targeted electric stimulation to PC6, which helps reduce hunger and appetite by reducing gastric secretion signals from the brain. Its efficacy is supported by numerous scientific studies from across the world.
Multi-Physiological System | Manufacturer: Inventec Appliances Corp., New Taipei City, Taiwan
This ia a multi-physiological system with an integrated frequently used home medical equipment for blood pressure as well as glucose measurements and ECG monitoring. Users can use the phone app to measure, collect and store data, which will be synced to a cloud service system instantly. The measurement results can also be transferred to doctors for clinical references.
Tympa System | Manufacturer: Tympa Health Technologies Ltd., London, United Kingdom
Tympa System is the world’s first all-in-one hearing health assessment device, designed to make ear healthcare more accessible to communities. The device, a portable smartphone-enabled otoscope used in conjunction with an app, enables both specialist and non-specialist professionals to conduct a full ear examination, hearing test and ear wax removal in one place.
Stellar | Manufacturer: Beijing Jadebird Vision Technology Co., Ltd., Beijing City, China
Stellar are light hybrid-reality glasses with foldable temples for visually impaired people whose corrected visual acuity is below 0.3. These glasses use BirdBath optical modules with a 1920x1080 resolution OLED screen and a 53° field of view with clear and distortion-free imaging.
OMRON Compressor Nebulizer NE-C105 | Manufacturer: OMRON HEALTHCARE Co., Ltd. Kyoto, Japan
The design of this nebulizer perfectly balances the elaborate elements of a asthma patient's medical device and a home appliance. Tubes and switches on the unit are placed in easily accessible positions, and hiding the vent under the surface of the housing makes it easier to clean. The rounded mask is easy to wear in any position, even when sleeping.
UBF BonePods -001 | Manufacturer: Dongguan Urbanfun Tech Co., Ltd., Shenzhen, China
These bone conduction earphones work with innovative technology tackling known issues of, for instance, sound leaking, low bass, limited styles, and discomfort.
Smart Blood Pressure Monitor | Manufacturer: Shenzhen Apeman Innovations Technology Co., Ltd., Guangdong, China
This product is the world's first hand-pillow blood pressure monitor. It solves the problem of inaccurate results caused by psychological factors or measurement posture. The design of the hand pillow not only increases comfort but also positions the hand in the optimal state for accurate measurement. "moonO" exudes warmth and calm.
Novo GO | Manufacturer: Legrand, Limoges, France
This wearable safety device, consisting of a bracelet or necklace and docking station, was designed to connect elderly people with a service center when in need. An emergency call can be made directly from the wearable device from anywhere via a mobile network. The location of the user is sent directly to the service center thanks to the integrated GPS.
DnaBand | Manufacturer: DnaNudge Ltd., London, United Kingdom
This healthcare accessory enables users to make food shopping choices personalized to their own DNA profile. It integrates a rapid, affordable, on-the-spot genetic analysis (NudgeBox) with a product database. This allows a user to scan a barcode with the wristband device (DnaBand) and receive an immediate Green or Red indication as to whether a product is recommended, based on their unique DNA.
Wearable Optical Visual Aid | Manufacturer: Beijing Jadebird Vision Technology Co., Ltd., Beijing City, China
This product is a periscope optical visual aid designed for children with impaired vision. It combines the Kepler optical telescope structure and periscope optical structure, changes the traditional long telescope structure into a lateral structure, and applies Kepler optical high magnification (6 times). The product is light in weight and can be worn for a long time without fatigue.
Island | Manufacturer: Compal Electronics Inc., Taipei City, Taiwan
Island is a smart health device that detects and tracks vitals, including blood pressure, total cholesterol and uric acid, to send up to the cloud for AI analysis so when used appropriately, it can alert a deteriorating patient and his family to prevent any potential mishaps. Specifically made for seniors with no complex setup – simply swipe the display to reveal privacy camera sensors to auto-measure while having a fun chat with family, so tracking and assessments become routine.

Healthcare design is usually associated with images of huge and bulky machines and hospital staff mastering complicated systems of buttons and levers. But there’s another side to designing for medicine and health. At this year’s iF DESIGN AWARD, lots of wearables and items in the category Medicine / Health represent new solutions for home care. Often associated with human-centered design, they focus on helping the person in need – practically and accessible as possible. Designers have understood the shift in preventive health care and management of health. The Coronavirus pandemic pushed this development even further.

Many modern evolutions in medical product design are based on always evolving technology. Wearable devices are among the most significant and trend-setting developments since they focus on convenience and are uncomplicated to use. Just have a look at "Ainos Flora", a portable testing device for vaginal infection, or the home ventilator "LUISA" enabling an active and mobile lifestyle.

Another crucial development is computing and remote home monitoring which allows the cure as well as the preventions of diseases. For instance, the wireless brain and heart monitoring wearable "Seer sense" is designed to help people with epilepsy. "ObeEnd Weight Loss Wristband" is the first of its kind to use smart technology in a bracelet to provide the best possible personal health advice in the fight against rising obesity rates among adults and children worldwide.


Tdot | Manufacturer: KUNYOONG IBC Co., Ltd., Seoul, South Korea
Existing braille keyboards for the visually impaired were heavy and expensive, making them uncomfortable to use. This product combines excellent portability with light weight and reduced width of the keyboard. Made with 12 input keys and 1 jog wheel, it is dedicated to boosting the navigating function that allows users to type faster and more conveniently.
Female Brace | Manufacturer: R&D Surgical Ltd., Cardiff, United Kingdom
Uncomfortable, activity-limiting, and difficult to wear, current devices for people suffering from pectus carinatum are difficult to disguise, driving feelings of isolation and stigmatization. Female Brace, designed specifically for the teenage female form, fits discreetly beneath clothing and uses contemporary materials and mechanisms to create a more comfortable, clinically effective, and discrete solution.
Seer Sense | Manufacturer: Seer Medical, Melbourne, Australia
This revolutionary wireless brain and heart monitoring wearable takes week-long epilepsy diagnostics out of the hospital and into the home. Seer Sense delivers a step change for both patients and doctors. The design hides the complexity of the technology and increases comfort and freedom. At the same time, doctors feel empowered with the data they need to make a conclusive diagnosis.

The many inventive medical devices of this year’s iF DESIGN AWARD cover a broad range of applications. Take, for example, the iF gold award-winning compression frame "Female brace" addressing teenage girls with pectus carinatum. The "Motion Pillow" device for better sleep is filled with air and automatically changes the sleeping position of the head to prevent snoring. And the hybrid-reality glasses "Stellar" are designed for visually impaired people who already dependent on a cane.

All of these state-of-the-art gadgets show what is possible in modern healthcare design and pave the way for many more applications – not only for the masses in general but also for individuals with specific needs – to provide the best care for everybody.


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