Health Goes Digital


Though far from a techie, I love hanging out with them. So, I am delighted in my fix this year at the Consumer Electronic Show (CES) in Las Vegas.

At the dazzling show filled with USBs, monitors and appliances, my eye goes to the super- useful bauble. There were plenty. A plant-based screen cleaner, called WHOOSH? Love it. The flame-free cooking system called Master Cook? Useful from campers to all of my friends who could have used it during Hurricane Sandy! Attention-getting was a new stimulating skin care regimen from Foreo. But it was almost impossible to stay away from the brightest ball of fire, the Digital Health Summit conference and exhibition section. Both a conference and a showcase, this brought together inventive digital solutions segueing into the health sector and there are plenty of must haves for buyers in health food stores, as they look to the desires of the wired consumer. This is a whole new category, beyond the vitamins and the enhancers. There's no doubt about it, health goes digital.   

For compulsive eaters there’s help on the way. A $100 fork or spoon that starts to shake, rattle and beep when chewing too fast. This idea comes from HAPILabs. The scale folk, Tanita has a new product, IronKids Wireless Body Fat Monitor. Aimed at our growing childhood obesity problem, this protects the child from the often humiliating experience of getting on a scale after their bone-thin classmate.

I used to kid about getting the Google chip. The big news is that I don’t have to wait. I saw it at TheMuse. Wearing a headbad wired with  EEG technology, I could see my brain waves on one screen  and on the other, could manipulate animations based on thought control. They call it Applied Mind Science. Implications? Increase concentration, reduce stress, anxiety and presumable depression.  Turns out it’s something called a ‘brain fitness app,’ and blue tooth enabled.This is exactly the kind of app we’re going to be seeing more of, from phones to help you deal with memory and hearing loss, as with Serene Innovations, to a compelling new devise called Lapka. 

While Lapka looks like a beautifully designed rubric cube, it is actually a personal environment sensor device. Think easy carbon monoxide detector or detect the pesticides in your salad.

Listen up aging heavy metal fans who listened too hard and too much: hearing well is a top trend.  I saw a plethora of aides driving home the message that hearing loss needs to be taken seriously at the first signs. Incipio and VitaSound are among the best in class.VitaSound is almost like 3D for your ears. It suppresses the ambient, background sound and amplifies the sound you want to hear that is closer. It was developed for those aging rockers who are starting to say, "Eh?"  With an increase in dementia there is also a new generation of memory aides. I have my eye on one for my somewhat forgetful parents. This is a phone that reminds you who that voice is on the other end of the phone. If they could only invent something like that for meet and greets.

After three days on the job, the message of electronics for 2013 seemed clear. Stay simple, connected, responsible and healthy.   


Nancy Trent is a writer and speaker, a lifelong health advocate, a globe-trotting trend watcher and the founder and president of Trent & Company, a New York-based marketing communications firm.  Trent & Company grew out of Nancy’s personal commitment to helping people live longer and healthier lives.  A former journalist for New York magazine, Nancy has written seven books on healthy lifestyles, serves on the editorial boards of several magazines and travels around the world speaking at conferences and trade shows on trends in the marketplace. She is a recognized expert in PR with more than 30 years of experience creating and managing highly successful campaigns. Nancy can be reached at (212) 966-0024 or through e-mail at  You may also visit

Posted on WholeFoods Magazine Online, 1/30/12


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