Columbus, OH— For 2017, our team focused one of our Digital Trends on the evolving wearables market. Here’s a quick refresher on what we said:


More Than Measure:

Remember that wearable that would count your steps? Or that medical device that might remind you to take a treatment? That was just the beginning. In 2017 some of our favorites technologies are being unleashed! They’re making decisions on their own and automatically initiating support, help, and even medication. Using a series of rules-based auto-actions, these new tools are set to improve lives, safety, and, of course, keep us all better connected.

With that in mind, several innovative new devices have made headlines recently. From high-tech bracelets that miraculously frustrate disease symptoms to new interfaces poised to revolutionize the diabetes pump space, 2017 is proving to be a year of serious developments in wearable tech.

Thwarting Tremors: the Emma Watch

Haiyan Zhang, Microsoft Research’s Innovation Director worked directly with Parkinson’s patients to develop a new wrist wearable affectionately called Emma. It made headlines by allowing its namesake, a graphic designer, to draw and write again. Basically, Emma uses tiny vibrating motors, much like those used in cell phones, to short-circuit the defective signals between the brain and hand that lead to tremors. In a powerful BBC spot, real-life Emma was brought to tears when she first tried it on. “I’ve actually written my name for the first time in what feels like ages… It makes me forget that I have a tremor.” Find out more here.

Insulin Info at Your Fingertips: the Omnipod Dash

The Omnipod, Insulet’s tubeless, disposable insulin pump, has been garnering attention and praise from patients for years, but soon a next-gen digital interface called the Dash is set to revolutionize the way that Podders interact with their pumps. The new device looks like a smartphone, with a large touchscreen and interactive apps, but its designed to wirelessly control and track the next-gen Omnipod. When used together, patients will be able to easily track their dosing, constant-glucose-monitoring data, and glycemic trends in one intuitive interface. Plus the Omnipod itself is water and sweat resistant, so showers, swimming, and sports are more accessible than ever for diabetics.

Why This Matters—

These are just a couple examples of the countless new devices that have made their mark on 2017, but both stand out in their user-centered design. They’re approaching challenging diseases from new angles to impact patients’ everyday lives. With such important new products being invented, healthcare marketers must step up their game to ensure these make it into the right patients’ hands as quickly as possible.

About the Author:

Drew Beck has spent his entire career in healthcare — from direct patient care as an EMT in college to countless roles in pharma sales and global marketing for leading life science companies including Eli Lilly & Co. and GlaxoSmithKline. He is currently a leader on the Syneos Health Insights & Innovation team, a group charged with leveraging deep expertise in virtual collaboration, behavioral science, trends-based-innovation, custom research and global marketing insights.