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The most important health devices to know about from CES 2020

Non-invasive blood sugar monitoring, AI and fertility were all big topics at the show.

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The Neofect Smart Balance aims to make leg rehabilitation fun and engaging.

Angela Lang/CNET
This story is part of CES 2020, our complete coverage of the showroom floor and the hottest new tech gadgets around.

Health tech always has a big presence at CES, and that's no different in 2020. This year's CES show brings more health and wellness tech products, with new devices promising easier, more accessible and accurate care at home.

While CES 2019 was all about sleep, robots, and wearables -- this year brought new intriguing (sometimes weird) products that confirm that tech will continue to change the healthcare experience at the doctor's office and at home. Increasingly at-home diagnostic testing and examination devices (like Tytocare and the MedWand) replace the need for a doctor to examine you IRL, at least for at-home acute care situations. 

Fertility tech and sex tech products are an even bigger part of the show (and actually visible). Previously, sex tech was hidden in back room meetings and not placed on the show floor with other products -- this is the first year sex tech was officially part of the show.

Keep reading to check out the best of the health tech products that intrigued us this year.

Non-invasive blood glucose monitoring

Monitoring blood sugar usually means pricking your finger to get a drop of blood and endless (often pricey) paper strips. Now, tech companies are working on non-invasive ways to measure blood sugar. 

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The Glutrac is a blood sugar wearable that tests glucose levels without blood.

Angela Lang/CNET

Without a blood sample, these new technologies are using artificial intelligence to essentially estimate someone's blood glucose levels. This technology is still in its early stages, but we could reasonably expect to see more of this at CES 2021.

Glutrac is a smartwatch that purports to measure blood sugar levels in your body. The watch was built by Hong Kong-based Add Care, and collects various vital signs, including heart rate, and then uses an AI algorithm to calculate blood glucose. Sensors on the back of the watch can record health data automatically every 15 minutes, and there is a finger sensor next to the watch face where you can take on-demand readings. The whole process takes about one minute to measure, analyze in the cloud and deliver measurements.

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Kyocera's prototype Carbohydrate Monitoring System.

Sarah Mitroff/CNET

Japanese company Kyocera is working on similar technology as Add Care. The company admits that it's not quite ready to measure blood sugar, so it's focusing on estimating carbohydrate metabolism. It's working Carbohydrate Monitor prototype measures carbohydrate levels in your blood by measuring pulse-wave patterns from a user's heartbeat. 

The device is designed for those who are prediabetic and don't want or need a finger prick blood test -- not someone who is already diabetic and needs precise blood sugar readings. It's expected to hit the Japan market this year, but it's TBD on whether it will reach the US since the tech is in early stages.

At-home fertility testing

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The YO home sperm test comes with an analysis kit and an app that allows you to check your sperm count and motility.

CNET

Long gone are the days of waiting for a doctor to tell you about your fertility. Now, you can test from the comfort of your own home with innovative tech that makes testing more accurate (and private) than before. Tracking your cycle and ovulation is one way to keep tabs on your health, but femtech companies like Proov are making this task even more precise and accurate (and educating consumers about their own health along the way). 

Proov is the first at-home progesterone test kit that uses a urine test to check for high or low progesterone levels. According to Proov, problems with ovulation and low progesterone levels are the leading cause of infertility. Previously, LH strips were the standard tool women had to test for ovulation at home (besides temperature tracking, which is finicky). 

Progesterone testing is more accurate since LH and temperatures are only a clue to ovulation, where if progesterone is present, it's more likely to predict an accurate ovulation. Proov plans to release an app soon to make the testing experience more seamless and tell people more about their hormones. 

YO Sperm Test is an at-home testing kit that allows you to sample and analyze your sperm at home. The test comes with an analysis kit that can tell you about your sperm count and motility (and even view your actual sperm in a video on the app).

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The Neofect Smart Balance aims to make leg rehabilitation fun and engaging.

Angela Lang/CNET

Artificial intelligence in medicine

Hate going to the doctor's office? Health tech devices are utilizing artificial intelligence to mimic having a doctor at home. Smart devices and apps us AI algorithms to measure vital signs and make other predictions about your health. Some devices even allow a real doctor to examine you remotely. 

  • The MedWand is a small tool that has 10 different medical diagnostic functions that allow your doctor to examine you remotely. The device includes attachments for the heart, lungs, blood oxygen level, nose/throat/mouth and more.
  • Heart Hero is a small, portable atrial defibrillator (AED) that can be used at home for sudden cardiac events. It uses AI technology to alert emergency services and detects heart rhythm to deem if shock if needed to save a life.
  • Bisu is a smart urine test that tells you about your body and gives you advice. The at-home urine test can tell you about your hydration levels, electrolytes, dietary acid load (through pH levels) and ketones. The device is expected to retail for $100, with a $20 per month subscription, according to the website.
  • Withing's latest smartwatch, the ScanWatch, has a one-lead electrocardiogram for checking for arrhythmia, measures blood oxygen levels and can continuously monitor for possible atrial fibrillation. It will also be able to check for sleep apnea.
  • Mateo is a smart bathroom mat that tracks your weight, body composition and even posture. It works similarly to a scale, but it sends your information to your phone to read.

Dance rehab device for stroke survivors

Physical therapy sessions are notorious for being boring and hard to keep up with. Enter the gamification of physical therapy with tech, like the Neofect Smart Balance. The device is a "Dance-Dance Revolution" like device that can help people recovering from stroke rehab their legs and cognitive function.

The device is not available for consumers to buy out right -- it's meant to be used at clinics or temporarily at someone's home. The Neofect Smart Balance tracks and analyzes motions and provides advice when it detects an imbalance. The device can also share reports with physical therapists who can help adjust the device as needed.

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The Monit smart diaper sensor attaches to the outside of a baby's (or adult's) diaper.

Monit

Elder care

A challenge with senior care is often having someone available to monitor their health around the clock. Now this task (which is often not possible at home for many) is even easier thanks to tech innovations that keep tabs on seniors at home. Think devices like a wearable that helps with pain, monitor changes in routine, movement, or falls. 

  • Sana Health is a neuromodulation wearable that uses pulsed light and sound to reduce or eliminate persistent chronic severe pain. For people with fibromyalgia, Sana reduced symptoms from severe to mild in two weeks.
  • The Wave is a wearable by Embr Labs, the first thermal wellness technology company. The Wave is an intelligent bracelet that helps you feel colder or warmer by 5ºF.
  • MouthLab is a non-invasive, hand-held, 'Rapid Health Assessment' device that is designed to be used at home from Aidar Health.
  • Monit is a smart diaper monitor that debuted at CES 2019 for babies, and it's now being used for aging adults.
  • CarePredict is a wearable that monitors seniors movements -- sleep, moving from room to room, eating, and more. The idea is that when a senior's routine starts to change, that can be an indicator of health issues.
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The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.