Microsoft, Digital Health Summit Laud Body Sensors, Bionic Hands

By Brian T. Horowitz  |  Posted 2011-01-18 Print this article Print

title=Smart Pills, Robotic Limbs Take a Bow} 


A maker of wireless diagnostic body sensors, PhiloMetron demonstrated its Calorie Monitoring Patch, resembling a flat saucer of foam, at the Digital Health Summit.

"The first incarnation of this body sensor is going to deal with one of the country's biggest issues, which is obesity," Gilbert said.

Although details were scarce on PhiloMetron's Website, the device, made of sensors, electrodes and accelerometers, sends your calorie data by Bluetooth to your smartphone, where the company's mobile app compiles the data and makes health recommendations, Technology Review has reported.

With heart sensors similar to this wireless calorie monitor now on the market, Gilbert expects to see expansion in this category.

Proteus Biomedical

It may seem more like the year 3011 rather than even 2011 when a company embeds sensors the size of a grain of sand inside pills, but that's exactly what Proteus Biomedical does.

The so-called smart pill could be on the market within two years, reports AOL Health.

The pill incorporates ingestible event markers powered by the fluids in your stomach. After ingestion, the pill could send a notification to your cell phone from inside your stomach to document when the pill was taken-something that's an opportunity for many people to lie about, according to Gilbert. "There's no lying in this, there's no way to trick anyone-it's just an unbelievable development in health," Gilbert said.

"If anything takes the challenge of medication management away, this was one of them," she added.


This company makes robotic limbs that are more lifelike than other robotic-looking prosthetics, Gilbert noted.

RSLSteeper's Bebionic prosthetic limbs use myoelectric technology to generate electricity from muscle fibers. A cosmetic, high-definition cover fits over the limb to make it appear lifelike, according to the firm.

In addition, RSLSteeper's Bebalance software allows clinicians to customize the prosthetic device, including the robotic hand's grip speed and range.

The limbs are also more responsive to muscle movements than similar products, according to Gilbert.

"They have smarter software and are utilizing wireless technology to make it a better experience for those people who have to use these types of prosthetics," she said. "They're doing amazing things, and it's being utilized now."


Brian T. Horowitz is a freelance technology and health writer as well as a copy editor. Brian has worked on the tech beat since 1996 and covered health care IT and rugged mobile computing for eWEEK since 2010. He has contributed to more than 20 publications, including Computer Shopper, Fast Company,, More, NYSE Magazine, Parents,, USA Weekend and, as well as other consumer and trade publications. Brian holds a B.A. from Hofstra University in New York.

Follow him on Twitter: @bthorowitz


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