Health and Wellbeing
Taking time out of your day to make an appointment and see an optometrist isn't always that agreeable, and that's before they blow those little puffs of air onto your eyeballs. But one Chicago-based startup has visions of making eye examinations a lot more accessible. Since 2012, Opternative has been developing an online eye tester that lets users obtain prescriptions for glasses and contacts from the comfort of the home or office. And now with clinical trial success under its belt, it's rolling the service out to the public.
Enjoying the health benefits of a back-breaking workout without actually working out sure is a tantalizing prospect. This goes a long way to explaining the torrent of exercise equipment that promises to do more for our figures with less of our sweat and tears, and recently, the development of drugs that could imitate the beneficial effects of exercise. The latest advance in this area is the development of a molecule that mimics the effects of exercise by influencing the metabolic process, giving it the potential to treat type 2 diabetes and obesity.
While some people take off-the-shelf supplements, others use products
that are formulated to their own unique nutritional needs. According to
the folks at Boston-based startup FitNatic, however, that's still not
specific enough. Their Nourish device keeps track of its user's states
of health and fitness, then serves up nutritional supplements that are
custom-blended on a daily basis.
While our awareness that potentially harmful chemicals lurk unseen in our environment may have grown, most of us still have no idea these substances might be or whether we are exposed to them. A bracelet called MyExposome is designed to answer that question by helping determine exactly which chemicals we’re exposed to during everyday life.
If you or someone you know has celiac disease, then you'll know how much
it can limit one's diet. Because people with the autoimmune condition
have a negative reaction to the gluten in grains such as wheat, rye or
barley, that means they can't consume many baked goods, pastas, liquors,
or any number of processed foods that use wheat as a binding agent.
Soon, however, they may be able to eat whatever they want – if they take
a new egg-based supplement first.
One of the problems with depression is that because it often forms so
gradually, many people don't even realize that they're suffering from it
– they just assume that normal life is pretty dreary. With that in
mind, researchers from Chicago's Northwestern University have devised a
method of analyzing at-risk individuals' smartphone use, to see if
they're developing signs of the disorder.
Difficulties in testing for THC mean that curbing cannabis use amongst drivers hasn't been all that straightforward. Though marijuana use can be detected in the saliva for up to 24 hours after use, it can show up in blood and urine samples for anywhere up to a month. Existing methods like blood and urine samples therefore make it hard to determine whether a driver is actually impaired at the time that they jump behind the wheel. But companies like Canada's Cannabix are working on portable breathalyzers designed to test exclusively for recent use of the drug, a solution that could be of great assistance to law enforcement personnel in keeping impaired drivers off the road.
For Colombian designer Carlos Torres, how to best tackle the low self-esteem and social isolation felt by child amputees is about more than finding the the most advanced prosthetic money can buy. His IKO Creative Prosthetic System is aimed at unleashing the creative expression of those with missing limbs, and to do so he's enlisting every child's favorite building blocks. The result is an artificial limb where kids can swap robotic grippers for laser-shooting spaceships whenever the opportunity arises.
We've seen various stair-climbing wheelchairs over the years, including the iBot, the Chiba and, most recently, the Scalevo. All those designs kept the "wheel" in the chair, but a new design from Hong Kong relies on a set of robotic "pedrails" that look almost like skinny tank tracks. These articulated pedrails allow the electric B-Free Chair to grip the staircase firmly as it navigates up or down.
According to the Center for Disease Control, breast milk will stay good for around 6 hours at room temperature, five days in the fridge and two weeks or more in the freezer. That might sound pretty straight forward, but when you're dealing with the stresses of raising a child, it can be difficult to keep track. Mommy's Watches is a new device that attaches to breast milk bottles, and is designed to help mothers, fathers and other care givers assess whether milk is still safe to use.