A Pill That Won’t Let You Forget To Take It

The Problem

Category: Health

A common issue amongst medical patients with prescribed medications is that they sometimes forget to take their pills or misremember whether they’ve already taken their pill.  This can result in unhealthy medical doses being administered.

 The Tech

Proteus Digital Health has invented a microscopic edible sensor that attaches to pills.  Once the oral pill is swallowed and enters a human’s stomach, it interacts with gastric juices.  This interaction triggers a signal being sent to a wearable patch.

The patch logs the date and time of the signal (which correlates with the digestion of the pill) and some other basic health information that can be transmitted to a mobile device via Bluetooth.

The FDA approved this sensor being attached to Abilify – a long-standing schizophrenia drug – with the new name of Abilify MyCite.  Despite the approval, this new pill is being criticized for its pairing with a drug taken by people already prone to paranoia, hallucinations, delusions, and hearing voices.

abilify_mycite_cycle_11.21.17.png

Article Title: Experts raise eyebrows at digital pill to monitor patients with schizophrenia
Website: Ars Technica
Link: https://arstechnica.com/science/2017/11/experts-raise-eyebrows-at-digital-pill-to-monitor-patients-with-schizophrenia/

 The Stakeholders Using The Tech

Medical patients with schizophrenia

Clinical trial participants

Doctors prescribing the pills

Pharmacists fulfilling prescription orders

Friends/Family/Doctors monitoring a loved one’s health

FDA

App Developers

The First Three Steps

  1. There’s still work left to be done despite expectations of the new pill hitting the market next year.  First, the Abilify MyCite team needs to ease the public’s concerns around the sensor potentially amplifying Abilify patients’ side effects (i.e. hallucinations & delusions).
  2. They should immediately continue conducting testing and gather data that supports the sensor does in fact increase a patients’ likelihood to remain on their prescribed pill-taking schedule.
  3. They should promote their insights to families and doctors of patients with schizophrenia in order to gain public trust and build up demand for the product.

UNI: gm2778


Comment on Compostable Diapers

“It can take 50-150 days for the diapers to break down – that’s a lot of used diapers on hand at any given time.  Furthermore, you need proper ratios of greens (i.e. grass clippings) to browns (i.e. dried leaves) to help compost the diaper.  I’m skeptical that parents will try this if their own baby’s natural browns can’t be composted, as the article suggests (“do not compost poopy disposable inserts”).”

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You Can’t Spell ‘Carbon Nanotube Electricity’ Without ‘Yarn’

The Problem

Category: Energy

Harvesting mechanical energy from a person’s everyday ordinary actions – or nature’s actions – is both expensive and inefficient.  Therefore, significant amounts of energy are wasted.

 The Tech

An international team of researchers have developed a technology called Twistron Harvesters, which is essentially carbon nanotube submerged in ion gel that is weaved into yarn.  A small electric current is generated when the weave is stretched out.  The carbon nanotubes can potentially replace external voltages which were previously used for this type of mechanical energy harvesting.

As seen in the photo below, clothing can have this carbon nanotube tech weaved into the fabric.  Electricity can be simply generated as a person breathes in and out, stretching out the weave.  The tech was also tested in ocean water.  Waves can naturally stretch the harvesters, generating power.

The power generated is still not sufficient for home lighting or EV charging, however scientists are optimistic that improving the tech and dropping carbon nanotube pricing will make this energy generation method a possible power charging option for wearables.

Yarn_Electricity_Shirt

Article Title: Carbon nanotube “yarn” generates electricity when stretched
Website: Ars Technica
Link: https://arstechnica.com/science/2017/08/carbon-nanotube-yarn-generates-electricity-when-stretched/

 The Stakeholders Using The Tech

Clothing Designers

Tech Companies (both wearables and non-wearables)

Consumers

Utilities (for large-scale generation, i.e. waves)

Aquatic authorities

The First Three Steps

  1. From a wearables standpoint, the scientists should seek an ambitious wearable tech partner willing to conduct experiments using the carbon nanotube tech to charge actual wearable tech.
  2. They should then partner with a clothing manufacturer to see if mass-producing textiles with this carbon nanotube tech is feasible.
  3. If so, they should conduct testing on robots and/or humans to see how effectively everyday human mechanical actions generate power.

UNI: gm2778


Comment on Google maps predicts parking difficulty using machine learning

I imagine this application can be extended to other supply/demand service scenarios such as assessing wait times for entering events (i.e. concerts or baseball games) or restaurant seating availability. Certainly, this will lead to less demand for crowded services, and thus an influx of supply! “Nobody goes there anymore – it’s too crowded.”

Self-Assembling Robots May Not Be Such A Tough Pill To Swallow

The Problem

Category: Health/Energy

While robots continue to create efficiencies in workplace environments, robots are still limited by the need for human intervention such as construction, control, and maintenance.

 The Tech

An MIT computer science team has created a concept called Primer that is a robot that can move on its own, change shape, and even add a robotic exoskeleton to itself.  Right now, the robot is activated by human-controlled magnetic fields until it reaches a given platform.  The platform uses heat to activate the exoskeleton that folds up around the cubed robot.

The creators suggest the mini robots will be able to drill, scoop water, shovel, cut, and grab.  Furthermore, they envision the robots being used by medical professionals who give them to patients in pill-form.  Once consumed, the robots may be able to inject medicine or perform biopsies in humans.

robot_primer

Article Title: Tiny, self-assembling bots will create more work for humans
Website: Ars Technica
Link: https://arstechnica.com/science/2017/09/tiny-self-assembling-bots-will-create-more-work-for-humans/

 The Stakeholders Using The Tech

Doctors/Surgeons

Patients

Government health regulatory bodies

Medical Insurers

Primer technicians

Primer data analysts

The First Three Steps

  1. The prototype is still human controlled, so the first step is building a second-generation prototype that is autonomous.
  2. Once the prototype can build itself and move on its own, the scientists will need to perform rigorous testing to ensure the robot can perform the desired functions in a desired time frame.
  3. Once the second-generation prototype actually performs functions in a timely fashion, the scientists may want to test it on a live subject (probably a rat).

UNI: gm2778


Comment on Small, Affordable, Smart Multi-Purpose units

“Pretty snazzy.  Not sure how construction permits/property ownership works in Estonia, but I imagine there would be a lot of red tape around getting this type of home approved in the US (unless you already own the land its being constructed on).  In addition to homes, work, school, I can envision this company getting into the event space (weddings in particular).  Anyway, the design is way nicer than any NYC apartment I’ve seen.  For $150k, it might be time to move to Estonia :).”

Can LG Outperform OG Mosquito Repellents?

The Problem

Category: Health

In urban Indian regions, mosquitoes pose a significant health concern as they carry diseases such as dengue fever, chikungunya virus, and malaria.  People are seeking alternatives to using foul odored, toxic bug sprays.

The Tech

The multinational tech conglomerate LG has developed the “LG K7i: Mosquito Away” smartphone.

LG claims its new phone emits a noiseless, odorless ultrasonic sound wave that repels mosquitoes.  The tech has also appeared in other LG products, such as LG’s air conditioners.

While LG boasts that testing of the ultra sound repellent was successful 72% of the time, there are significant doubts as to the effectiveness of the technology.

Article Title: LG is releasing a mosquito-repellent phone, but it probably won’t work
Website: Ars Technica
Link: https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2017/09/lg-is-releasing-a-mosquito-repellent-phone-but-it-probably-wont-work/

The Stakeholders Using The Tech

LG K7i users
People physically near LG K7i users
LG – testing/selling/monitoring use
Smartphone sale/repair shops

The First Three Steps

Despite the product already being in the market, there is still work to do as there are a lot of critics questioning the effectiveness of the mosquito repellent feature.  LG should: 1) conduct more repellent tests, 2) tweak the ultrasound tech to improve the repellent’s success rate, and 3) publish the results (assuming they’re positive) to instill greater confidence in the repellent.

 

UNI: gm2778


Comment on Smart Recycling Bin

“Neat idea, but I’m curious about actual adoption as trash receptacles are probably already produced really cost efficiently. I’m assuming cameras and lights triple the cost. Perhaps sanitation (or whichever dept. this falls under) could offer subsidies, or rewards to owners if the smart bin improves accurate recycling by an agreed upon percentage.”

Will Drones End Society’s Range Anxiety?

 

The Problem

Category: Energy/Health

An electric vehicle owner in a rural area often fears that his car battery will die before he reaches an electric charging station.  Even urban EV owners fear their batteries will deplete in a major traffic jam.  Stationary charging stations are often expensive to implement and particularly inefficient in rural areas.

 The Tech

Amazon has been granted a patent for a roving drone that can attach to cars and infuse energy.  The article suggests that the car battery could be recharged by the drone either when the car is idle or when it’s in motion.

The roving drone may be manually requested by drivers with low car battery via Alexa, which is already being installed in some Ford models.  Alternatively, the roving drone may be dispatched automatically if a driver is signed up with Amazon Prime or another subscription service.

Furthermore, this patent may open the door for other Amazon deliveries to mobile individuals.

Amazon_EV_Drone_Pic_10.10.17

Article Title: New Amazon Drones Will Charge Your Car While You Drive
Website: Green Tech Media
Link: https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/amazon-ev-drone-charging-while-you-drive

 The Stakeholders Using The Tech

EV owners who subscribe to the service.

All automotive, train, airplane drivers and passengers who share the land/airspace with drones.

Amazon drone dispatchers/analysts.

Government/airspace regulators.

Street/highway patrols in case of accidents.

Highway maintenance crews in case of drone failures.

The First Three Steps

  1. Amazon needs to create a prototype that is light weight (current estimates say these drones will be 1,000lbs) and energy efficient themselves.
  2. Amazon needs to test its proof of concept to confirm that the roving drone can latch onto a moving vehicle under various weather/geographical conditions.
  3. Amazon needs to drum up support to pass legislation that allows Amazon to conduct a small live test.

UNI: gm2778


Comment on The Car as an Ambient Sensing Platform

“Perhaps these car sensors will determine if you’re driving near a notoriously bad driver so that you can be on high alert as you’re passing them or they’re passing you. Perhaps sensors will determine that a nearby driver always brakes late, thus your car warns you to maintain X distance behind. Perhaps sensors will lead to every driver having a visible driving rating that you can see in your windshield. Seems like the possibilities are endless.”

Tattoo Ink Smarter Than You Think

The Problem

Category: Health

The ability to monitor a human’s health conditions in real-time can provide significant benefits to both individuals and organizations.  Wearable technology has led the way in human health monitoring, however that technology is limited because of battery life and the need for digital connectivity.  Furthermore, wearable technology is limited because of the physical detachment between the technology and the human’s body.

The Tech

Harvard and MIT researchers are testing smart tattoo ink that is able to monitor a person’s health conditions and change ink colors as a person’s health changes.

Biosensors are used in the ink.  As the ink lives within tissue cells, they can monitor blood levels and a person’s pH, glucose, and sodium.   The ink changes color – sometimes under a blue light – as a person’s health changes.

The potential applications are powerful.  Athletes to astronauts could learn when they’re dehydrated.  Diabetics can keep tabs on their blood sugar levels.  And doctors could potentially use temporary tattoos to monitor a patient’s health.

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Article Title: Feeling woozy?  Time to check the tattoo
Website: Harvard Gazette
Link: https://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2017/09/harvard-researchers-help-develop-smart-tattoos/

The Stakeholders Using The Tech

Any human can potentially wear the tattoo ink

Farmers could also tattoo animals [another application of the tech not mentioned in the article]

Doctors could use the tech to monitor patients

Humans with known conditions (ex: diabetics)

Tattoo artists would need to learn how to apply the ink

App developers could create apps that read ink colors and provide more detailed monitoring

The First Three Steps

1. The ink is still being tested on pig skin.  These tests must continue to confirm that the ink colors accurately reflect health conditions and that there are only tolerable side effects (hopefully none).

2.  Assuming pig skin tests are successful, human testing would need to be conducted next.

3.  The creators need to conduct market research on the demand for smart tattoo ink.  Will all tattoo wearers be interested?  Will only medical professionals be interested?  And how much is one willing to pay for smart ink?  The same price as a normal tattoo?  Perhaps a premium?  And, the creators need to determine how the smart ink will be supplied.  Will it only be supplied to doctors’ offices/hospitals?  Will all tattoo artists be allowed to apply the ink?

UNI: gm2778


Comment on Kelp as a Fiber

“Definitely a concept worth exploring for the fashion industry. I’m wondering if there are health risks if kelp is rapidly farmed via genetic modification. That might create two markets – GMO vs non GMO kelp products. Also, the article didn’t mention the cost of kelp, so I’m curious if it’s cost competitive with petroleum-based fibers.”

Crop Analysis Made Easier With Swinging Robots

The Problem

Category: Health/Energy

As the population continues to grow, so too does the need for larger farm production.  Larger farm production requires constant monitoring to alert the farmers when to take actions with their crops.  Humans who manually monitor crops are both inefficient and incidentally destroy land/crops.  Robotic ground monitoring technology still cannot easily overcome simple obstacles such as mud or rocks, and monitoring flying drones are not energy efficient.

The Tech

Tarzan is a chimp-like robot, created by the Georgia Institute of Technology, that can swing across a wire.

Tarzan’s creators envision farms with wires hanging above the rows of crops.  Tarzan would swing up and down the wires, monitoring the health of each crop in real-time.  Tarzan could then send back images and advanced analysis to a farmer’s computer to identify when a plant needs more water, fertilizer, or other treatment.

Tarzan’s creators want to build a solar-powered version that could allow Tarzan to live amongst crops for months at a time.

Tarzan robot can swing around on overhead wires

Article Title: Tarzan-inspired Robot Swings Like A Champion
Website: Discover Magazine
Link: http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/d-brief/2017/04/13/swinging-robot/#.WcxfKsh96Ul

The Stakeholders Using The Tech

Farmers

Growers

Plowmen

Farm suppliers

Crop transporters

The First Three Steps

1. The first step remains completing the build of a Tarzan that can efficiently swing to and from multiple wires, that is weather-resistant, that can successfully transmit photos/information to a computer, and that is cost-effective.

2. The creators need to test the prototype, whether on a simulated farm or partner with a farmer willing to build the overhead wiring system.

3. The creators need to collect data from the tests, make modifications to the robot, probably run some more tests, and ultimately attempt to assess whether Tarzan is more valuable than alternative solutions.  Then they can consider marketing the robot.

UNI: gm2778


Comment on FitBit for Cows! Agtech that can save society Billions

“Also noteworthy is that this tech lowers the farming entry barrier. Sure there’s an upfront investment in the tech itself. However, now a farmer doesn’t need a strong agricultural background as they just have to interpret the data collected by the smartmoo. I imagine the smartmoo will even cut out the need for manual analysis and just present the farmer with action items.”