Health tech not only offers cues for better living but simplifies common tasks and makes them safer. When done right, it makes us feel like we're getting better care. Here are nine of our favorite gizmos geared toward making us feel better and live longer.
Vitality Glowcaps
Vitality's GlowCaps will nag you to take your pills by glowing, chirping, texting, or even calling you if you neglect its more gentle reminders. This Internet-connected smart bottle topper fits over a standard prescription bottle and connects to Vitality's secure network wirelessly. It glows and chirps when it's time to take your medicine, growing more insistent when ignored, culminating in an automated phone call from the company. While it can't yet sense if you take a pill once you open the bottle, it can sense if you open it. It dutifully sends daily updates to Vitality, which uses the information to send across weekly and monthly reports on your progress. Talk about devotion in a bottle cap.
The Autom™ weight loss coach
If you find it hard to stick to your weight loss goals, then Autom™, the personal robotic coach from Intuitive Automata, will help you stay on track. She attentively listens to the progress you've made with your daily diet and exercise plan when you chat with her and keeps track of what works. The more she learns about you, the more she adapts to your needs and daily activities. Always ready with an encouraging word, accurate feedback, and uplifting advice, the Autom™ is designed to be a die-hard dieting partner who will unflaggingly coach you to be your slimmest self.
I-dration Intelligent Bottle
Forget to drink when you run? Let your water bottle remind you. Equipped with sensors that detect external temperatures, drinking frequency, and quantity, the I-dration bottle updates your smartphone when you are out jogging. Sensors in the phone measure how fast and how hard you are running with a heart rate chest-band and plugs in data from the bottle to calculate your body's hydration levels. Bottle and phone continue to chat with each other, letting you know from time to time when to drink again (the bottle flashes blue) freeing you forever more from the perils of dehydration.
Engage™ Intelligent Keyboard
Developed by Smartfish in collaboration with the Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) in New York, the Engage™ Keyboard is smart enough to monitor your typing frequency and change its own position periodically to minimize the risks of Repetitive Stress Injury (RSI). This caring keyboard figures out when you need a little correction in posture and re-adjusts itself discreetly to change your wrist and hand positions as you type.
Gruve Personal Activity Monitor
Created by Muve, the Gruve is a nifty little gadget that'll goad you into exercising by buzzing if you've been still too long. It tracks every calorie you burn when you walk, do your chores, or shop for groceries and helps you meet your calorie burn goal for the day with a little light bar that flashes green to indicate success. Starting the day in the red, the Gruve measures all your everyday non-exercise movements, calculates the calories burned, and urges you to meet your goals by flashing through various colors that signal your closeness to your goal. Sit still for too long and the devices vibrates like a cell phone to let you know it's time to move. Remember those trainers that used to cry "Get up and get going"? That's the electronic soul of Gruve.
Fitrainer Heart Rate Sensor
Itami's Fitrainer is virtual electronic coach shaped like a headset that contains an inbuilt heart rate sensor to help you get the maximum benefit from your workout. It determines your target heart rate for a trio of exercises -- aerobics, jogging and walking -- and prompts you to either pick up the pace or slow down, through pre-recorded one-liners and music. This electronic coach literally sits on your head, and listens to your heartbeat, to ensure that your workout routine is neither too light or too hard. Sounds like the right kind of help to stay in the "zone."
Polar FT80 Heart Rate Monitor
Cleverly disguised as a fitness watch, the Polar FT80 is an advanced heart rate monitor that embodies dedication. Seems like there isn't much this device doesn't do, since it checks on you, adapts to your workout habits, and gives you weekly training targets. It's the kind of device that gets serious athletes panting and looks classy even when you transition from running track to snazzy bar.
QuitKey Smoking Cessation Device
The Quitkey is a handheld computer that aims to help you toward a smoke-free life by creating a personalized quitting plan based on your smoking habits. It familiarizes itself with your smoking routine for the first week (press a button every time you smoke) and helps you quit from the second week onward with a gradual cigarette reduction program spanning several weeks. It beeps to let you know when to take a cigarette every day, gradually reducing the frequency of your cigarette consumption until you are totally weaned off them. It's the only intelligent anti-smoking guru we've seen that also fits on the end of a key chain.
Sleepkey
Another offering from LifeSignUSA, the Sleepkey is designed to help insomniacs regain a natural sleeping rhythm. The device studies your sleep patterns for a week; it checks to see whether you are asleep by noting your response to a low tone or vibration. From the second week onward, the gadget acts as your own personal night angel, scheduling bed times for you every night until, hopefully, your normal sleep patterns are restored. If you're wide awake going crazy counting sheep in bed, this conscientious device prompts you to get out of it too. Not bad for a night angel.

Intelligent Devices That Care [Slideshow]

Health tech not only offers cues for better living but simplifies common tasks and makes them safer. When done right, it makes us feel like we're getting better care. Here are nine of our favorite gizmos geared toward making us feel better and live longer.

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