Posted: 26 Jan. 2023 6 min. read

CES demonstrates Future of Health may be ahead of schedule

By Neal Batra, principal, and Andy Davis, principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP

This year’s annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas was robust, interesting, and a bit chaotic (but in a good way). Once again, the two of us kicked off the new year by strolling up and down the bustling aisles of the vast CES exhibit hall. Last year, a little more than 100 vendors were there displaying their health devices, according to the Consumer Technology Association (CTA). This year’s event was 70% larger, according to CTA. (You can walk the exhibit hall with us by clicking here, On the ground at CES 2023.)

Just a few years ago, most devices on display collected relatively basic health data (see Your Toothbrush has Some Important News!). This year, we noticed that many companies had combined sophisticated analytics with better sensors to provide more meaningful insights. Some companies are gathering data in entirely new ways. We saw devices that can collect health data through a person’s ears, fingernails, and breath. Opteev Technology’s ViraWarn can detect COVID-19, influenza, and RSV in less than 60 seconds by analyzing a person’s breath, according to the Baltimore-based company. Not every device needs to have direct contact with the user. So-called ‘nearable’ devices can pull health data from video or digital image. At last year’s CES, Mitsubishi Electric Corporation introduced its HealthCam prototype. The device combines facial recognition software with thermal detection technology to measure body temperature, respiration rate, blood oxygenation levels, heart rate, and other vitals. It can also detect health emergencies such as sudden falls and abnormal breathing. Imagine sitting in a waiting room and not having to take your vitals before you see the doctor because this device does it automatically while you’re waiting.

Here are a few consumer-centric devices that caught our eye:

  • Smart toilets are here: Our 2019 Future of Health paper imagined a home bathroom of the future where a smart toilet uses always-on sensors to test for nitrites, glucose, protein, and pH to detect infections, disease, even pregnancy. This year, we saw at least three variations of a smart toilet. One of those products was the U-Scan device from Withings that hangs inside of the bowl. The French company says its device (it resembles an oversized toilet-bowl disinfecting tablet) provides an immediate snapshot of the body’s balance and sends the data to the user’s smartphone. The data is similar to information generated by a urinalysis preformed at a doctor’s office. The device, which is not yet available for sale in the US pending regulatory approval, is equipped with an interchangeable analysis cartridge that is replaced every three months.
  • Brain scans could detect cognitive decline: The iSyncWave headset from South Korea-based IMediSync Inc., looks like a cross between a shiny white ski helmet and a Rubix cube. The wireless device measures wearer’s brainwaves and uses artificial intelligence (AI) to compare those brainwaves to scans of people who have, or do not have, cognitive issues such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. It can also determine the effectiveness of therapies to treat those conditions. The company says the analysis takes just 10 minutes. The device is currently being used in some hospitals and care facilities in South Korea, a representative from the company told us.
  • Videos can be used for no-contact health assessments: “Take a selfie, know your healthie” is the tagline for NuraLogix’s health and wellness app. The Amira app can measure more than 30 health and wellness statistics from a 30-second digital video, according to the company. The Canadian start-up says its Transdermal Optical Imaging is able to measure blood flow in a person’s face. The contactless blood pressure measurements are nearly as accurate as traditional blood-pressure cuffs, NuraLogix says. Machine-learning-based models could also be used by individuals to predict their risk of certain diseases including Type 2 diabetes and hypertension.
  • Earbuds can play music beats, monitor heartbeats: Wireless headphones from Cambridge, Mass.-based MindMics can play music and measure the wearer’s heartbeat with nearly the same accuracy as an electrocardiogram, according to the company. MindMics says its device uses sound, rather than light technology, to detect precise bio-signals regardless of skin tone.

We have entered the next wave in the Future of Health

Deloitte’s vision for the Future of Health is made up of four distinct industry innovation waves. In the first wave, stakeholders (e.g., health systems, health plans, biopharma companies, device manufacturers, and regulators) all operate in well-established legacy silos. The primary focus of this Legacy Health Ecosystem is treating sickness.

The exhibit hall confirmed that the health sector has entered the second industry innovation wave—Industry Fragmentation. This phase is defined by an explosion of health data and analytics. Three key factors define this wave:

1. Devices access new data-collection points: Smart watches, fitness bands, and other wearable devices typically gather data from direct contact with person’s wrists, fingers, or chest. As sensors become more sophisticated, the number of data entry points expands.

2. Most data is still confined to silos: We refer to the proliferation of new digital health devices as mass fragmentation. While we saw hundreds of information-gathering devices, data formats have not yet been standardized and information generally isn’t sharable between other connected devices. The magic is really going to happen once digital health devices become interoperable.

3. Health equity is no-longer an after-thought: This year’s CES included many sessions devoted to the use of technology for reducing health disparities. While consumer-focused technology could help improve access and make health more equitable, it also has the potential to widen the socio-economic chasm. Someone who cannot afford the latest smartphone, for example, will not have access to the best phone camera, which could provide clinicians with the most detailed digital images. Many of the products displayed at CES were aimed at consumers, but some were developed for clinicians, health systems, and businesses. A remote stethoscope from Bongiovi, for example, can connect clinicians to patients in underserved communities.

Once the health sector moves through the industry fragmentation wave, we expect to enter a wave of Industry Re-Assembly. During this period, traditional business models are likely to be redefined, data will become interoperable, and key players will converge. The final wave of industry innovation is the Age of Biology and Beyond where networks and ecosystems become highly sophisticated. Once we reach this wave, most of the value in the health system will be generated by helping people maintain their health and well-being, rather than from treating illnesses. The pace toward the Future of Health continues to accelerate and we are anxious to walk the CES exhibit hall again next year to see how far we have progressed along this journey.

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Neal Batra

Neal Batra

Principal | Deloitte Consulting LLP

Neal is a principal in Deloitte’s Life Sciences and Health Care industry and heads Deloitte’s market-leading Future of Health™ practice, which focuses on business model and operating model innovation, re-design, and transformation. Neal’s work puts into practice the award-winning ideas that anchor the bold and visionary Future of Health point-of-view that he co-authored in 2018. Neal has more than 20 years of experience advising health organizations on critical strategic challenges, serving clients across the ecosystem, including biotech, medtech, health insurers, hospitals, and health retailers. He is also the Lead Alliance partner for Deloitte’s global relationship with the world-class, Israel-based hospital Sheba Tel Hashomer, a partnership focusing on helping provider systems and governments replicate the success of Sheba’s Tel Aviv-based health innovation ecosystem. Neal lives in New York City and holds an MBA from London Business School and a BBA from the College of William and Mary.

Andy Davis, FSA, MAAA

Andy Davis, FSA, MAAA


Andy Davis is a principal for Deloitte Consulting LLP’s Health Care practice, with over 15 years of experience as a leader in our health actuarial practice, driving change across the ecosystem with payers, providers, and life sciences companies. He is known for bringing an understanding of how to quantify the economic value of services to members, patients, and customers, which spans payers, providers, PBMs, large pharmaceutical manufacturers, medtech, and diagnostics companies.