6 next-gen healthcare innovations designed to boost your mind, body, and soul
From a scanner you can use at home to get personalized skin advice to a baby gadget that delivers peace of mind come sleep time, these and other cutting-edge devices are making their debut at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week.
We’re just a few days into 2018, but Johnson & Johnson is already hitting the ground running.
This week, the company is showcasing a host of cutting-edge technologies at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas—new products that strive to address nearly every key aspect of well-being, from a contact lens designed to adapt to an individual’s environment to a digital sleep coach that can help improve infant slumber.
The overall goal? To improve the lives of people worldwide through healthcare innovation—continuing a legacy that started over 130 years ago, when the company first invented mass-produced sterile sutures and commercial first aid kits.
“We’re transforming healthcare from an industry focused on caring for the sick to one also inspired by keeping people well,” explains Sandi Peterson, Group Worldwide Chair, Johnson & Johnson. “Whether it’s through medical devices, consumer products or pharmaceuticals, Johnson & Johnson is harnessing technology and creating forward-thinking innovations that leverage our expertise in behavioral science and design thinking to deliver personalized solutions to people around the world.”
Here’s a sneak preview of some of the exciting healthcare technology advances that Johnson & Johnson teams are working on this year—services that promise to help transform your mind, body and soul in the year to come.
Innovations to help ease the minds of new parents
Since 1997, BabyCenter®, part of the Johnson & Johnson family of companies, has connected 450 million parents and parents-to-be with an online community, digital tools and research-backed information on, well, anything they might be curious (or desperate!) to know: Is my baby too hungry? Not hungry enough?
Now BabyCenter has a new way to support moms and dads on their exciting journey as parents: Parentype—a digital quiz that helps new and expecting parents assess how they’re doing on several measures of parental well-being.
How it works: Parents answer questions about their well-being and attitude toward parenthood, including their stress levels and confidence in parenting. At the end of the quiz, they receive a score in six areas—well-being, adaptiveness, parenting identity, resilience, sense of ease and confidence in knowing their child—along with customized resources to help address areas of concern. If a father expresses worry that he isn’t connecting with his infant, for instance, the assessment might suggest specific tips on how he can bond with his newborn.
“From years of research, we know that everyone handles being a parent differently, and what is easy for one parent might be difficult for another,” says Colleen Hancock, BabyCenter COO. “It’s our mission to help parents be healthy and confident. And by knowing what kind of parent they are, and helping them understand their strengths and overcome challenges, we can do that even better now.”
As a new parent myself, I know how much sleeplessness chips away at the family’s well-being, and your ability to feel great about parenting. We work with pediatric sleep experts to come up with a customized plan for getting your baby to sleep.
Speaking of parenting challenges, you’d be hard-pressed to find a new mom or dad who hasn’t pondered this question: How do I get my baby to sleep?!
It’s a question that Dulcie Madden fielded multiple times per day when she first launched Rest Devices, Inc., a sleep technology start-up then focused on helping adults catch more Zzzzs. But the quantity of letters she got from groggy parents made her think that infant sleep was an area worth pursuing, too.
So, in 2014, Madden, the company’s CEO, and her team launched Mimo Baby, a onesie that tracks infants’ breathing, skin temperature and body position. Last year, they followed it up with Nod, an app that allows parents to input various metrics related to sleep, like waking times, naps and even length of feedings.
Nod—which was co-developed with Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc., using technology and expert advice gained from the Johnson’s® Bedtime® Baby Sleep App—acts like a personal sleep coach, making research-supported and customized recommendations based on a baby’s sleep patterns and the parents’ goals.
The system is powered by artificial intelligence, using neural networks and proprietary evolutionary algorithms, to bring cutting-edge technology and clinical expertise to the age-old problem of parent exhaustion.
“As a new parent myself, I know how much sleeplessness really chips away at the family’s well-being, the couple’s relationship and your ability to feel great about parenting,” says Madden. “We work with many of the world’s leading pediatric sleep experts to come up with a really customized plan for getting your baby to sleep.”
Next up: integrating Nod and Mimo, so Nod can deliver even better sleep quality information without the hassle of manual tracking, giving parents even more targeted suggestions—and sleep.
Innovations to help improve your body—from head to toe
Johnson & Johnson has been serious about skincare since it began selling antiseptic Synol soap in 1901. In the last year alone, the company’s brands have rolled out innovative products that can tackle acne with light therapy and soothe eczema by harnessing the skin’s microbiome.
In 2018, Neutrogena is unveiling a dermatologist-grade skin-analysis tool that will enable consumers to track skin health at home, using their own smartphone.
Slip a SkinScanner, powered by Fitskin™, onto an iPhone, and the Neutrogena Skin360™ mobile app will prompt you to take photos of your forehead, cheek and chin. The tool’s lens, assisted by 12 high-powered lights, magnifies your skin up to 30 times to accurately assess the size and depth of fine lines and pores, while a sensor measures moisture levels.
Each time the tool scans your skin, data is fed to the app, which leverages Neutrogena’s wealth of clinical research and expertise to analyze and assign a score to pores, lines and wrinkles, as well as provide an overall Skin360 Score. These scores allow users to understand how their skin is changing over time, and enable the app to provide skincare advice and a personalized daily product regimen.
Previously, such analysis was only available at the dermatologist’s office, so this is the first at-home tool that will be able to view skin in this way.
Are your pores appearing larger than usual, for instance? In addition to deep cleansing with a clay mask, the app might suggest that you wear less foundation—which can make your pores look more prominent—and try translucent powder instead.
“Previously, such analysis was only available at the dermatologist’s office, so this is the first at-home tool that will be able to view skin in this way,” says Molly Garris, Senior Manager, Digital Marketing, Neutrogena. “The system gives users unprecedented insight into their own skin health—and eliminates the guesswork when it comes to product choices and getting results.”
The Johnson & Johnson Vision (JJV) team has also been hard at work on several new innovation areas that have the potential to revolutionize vision care by offering consumers contact lenses that do more than just correct their sight.
When JJV scientists spoke with consumers throughout the world, they learned that people were struggling with a very specific problem: discomfort from bothersome light, be it due to a day spent at the office staring at a computer screen, being outside in bright sunlight or facing glare from oncoming headlights while driving at night.
At this year’s CES, JJV will showcase the impact these problems can have on eyes through a unique light installation—and how their findings could influence the future of contact lenses.
“Imagine a contact lens that could adapt to the wearer’s environment and filter out some of the bothersome light, seamlessly transitioning between indoor and outdoor settings,” says Xiao-Yu Song, Global Head of R&D, Johnson & Johnson Vision. “We hope to give people the opportunity to see clearly all the time, and we’re excited to explore innovations that may solve unmet consumer needs.”
Meeting unmet surgical needs is another key focus area for Johnson & Johnson—especially when it comes to delivering personalized, interconnected surgical solutions.
“At CES, we’ll be showcasing such cutting-edge technologies as personalized 3-D printing technology, virtual and augmented reality surgical training, surgical workflow standardization and digitalization, and Johnson & Johnson’s digital platform called Health Partner,” says Euan Thomson, Global Head of R&D, Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices.
How does this translate to the average patient?
Take Mary, a hypothetical patient who needs a hip replacement after fracturing her hip bone socket. She might use the Health Partner digital platform to get the information she needs to prepare for her upcoming surgery. While she’s in the hospital, 3-D printing could provide her with the precise medical device she needs, while standardization of hospital workflows and access to physicians who’ve had virtual reality training would help deliver her better care.
An innovation that’s good for the underserved mom’s soul
Web resources like BabyCenter can provide a wealth of information to new and expecting parents, but for millions of moms around the world, reliable internet access—not to mention reliable access to medical care—can be hard to come by.
So since 2010, Johnson & Johnson has supported mobile messaging programs in 10 countries that provide health information via text or voice message to pregnant women living in low-income areas, including MomConnect, a flagship service of the South African National Department of Health.
How it works: Moms in South Africa can sign up to receive twice-weekly text messages about such relevant topics as immunizations and nutrition. To date, the service has reached 1.8 million moms, and as phones have gotten smarter, so has MomConnect.
Its latest update: The service is now available on the free WhatsApp instant messaging platform.
MomConnect allows women to respond back with comments, questions or complaints, giving moms a voice, often for the first time.
“With WhatsApp, we will be able to send longer messages, and include audio and videos to create more engaging and even life-changing communication,” says Joanne Peter, Health Technology Lead, Johnson & Johnson Global Community Impact. “MomConnect allows women to respond back with comments, questions or complaints, giving moms a voice, often for the first time.”
At CES, Johnson & Johnson will demo a MomConnect WhatsApp chatbot that uses natural language processing and artificial intelligence to interpret a mother’s responses and provide her with the exact information she’s looking for.
Talk about next gen technology aimed at improving the future for the next generation.