For the past few years, CES has been growing into one of the most important health tech shows of the year. This year, that trend took a giant step forward as the Chairman and CEO of Abbott Robert Ford presented the first keynote from a health tech company in CES history.
The speech covered a lot of ground, but perhaps the most significant was the announcement of Lingo that the company calls “a new category of consumer biowearables.” Built on the same platform as the FreeStyle Libre 2 continuous glucose monitor (CGM), this device is will also be able to also measure ketones and lactate which are biomarkers of particular interest to athletes and exercise enthusiasts.
In a separate briefing for Health Tech Insider, I received additional insights into some Abbott projects. Their blood analysis system to detect traumatic brain injury has received CE clearance in Europe for clinical use, with point-of-care applications to come in the future. The process is able to identify minute amounts of specific proteins that leak across the blood/brain barrier, and provide an accurate and objective way to quantify the potential damage from head impacts. This could make an enormous difference for athletes who may have suffered a concussion during sports.
And the company is rolling out the Freestyle Libre 3 CGM in Germany. This is a smaller than previous designs — now the size of two U.S. pennies stacked together — and has a 14-day accuracy while providing continuous real-time glucose readings.
When it comes to consumer electronics, it is clear that health tech has taken a seat at the big table as these devices play a growing role in our lives.