5 min

Preface February 2019

Each month our CEO reflects on the events in his (professional) life and discusses some of the articles featured in the magazine. This month he talks about imec's presence at the international Consumer Electronics Show, better known as CES.

“At CES, imec showed its vision on 'ingestibles' and how these smart pills can help people with gastrointestinal diseases, a domain where doctors do not yet have sufficient measuring instruments.”

The Consumer Electronics Show has been organized in the US for more than 50 years. Can you start the year more positively than by going to Las Vegas to meet people who are involved with technology and innovation? Admittedly, you will find quite a few useless gadgets at CES as well, but it is also the perfect place to discover the trends for the future of consumer electronics and some nice and useful products.

Since a few years, imec has been present at CES, with a booth where we show our innovations in the field of Wearable Health Monitoring and with a keynote speaker. Chris Van Hoof, our senior director Connected Health Solutions and imec Fellow, had the honor to be at the CES stage for the second year in a row.

Chris spotted three major trends during CES, and more specifically at the Digital Health Summit, his habitat. First of all, more and more attention is being paid to the quality of the measurements that health meters have to deliver. For example, the Omron blood pressure monitor that was presented at CES is FDA-approved. The Food and Drug Administration does not only monitor the quality of food and medicines, but also of medical equipment. The fact that consumer electronics are also subjected to this inspection – and get approved – can only be a good thing if we want doctors and specialists to start using this kind of wearable electronics to follow up their patients.

Furthermore, it was also striking that artificial intelligence is starting to become more prominent on the CES scene. It is mostly about machine learning, the simplest form of AI, but still. The power of data and pattern recognition is used to add more personalization to health applications. And we all know that AI has a lot more to offer.

Finally, it became clear once again that consumers / patients are taking matters into their own hands. The success of fitness trackers is a case in point, but many of the new devices that were presented at CES will also become important. For example, blood pressure monitors, ECG recorders, sleep monitors, the many new self-tests, and the bladder monitors for people with incontinence problems.

Imec presented its vision on 'ingestibles' at CES and how these smart pills can help people with gastrointestinal diseases, a domain where doctors do not yet have sufficient measuring instruments. Our new wearable health prototypes – such as our eye-tracking glasses, our VR headset with EEG (which makes new therapies possible, e.g. for children with ADHD and anxiety disorders), and our smart patch – received a lot of attention from CES visitors.

In this video, imec's Chris Van Hoof shares his vision on ingestibles, with the CES host. 

In addition to the novelties that we showed at CES, you can also discover many new technological developments in this issue of imec magazine. You will discover articles on 2D materials and a unique cooling principle to make chips perform even better. MOMS will put their stamp on sensors. And how can we efficiently plan the charging of electric cars once we all have one in the parking lot? And - equally important - how can we find the right spot for our wireless communication in an overcrowded frequency spectrum so that it is always and everywhere (e.g. in emergency situations) stable? You can read it all in this new issue of imec magazine. Enjoy reading!

Luc Van den hove,

President and CEO imec

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