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The six latest digital health trends from the CES 2021 Listen with ReadSpeaker

The six latest digital health trends from the CES 2021

The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is surely among the most influential and widely anticipated technology events in the world. In each edition, global consumers are updated on the latest technologies and innovations from leading brands. This year’s show saw 81,000 professionals featuring over 700 start-ups, nearly 2,000 exhibitors and generated more than one million sales leads.

For us at DKSH, it was the digital health and wellness technologies that truly intrigued us. This category was strongly influenced by the current COVID-19 pandemic while the latest solutions become more consumer and patient-orientated.

At the end of the show, it was clear that these six trends will be the key drivers of digital health and wellness technologies for 2021 and beyond.

Telemedicine is a strong theme this year with artificial intelligence systems showcased in caring for the health and safety of the elderly. Remote tools that can be used at home including stethoscopes, otoscopes, heart and blood pressure monitors were getting the mentions.


Patients are being monitored in their own homes by these devices to learn their routines and more importantly, to raise alerts to healthcare services or hospitals in the event of any unusual behaviors by the patient.

Whether it is to treat hypertension, atrial fibrillation or diabetes, there was something for almost every chronic medical condition at the show. Among the highlights were:

  • Smart blood pressure monitors with built-in electrocardiogram (EKG) technology
  • A watch featuring EKG monitoring and which helps detect sleep apnea
  • A continuous glucose monitoring device that provides an innovative alternative to traditional glucose testing by continuously reading blood glucose levels, eliminating the finger prick and providing comfort and ease to those suffering from diabetes

One area of healthcare’s push toward better digital solutions is the move away from reliance on drugs alone, reducing the need for pharmaceuticals. Digital therapy refers to treating diseases with software applications, games and virtual reality.


This area of innovation has been gaining attention lately due to its possibility of providing treatment for illnesses and disorders that are hard to treat with conventional drug-based therapies. The ones that caught our attention included:

  • Pivot device for smoking cessation as it leverages the power of behavior change to help smokers to quit the habit
  • Headbands that help to naturally lower the body temperature to promote the natural onset of sleep
  • Non-invasive, drug-free treatment options for sinus conditions

The emergence of innovative smart toothbrushes was something interesting and even revolutionary for consumers. From micro-vibrating bristles to bimodal smart pressure sensors, toothbrushes have truly taken a whole new level of innovativeness.


These latest gadgets provide data-driven brushing feedback as well as identify and guide users to brush in the optimal pressure range to protect gums and enamel. Many even come equipped with AI-tracking features via your mobile phone app. This advancement surely takes a big “bite” of the cake.

A massively trending category of digital health technology right now is personalized nutrition using a consumer’s DNA. More people are becoming aware that there is no one-diet-fits-all as each individual and body type is different and every individual’s nutrition needs are unique.


There is now an application that links up with wearable bands to scan food products and provides real-time feedback on whether the product is right for you to consume. Talk about taking personalized health and wellness to the next level.

One area of tech development with a strong presence at this year’s show was the technologies emerging to support the battle against COVID-19 and other future pandemics. Among those that stood out were smart face masks that combine ultraviolet sterilization capability, voice projection and even multicolored LED lights, as in the case of an N95-grade face mask.


Smart thermometers were also a big hit including one that collects aggregated data from thousands of devices used in homes, which can then be used to detect and predict the viral spread and potential outbreaks.


Another favorite for visitors was the anti-COVID-19 robot that uses UV-C lights to disinfect spaces and surfaces. This can potentially have a huge impact on schools, hospitals and workplaces.

Healthcare, thanks to the advancement of technology, is being managed more at home and in the hands of consumers rather than purely reliant on a healthcare facility. As the recent CES showed, from remote monitoring products to wearables and diagnostic solutions, the industry is swiftly embracing new tools and patient care is quickly evolving with these groundbreaking technologies.

Do share your thoughts with us if you have seen other impressive innovations coming out of the CES 2021.


Julien Pastor

About the author

Philippe Gautron joined DKSH in June 2013. He is the Senior Director, Business Development, overseeing global business development activities for the Own Brands Healthcare and in charge of the marketing strategy and support of the medical channel of the Own Brands Portfolio. Over the past 22 years, he has been working in country management and regional positions in the EU and Asia.