Portable medical devices are ushering in the future of healthcare

The purpose of innovation is to improve people’s lives, and innovations in healthcare and medicine can have incredibly tangible results when it comes to quality and longevity of life. Unfortunately, the healthcare system earns few merits in young people’s eyes: Cassandra has found that of 23 categories, they rank it second to last as being innovative, ahead of only workplace/employment. However, this roundup of new companies pioneering highly-portable and user-friendly medical tech should start to shift this outlook.


Dr. Jonathan Rothberg developed the Butterfly iQ Ultrasound after his own daughter was diagnosed with tuberous sclerosis, which necessitated constant trips to the hospital for imaging of her kidneys. This mini-medical wonder, which won a Fast Company 2019 World Changing Ideas Award, is a portable ultrasound device that syncs with a smartphone, giving users access to AI-interpreted imaging via an app. What's more, Butterfly iQ is bringing its affordable and accessible tech to doctors in third-world countries via Bridge to Health.


The Withings BPM Core is the world’s first blood pressure monitor that also includes an onboard electrocardiogram (ECG) and a digital stethoscope. This sleek, 3-in-1 portable device is completely wireless and capable of detecting hypertension, atrial fibrillation, and valvular heart diseases, all in just 90 seconds. While the BPM Core is a little too big to fit in a purse or pocket, it fits perfectly into any larger travel-sized bag, like a backpack or duffle, and has a USB rechargeable battery that needs no charging for up to 6 months at a time.


Kyocera’s carbohydrate monitoring system is a medical device that could potentially help prevent those who are pre-diabetic from developing full-blown diabetes. Users measure their carbohydrate metabolism by placing the mini-monitor to their wrist; a gyro sensor in the device then detects the heart’s pulse-wave patterns and estimates the carbohydrate metabolism in the blood, all within approximately eight seconds. These readings are subsequently accessed through a smartphone. Kyocera plans to make the device commercially available sometime this year.