Students for a Smarter Planet ..leaders with conscience

Thought you had heard about all of the new technology, I bet.  Well, there’s a new monitor on the market called Spire.  It measures your breathing patterns and uses them to draw conclusions about your state of mind. The company says Spire is the first wearable to monitor breathing in an attempt to track mental health.

“It’s very hard to stay mindful throughout our chaotic and always connected day,” Jonathan Palley, Spire’s CEO, told The Huffington Post via email. “The design of the Spire experience is not to interrupt you every time you’re tense, but to bring mindfulness and awareness streaks of tension/focus/calm within this chaos.”

blog spire

The unit costs $149.95 USD and interacts with an iPhone app that pops up notifications throughout the day. One example cited is a businesswoman rushing around who enters an elevator. She pulls her phone out and sees there’s a notification from the Spire app: “Your breathing suggests you’re tense. Take a deep breath?” She does, and then the app informs her that she’s become focused.

This just might solve the problem you have when you don’t have any ideas for a birthday or holiday gift for that special someone.  Do you think this new product would or could improve someone’s life?

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January 21st, 2015

Medical technology keeps advancing.  Lenses have been produced to magnify, concentrate light sources, for photographic applications, and a host of other usages.  Benjamin Franklin is credited with the invention of bifocals, which gave ‘new vision’ to the reading population of the 1700s.  Contact lenses came along in the 20th century to replace glasses worn on the bridge of one’s nose.  Eye surgery to correct vision impairment has been steadily changing over the past quarter century.

Here’s a story about a new intraocular lens that may be “music to the eyes” of our aging population (you’ll have to pardon the rather bad pun I’m using…I couldn’t resist!)  Introducing the



WHAT ARE INTRAOCULAR LENSES?  An intraocular lens, or IOL, is a lens that is surgically implanted to replace the natural lens of the eye, following cataract extraction. There are numerous styles of IOLs.  The Symfony lenses are made of plastic and should, in theory, last a lifetime.

TECNIS Symfony lensVisit the TECNIS site for more information about the product and its availability in the U.S. and abroad.

If you’re pursuing a career in the burgeoning healthcare field, what advance will you bring to our future?

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January 15th, 2015

Taking a pill used to be the follow up to a treatment diagnosis – and it was up to you to report on whether the prescription helped you or made you worse.  Now there’s a movement to have a pill act as a ongoing diagnostician!

This could change medical science radically, and afford a new avenue for mobile technology to help those who are not able to visit their physician(s) routinely.  Proteus Digital Health is working to create a new category of products and services with the potential to significantly improve the effectiveness of existing pharmaceutical treatments.   Read about

Proteus Digital Health logoDigital Medicines


Digital Medicines will be the same pharmaceuticals you take today, with one small change: each pill will also contain a tiny sensor that can communicate, via our digital health feedback system, vital information about your medication-taking behaviors and how your body is responding.


In partnership with companies including Otsuka Pharmaceutical and Novartis, Proteus is furthering the development and future commercialization of Digital Medicines.

And take a look at this article that discusses the future of medicine in broader terms:

Meeting the Challenges in Mobile Health Innovation

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Although I heard about this on the news only just before the start of 2015, the printed story from Wired goes back a ways (Oct. 2014).  Check out this invention by Dutchman Govert Flint…the Dynamic Chair—an exoskeleton-like chair that turns a sitter’s entire body into a computer mouse.

A Full-Body Mouse: Click With Your Leg, Scroll With Your Hips


And another article from The Guardian:  The mouse chair getting office workers on the move

However, there are some newer video links that I thought I’d share with you, too.  I’ve included several sites as your system and/or video access might block some of the feeds…


Science Daily

The Globe and Mail

FastCoExist        OR         FastCoDesign

Pretty cool right?   This really takes your grandmother’s rocking chair to a new dimension!!

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January 5th, 2015

With the holidays just behind us in the United States, many have resolved to begin 2015 by eating with consciousness of the health effects or harmful consequences of their food choices (and the potential benefits of taking off any extra pounds that accumulated from a surfeit of sugar-plums and figgy pudding…).

For many, ‘cheap’ takes precedence over all other considerations.  There’s a wave sweeping the country to help the less affluent have greater accessibility to better eating and healthier choices – and make an economic impact locally, as well.  Put down that doughnut and check it out!

Learn about Food Tank and their goals for the better use of the planet’s

food resources and the human community.

FoodTankMission: Food Tank is focused on building a global community for safe, healthy, nourished eaters. We spotlight environmentally, socially, and economically sustainable ways of alleviating hunger, obesity, and poverty and create networks of people, organizations, and content to push for food system change.

Here’s an interesting Q&A with Michel Nischan, founder, CEO, and president of Wholesome Wave.  He will be speaking at the 1st Annual Food Tank Summit on January 21-22, 2015.

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