Top 5 Health Care Technologies at SXSW

South by Southwest, an annual week-long conference event held in Austin, Texas, each yeah showcases the latest in music, film and burgeoning startup companies from around the country.

The event, which takes place from March 7-16, dedicates a considerable portion to innovative technologies under its SXSW Interactive Festival.

The Interactive Festival plays home to Startup Village, a gathering of about 500 startup companies that deliver cutting edge technologies and service offerings across a variety of fields, including entertainment, dining, shopping as well as healthcare. 


While the number of companies in the health and wellness space were abundant at this year’s event, here are the top five startups at SXSW offering innovation in health care—all of which were also 2014 SXSW Startup Accelerator finalists in the Health Technologies category:

Wearable fall intervention (ActiveProtective)

Founded by a retired Lieutenant Colonel combat surgeon, ActiveProtective of Allentown, Pennsylvania, delivers 3D motion-sensing wearable devices focused on fall intervention. 


The tech uses garments with discrete micro-airbags in order to reduce traumatic fall injuries within the elderly population, all with the aim of helping seniors age at home independently and with confidence. 

For hip fracture intervention, ActiveProtective uses “fall-in-progress” technology to deploy airbag protection around the hip immediately prior to impact.

Mobile app integrates wellness programs for employees (Yingo Yango)

Yingo Yango is an engagement platform that integrates eco-systems of care for employers, providers and carriers alike. 

The company provides a white-label, customized healthcare platform that connects and integrates the health and wellness resources provided by employers or providers to individuals, including their own employees.  

The Yingo Yango platform aims to help maximize employee/patient engagement, reduce costs associated with readmissions and guides users to better health outcomes. 

In January, former CEO Richard Braddock was appointed by Yingo Yango as Chairman of the Board of Directors. 

Smart pill bottles that send real time alerts (AdhereTech)

New York, New York-based AdhereTech has created patented “smart” pill bottles that automatically send usage data to secure online servers in real time and notify users if a dose is missed. 

The patented bottles are designed to track the amount of medication that is inside of them in real time and sends this HIPPA-compliant data into the cloud. 

In the event a dose is missed, AdhereTech’s system reminds patients in a number of ways, either via text message, phone call, and on-bottle lights and chimes.

AdhereTech has been featured in publications like The Wall Street Journal, Reader’s Digest, MedCity, Wired, Fast Company and MobiHealthNews.

Foot sensors to track balance and well-being (Plantiga) 

Health and stability start with your feet, according to North Vancouver, Canada tech company Plantiga.

Plantiga has developed SUSPND, a patented technology that generates robust, real-time movement data that tracks and quantifies weight distribution as well as other biomechanics parameters.

The bio-sensing footwear enables walking identifiers to provide key data related to fatigue, balance and overall-well being, and can also enable better decisions for people who suffer from musculoskeletal problems, plantar fasciitis, diabetic neuropathy, among others.

The technology can be used for a variety of applications and built into various smartphone apps for health, diagnostics, holistic wellness and sports performances, to name a few. 

The SUSPND technology is currently in its beta form and is available for pre-order. 

Adult briefs that track health data (Pixie Scientific)

From Pixie Scientific, the New York company that developed smart diapers for infants, comes their latest endeavor—this time for a much older population.  

Pixie Briefs are disposable adult briefs that can screen for medical conditions such as urinary tract infections and also track hydration among older adults. 

A scannable patch on the front of the garment allows family members, nurses or caregivers to track a loved one’s dehydration levels or possibility of a UTI.

The company features several testimonials from consumers who have used the Pixie Briefs for a loved one, often times an individual living with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia. 

“In adults with memory loss or dementia, UTIs often make sufferers less communicable while appearing to experience more delirium and dizziness. Many adults are treated in emergency rooms for UTIs several times a year, and some are hospitalized due to falls and other side effects of compromised mobility,” Pixie Briefs writes on its website. 

Written by Jason Oliva

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