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DEPARTMENTS: Emerging Technologies Center

Consumer Electronics Show 2016

Implications for Nursing Education

Skiba, Diane J.

doi: 10.1097/01.NEP.0000480673.43077.85
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Each year, the Consumer Electronics Association hosts the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in January, and each year, I am amazed at what is shown. This past January, Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of the association, noted that, although the show has been consumer products-centric, CES 2016 focused largely on products for the Internet of Things (IOT).

As you may recall, the Emerging Technologies Center in 2015 focused primarily on the Connected Age in education and health care, which is heavily reliant on the IOT phenomenon. With this column, I will review some highlights of CES 2016 that have implications for nursing education and health care. (For a quick overview of CES 2016 products, visit


Let’s start with Leila Meyer’s (2016) column, “10 Products from CES That Will Impact the Classroom,” which can be organized into three categories: hardware, software, and tools. For the hardware category, Meyer mentions three products: the Samsung Galaxy TabPro S 2-in-1 tablet; the ASUS C202 Chromebook for Education, a durable computer that is spill/scratch resistant as well as shockproof and is thus ideal for campus labs; and the XYZ 3-D Printer, which connects with XYZ Maker, a 3D modeling app, and to ZYX Steam (, an online curriculum exchange for educators.

For educational tools, Meyer highlights four products. The first is the Kodak Super 8 camera, which allows digital functionality and the ability to record and play back movies. Next there is the Panasonic Rug Speaker, which can be built into carpet for uses in libraries and informal learning spaces. The third is a digital pen, Hanvon Pentech, which works with touchscreen televisions. The last, and probably the most exciting, is the DAQRI Smart Helmet, targeted for industrial engineers. The helmet contains an augmented, mixed-reality interface that allows a person to use augmented reality when interacting with the physical environment. It has lots of implications if augmented reality is to be incorporated into nursing or medical education (Skiba, 2011).

In the software category, Meyer highlights Klaxoon and the Lenovo AirClass Interactive Virtual Classroom. Klaxoom is a cross-device learning platform that allows faculty to create interactive learning activities, including games, for mobile devices. Visit to learn more about this learning platform and how you can use it to create new ways to interact with students. The AirClass classroom allows for video conferencing to connect students and faculty and offers the ability to track student engagement through videos from individual webcams. The product contains emotion-analyzing software to assess your teaching effectiveness. (Visit to learn more.)

If you remember my column on the Horizon Report (Skiba, 2015), these technologies (e.g., 3-D printers, MakerSpaces, gamification, and learning analytics) were on the horizon. The emotion-analyzing software brings in a whole new dimension for learning analytics.


Jeffrey Young (2016), in the Chronicle of Higher Education column, highlights what he considers a tech trend “that might change education — the idea that emotion and a stronger sense of physical presence can be transmitted online.” He writes about a student project from Case Western to create a teddy bear that gives a virtual hug. You may think this has nothing to do with education, but consider these two points.

First, as Young (2016) noted, “sharing hugs via bears…fit into a trend of trying to convey a richer sense of presence and emotional connection over the Internet.” It also corresponds to the AirClass Virtual Classroom, which classifies the emotion of students as they participate in an online lecture or discussion. Emotional data can help faculty gauge whether or not students are engaged and truly understanding of the knowledge being shared. Second, there is a growing trend in several disciplines, such as engineering and computer science, to learn by doing. This idea connects back to the notion of MakerSpaces (Skiba, 2015) and engaging students in the learning process.

Young (2016) also mentions how the Case students made a pitch to the producers of the reality television show Shark Tank, reminding me that one of my graduates, Dr. MaryAnn D’Alesandro, assistant professor at the University of Tampa School of Nursing, also has a Shark Tank project. She grants students enrolled in a nursing informatics course funds to develop a creative health information technology tool for helping patients.

We need more instances of this type of learning in nursing. Imagine if we had NursingThons, bringing together students from nursing, engineering, computer science, and other disciplines to create new healthcare delivery systems and tools.


CES 2016 also showcased emerging technologies for health and wellness. As noted in an interview with Alison Lewis, global chief marketing officer for Johnson & Johnson (J&J) (, “CES is rapidly becoming a forum for consumer health solutions that could scale to the general population and touch the lives of consumers and their families.”

Lewis tells of partnerships that J&J formed with other companies and organizations to gain a better understanding of the consumer health journey and build better connections with customers. One J&J partnership is with Plug and Play’s global innovation network, which includes start-up companies, investors, and university and corporate partners, to support the development of health and wellness consumer products (

In terms of digital health, J&J is working with Apple HealthKit and Google to advance robotic surgery. Another important partnership is with the IBM Watson initiative to create a cognitive analytics platform that predicts patient outcomes, suggests treatment regimes, and promotes patient and family engagement during their recovery process.

The MobileHealth News staff mentions several other companies that showcased products at CES 2016 ( In a keynote address, Dr. WP Hong, CEO of Samsung Electronics, provided a glimpse into the future of IOT and connected health, with an emphasis on real-life solutions. Hong told how Samsung’s IOT strategy is built upon three pillars—devices, platforms, and security— that allow connections among products.

View the video of Hong’s keynote address ( to watch a runner with an activity-tracking device return home and then interact with his Samsung refrigerator. The refrigerator, described as a “sophisticated multitasker” (Samsung Newsroom, 2016, and Samsung Welt) (wellness belt) prototypes were both demonstrated at CES 2016. Imagine wearing a Welt to track your activities and your waist size; the device will interact with your refrigerator to warn you of the potential to overeat. All these tools are accessible from your smartphone, allowing you to view the items in your refrigerator (which contains cameras that warn you of expiration dates) to determine what you need to pick up at the supermarket in order to prepare a selected recipe. Think about the implications of your digital health tools and your refrigerator becoming your nutritionist and health coach. (Visit for a quick video.)


Ginni Rometry, CEO and president of IBM, gave another exciting keynote ( Her talk focused on the IBM Watson initiative and the emerging cognitive era where “data is humankind’s next major natural resource.” This new era incorporates big data and IOT to develop systems that learn from themselves.

Rometry introduced three IBM partnerships with companies that announced new products at CES 2016. The first is Under Armour, which introduced Connected Fitness, a wellness product associated with HealthBox, which “provides a scale, an activity tracker wearable, and a chest strap for measuring your heart rate (Pierce, 2016). The second is Metronics, which is creating an app that uses Watson and big data to provide patient recommendation for diabetes management ( The third partnership, with SoftBank Robotics, led to the creation of a robot named Pepper, which is customer savvy and understands and interacts with humans.

As you can see, these IBM Watson projects all have implications for the future of health care. There are now digital tools to help consumers with wellness, disease management, and engagement in health care. Imagine the humanoid Pepper greeting your patients in the waiting rooms, answering questions, providing advice about what to discuss with the health care provider, and explaining the patient’s health condition. Pepper is already in customers’ homes in Japan. Imagine how Pepper can help with our aging baby boomers. (Check out this video at


The MobileHealth News staff did a great summary of the digital health news at CES 2016 ( You can also check out Comstock’s CES 2016 Running List of Health and wellness devices (

Here is just a sampling of interesting products that will impact consumers and their health care:

So, what does this all mean to you as an educator? For me, I believe that it is important to expose my students to technology developments that their patients and families will be using at home. Nurses, representing the most trusted profession, must be knowledgeable about products to provide good advice to patients, families, and caregivers.

As educators, we need to stress how to evaluate the positive and negative consequences of this world of digital health and self-quantification. We also need to think about how we can use the concept of learning by doing to teach such topics as informatics, innovation, entrepreneurship, and quality improvement. Lastly, we need to expand our thinking about interprofessional education to include other disciplines such as engineering, computer science, digital media, and environmental design. As always, you can e-mail me with your ideas at [email protected].


Meyer L. (2016, January 7). 10 Products from CES that will impact the classroom. Retrieved from
Pierce D. (2016, January 5). How Under Armour plans to turn your clothes into gadgets. Retrieved from
Samsung Newsroom. (2016, January 6). Samsung introduces an entirely new category in refrigeration as part of kitchen appliance lineup at CES 2016 [Press Release]. Retrieved from
Skiba D. J. (2011). On the horizon: Emerging technologies for 2011. Nursing Education Perspectives, 32(1), 44–46. doi: 10.5480/1536-5026-32.1.44.
Skiba D. J. (2015). On the horizon: Implications for nursing education. Nursing Education Perspectives, 36(4), 263–266. doi:10.5480/1536-5026-36.4.263.
Young J. (2016, January 12). The story of the digital teddy bear shows how college learning in changing. Chronicle of Higher Education. Retrieved from
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