The rise of generation Wellbeing

Deep-tech startups from our Global Challenge in the Well-being track show us what’s in store for tomorrow

While this year there was no escaping the wide array of technology based around sensors and sports wearables, it was equally as exciting to note some very enterprising ideas coming from startups in our well-being track.

Beauty products were, unsurprisingly, well represented — but not as we know them! There was a large boost in startups going back to basics and looking to harness the power of plants, such as finding new ways of extraction to ensure the purity of products used in specialised skin care, or for use in micronutrients. On the other end of the spectrum startups are looking more to how we can marry skin care and technology, such as scientific skin analysis using spectroscopy, to portable waterless shampoo.

One startup in particular are using the power of plants to protect us from disease and help us live a longer lives. Mirnagreen have discovered the surprisingly effective bioactive capacity that plant microRNAs have on our immune system. In order to benefit fully from the beneficial immuno-modulant efficacy of micronutrients, they have developed the first technology for large scale extraction and purification of plant microRNAs using only natural products.

Find out more about Mirnagreen

Another startup has designed a hand-held and non-invasive device for skin characterisation. Varenne Technologies from France, have developed Dermo, proprietary spatially resolved spectroscopy technology, which enables them to gather optical measurements giving us insights about the deep hydration and the collagen of ourskin. This in turn helps users take care of their skin and improve their skincare routines.

Going even further down the beauty path, there are lots of startups dedicated to turning back the clock, with a large array of projects dedicated to countering the aging process, be it through using data and AI, tissue engineering and molecular biology, to finding more natural materials for use in cosmetic surgery.

OneSkin Technology is one startup tackling the aging process and the modern diseases linked to aging, which often do considerable damage to our skin. They have developed a platform, based on age-diverse 3D skin tissues, replicating the aging process and quantitative measuring the anti-aging molecule effects using an algorithm and DNA data. This technology has enabled the discovery and production of the first generation of molecules able to actually reverse skin aging through an event called partial tissue reprogramming. OneSkin Technology will be speaking more about our opening the Well-being track with a keynote at The Hello Tomorrow Global Summit.

OneSkin’s platform process to measuring aging

Sensors, sensors, everywhere! Ensuring beauty from the inside-out, we couldn’t ignore the impact of sensors in well-being applications. Be it sensors which allow those who live with ‘Locked-In Syndrome’ to communicate, or biosensors used for early disease detection via sensors located in toilets.

For the latter, startup Symax is developing a health monitoring system using a bio-sensor, which can be easily attached to a toilet. This device automatically analyzes urine so you can receive an up-to-date assessment of your health condition without having to go to the clinic. The device helps to detect symptoms of serious diseases, even before there are any physical symptoms.

Proving, however, that well-being is not just skin-deep, it is the innovations which are dedicated to improving quality of life which provided some of the most imaginative solutions. From new prosthetic advancements and customisable sockets for amputees, to gloves which translate sign language, our startups are proving once again that well-being goes far beyond beauty products, and provide life-changing comfort and opportunities.

Harnessing the power of plants, startup Saathi manufactures biodegradable sanitary pads made from banana fibre to reduce pad waste, and make pads more accessible for women. The fibre processing technology converts banana fibre into a soft super-absorbent, without the use of chemicals. They degrade within 6 months of disposal which is 1200 times faster than plastic pads. This amounts to saving 60kg of sanitary waste over each woman’s lifetime. Their sanitary towels are also subsidized to give women on low-income or from disadvantaged communities access to feminine hygiene, which could transform many women’s lives. Saathi has been selected as finalists in the HT Challenge and will be pitching at the Global Summit in October.

Saathi sanitary pads could change the lives of many women in India

Maxbionic, also finalists in the Global Challenge, is a Russian startup working on improving orthopedic-prosthesis. Founded in 2016, they have designed bionic prosthesis for people with upper limb amputations and have already built the alpha prototype.

Founder & CTO of Maxbionic, Maxim Lyashko, with prototype of bionic prosthetic hand

Discover these startups at the Hello Tomorrow Global Summit on October 26–27 in Paris!

Medium readers: Benefit from a 20% discount to attend the event using the code MEDIUM here:

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