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George Takei in Boston: Smartphone Physicals and Gene Therapy

Smartphones can do just about anything these days, from shooting movies to following our every move - from connecting to smoke detectors to counting our steps and calories.

On a recent visit to AARP's Health Innovation@50+ start-up business showcase in Boston, tech explorer George Takei found a number of new phone attachments and apps aimed at making formerly complicated health tests cheaper and more readily available, adding up to a "smartphone physical." These include:

  • An electrocardiogram in a smartphone case that consumers can use themselves
  • A speculum that gives you a closeup look inside your own ears
  • A pocket-size ultrasound device that lets a doctor see the state of your carotid artery without going down the hall or out of the examination room


>> Get discounts on electronics with your AARP Member Advantages.

Winding up his Boston visit, Takei trekked over to Bluebird Bio to learn about the latest in gene therapy and "gene editing." The company's goal: create truly transformative treatments, especially for orphan diseases, where inserting a single gene into a cell could make the difference between disease and health.

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