Medical gadgets typically don't benefit from the same breakneck pace of innovation we see in the consumer electronics space; walk into any hospital room and the essential pieces of equipment have gone largely unchanged for years now. That's thanks in part to strict guidelines facing anyone developing new tools for the medical world. If key aspects of the interface are altered from what doctors and medical experts are familiar with, it could lead to unnecessary confusion at critical moments. But even with these obstacles, improvements come along every so often. The ViSi Mobile Monitor is one example of that. The small device is strapped to a patient's arm and monitors vital signs.

Compared to the various monitors and other bedside systems often tethered to those in care, this system affords patients with wide improvements in mobility. But even more importantly, the monitor is networked and allows caregivers to keep track of a patient's conditions even when they're out of sight through the use of a smartphone app. There's no Retina display to be seen here — the ViSi sports a measly 160 x 128 resolution, and its physical design isn't quite up to par with your high-end 2012 smartphone. But it's a rare bit of innovation in a field that could use much more. The Mobile Monitor has gained FDA approval and is in limited testing in both the US and UK.