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November 20th, 2017 at 11:04 am

25 best inventions of 2017: Preventive clinics and more

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Clinics That Redefine Preventive Care, mainstream electric cars, s

In the U.S., patients tend to visit doctors only after they get sick. But what if both parties worked together to pre-empt medical issues as well? That’s the idea behind Forward, a new type of wellness clinic that works much like a high-end gym. For $149 a month, users get unlimited access to genetic screenings, blood testing, weight-loss planning, routine doctors’ visits and more all of which help Forward“look toward your future and look out for things that are longer term,”says Adrian Aoun, the founder and CEO, and a former Google executive. (Forward does offer reactive medicine too, including unlimited generic medications without co-pays.) Critics argue most Americans can’t afford the clinics, especially since they do not accept health insurance. But as a niche experiment, Forward appears to be working: the company, which is based in San Francisco, has reportedly raised $100 million in funding and recently opened a location in L.A.; it plans to expand to other cities in the future. —Alexandra Sifferlin

A Shoe Engineered to Boost Performance

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Adidas Futurecraft 4D

Imagine a shoe that lets you run faster, pivot better and jump higher. That’s the idea behind the Futurecraft 4D, a new sneaker from Adidas whose midsole can be expertly tailored to the needs of its wearers—not only in size and shape, but also in flexibility, impact type, cushioning and more. The key is the 3-D printing process, which enables Adidas to“look at every single square millimeter of a midsole and tune it from a performance standpoint,” says Al VanNoy, who headed the project. It would take weeks to make those modifications using traditional shoemaking methods. But the Futurecraft 4D midsoles can be printed in as little as two hours, meaning Adidas could even produce them in stores. At least that’s a possibility for the future. For now, Adidas is rolling out a standardized version (based on 17 years’ worth of data from runners) beginning in mid-December. —Julia Zorthian

Cars That Could Make Electric Mainstream

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Tesla Model 3

Electric cars typically have one of two problems: they’re either too expensive, or they have a too-limited range. Tesla’s Model 3 aims to render both issues moot: it’s the buzziest in a series of $35,000-and-up electric cars offering more than 200 miles of driving distance on a single charge (alongside the Chevrolet Bolt). Consumers are certainly intrigued: demand for the Model 3 is so high—as many as 1,800 orders each day, per company estimates—that Tesla is struggling to keep up. “We are deep in production hell,” Elon Musk, the company’s co-founder and CEO, tweeted in October. But Tesla remains confident it will catch up—which is good for its shareholders, and also the environment. Vehicles like the Model 3, which runs on batteries rather than gasoline, are likely to play a major role in combating climate change. —Alex Fitzpatrick

A Portable, Wearable Breast Pump

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Willow Pump

Breastfeeding is easier said than done, especially for moms on the go. Most electric breast pumps use air-horn-shaped collection bottles, which are tethered to loud, whirring machines. Mountain View, Calif.–based Willow is working to change that. Its battery-powered alternative is quiet and small enough so that women can slip it into their bra and pump wherever they want. (Each is lined with a freezer-safe bag.)“Instead of scheduling life around the pump, you can play with an older child or take a conference call,”says Naomi Kelman, the company’s president and CEO. That convenience comes at a cost: $480 plus 50¢ per 4-oz. bag, which is considerably pricier than traditional models. Kelman says the company is making design tweaks based on feedback from moms who are testing a beta version now. If Willow delivers on its promises when it launches next year, it could revolutionize an industry in desperate need of disruption. —Emily Barone

Via Time

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