image by: masha_tace
A month before turning 34, I received an unexpected birthday gift: a cloud-connected pacemaker. It sits in a tiny pocket in the left side of my chest, just above my heart. Silently and diligently, the device emits electrical pulses to make sure my heart rate never again plummets below 25 beats per minute.
The idea of a battery-equipped, internet-connected device living forever inside my chest both terrifies and fascinates me. When people say, “I’ll die if I lose my iPhone,” they never mean it literally. But I really might die without this smart gadget. I’m also at risk in other ways. A wireless pacemaker can be hacked, or, as recently happened in Ohio, become legal evidence that…
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What of the monitors that do track medical vital signs? Do they improve patient outcomes or save money by reducing emergency room visits or allowing people to remain at home? The jury is still out, which may be why CMS is acting so cautiously.
Of all industries, it’s the biggest laggard in bringing technology to consumers, but it’s also the industry where there is the most at stake to that individual consumer (the patient). There’s nothing more personal than health care. So why is it so far behind?
One of the most exciting aspects of 21st-century medicine is the use of new technologies to move patients away from hospitals, urgent care centers, and the doctors’ offices and treat them at home – or wherever they happen to be. Some visionaries refer to this as “medicine without walls,” or telemedicine.
An increasingly powerful aspect of telemedicine is the use of portable, high-tech devices to track and relay to your doctor everything from your glucose levels, if you have diabetes, to your heart rate, blood pressure, and blood oxygen levels, if you are at risk of a stroke or heart attack.
Every minute of the day, eCare21, a remote patient-monitoring system, collects thousands of pieces of health data about more than 1,000 senior citizens. The telehealth system uses smartphones, Fitbits, Bluetooth and sensors to collect information about things like blood pressure, physical activity, glucose levels, medication intake and weight.
Sotera Wireless ViSi Mobile System
Sometimes it’s difficult to separate hyperbole from reality when it comes to remote patient monitoring (RPM) and its potential impact on healthcare.
With the emergence of a miniaturized single lead ECG sensor like the technology developed by LifeWatch, the traditional patient monitoring industry is being forced to pivot 180 degrees to meet demand from consumers and investors alike to provide remote continuous cardiac patient monitoring services.
We may not have a tricorder in our hands yet, but we are definitely getting closer.
If the proper protections can be put in place, the potential upside of patient monitoring far outweighs the potential downside.
Such a merging of wireless technology and medical care is still in its infancy, but health systems that began pilot programs with the technology in recent years say they see signs that it is keeping patients healthier. By enabling doctors to continuously monitor patients, they say, the systems can detect problems well before they grow serious.
New technology like smart pills, a wireless heart monitor and a robotic surgical assistant could radically reshape patient care.
I can’t access the data generated by my implanted defibrillator. That’s absurd.
High-tech health care hasn’t proved effective at changing patients’ bad habits.
Confirming earlier studies6, the CONNECT (Clinical Evaluation of Remote Notification to Reduce Time to Clinical Decision) trial in 2010 demonstrated that wireless remote monitoring allowed clinicians to make treatment decisions 17.4 days sooner than with in-office visits alone.
For chronic conditions like heart failure, atrial fibrillation and diabetes, the ability to monitor the patient’s condition remotely not only enhances the quality of care, it also improves clinical efficiency. And, it can substantially reduce healthcare costs.
Cloud-connected medical devices save lives, but also raise questions about privacy, security, and oversight.
Biotricity is at the leading edge of professional and personal remote medical monitoring.
GreatCall is the leader in connected health for active aging. With health and safety solutions for older adults and their family caregivers, GreatCall’s innovative suite of easy-to-use mobile products and award-winning approach to customer care helps aging consumers live more independent lives.
Many small companies are developing devices for home monitoring, he said, “but doctors do not want continuous information.” They only want to know when there’s a problem, Dr. Pearl said.
Since 1993, LifeWatch has provided innovative remote diagnostic cardiac monitoring services.
TriVox Health is a web-based platform that provides remote monitoring, real-time analysis, and tracking of patients' disease symptoms and response to therapy over time.
The revolutionary Vista Solution™ platform from VitalConnect is set to change the nature of patient care in hospitals and healthcare facilities around the world. The platform contains the VitalPatch®, an elegantly designed biosensor, that sends vital sign data seamlessly to remote caregivers, giving them a powerful view into the critical readings that have a direct impact on patient care.