Technology plays an important role in every industry and in our personal lives. Some of the most critical technology has been developed in the medical industry. Innovations in research, medical devices, and software, have made significant contributions to delivering better healthcare and clinical management for all people.
Today, more advanced devices are replacing the regular conventional health monitoring systems, increasing the efficacy and reducing the time consumption of our day-to-day tasks. There is increasing evidence that ground breaking innovations and technological advancements are successively being made in the healthcare sector; especially in devices that are used for continuous monitoring of post-hospitalization patients and those with chronic diseases. These devices are intended to help both clinicians and patients alike to monitor vital signs and symptoms. Most of such appliances can be worn on (or) close to the patient’s body, are easy to handle, and simple to use.
Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs) :Provides easy access to enter or/ view patient information instead of carrying manuals with procedures, references, or index cards. With the use of PDAs, nurses can immediately enter patient information at the bedside and later upload it into their personal computer.
Real Time Locating Systems (RTLS): These systems use radiofrequency identification tags or infrared technology to tag and track medical equipment. They can be used to locate the nearest wheelchair, blood pressure machine, or centrally monitoring equipment. This can also assist nurses in mental health or neurology wards to locate mentally ill patients who may tend to wander away from their rooms.
Electronic health record: An integrated electronic healthcare system providing patient history. It includes diagnosis, medication, treatment options, or administrative clinical data relevant to each patient.
mHealth: Mobile and wireless healthcare delivery systems that are enabling physicians and patients alike to check on healthcare processes. Physicians and healthcare service providers can use mHealth tools for orders and documentations as well.
Telemedicine/ telehealth clinics: Patients receive a full assessment through video chat with physician. This is effective for primary care physicians and for patients alike in emergency situations.
Portal technology: Allows physicians and patients to access medical records and interact online.
Sensors and wearable technology : These are available as sensors which may send an alert to care provider when a patient falls down or as a bandage that can detect skin pH levels to detect if a wound is getting infected.
Monitoring tools: helps in monitoring patient’s health at home. Helps reduce costs and un-necessary visits to physician’s office or readmissions to the hospital.
Below are showcased a few popular devices that have emerged over the last ten years.
AliveCor AFib detector/ AliveCor Mobile ECG
: it’s a heart monitoring and smartphone app. A device for patients with serious heart ailments such as atrial fibrillation, arrhythmias etc. AliveCor AFib detector and the AliveECG companion app is one such medical devices to check for heart activity and records an ECG, which can later be shared with medical professionals for their records.
AirStrip® monitoring device
: it’s a mobile app that monitors a baby’s heart rate as well as maternal contractions, the data, which is sent directly to the physician. Airstrip works by using a variety of sensors that connect to the patient’s watch or iPhone via Bluetooth. It can also retrieve and display body temperature, blood pressure, CT scans, ultrasounds, radiographs, medications, electronic health record notes etc onto the doctor’s tablet or smartphone. http://www.airstrip.com/airstrip-one
helps monitor a patient’s heart rate, R-R interval, respiration rate, ECG, activity level etc. This is great for someone who is recovering from a hospitalization at home or who has a chronic disease for which they need to be monitored continuously.
Glooko MeterSync™ device
, an app-device combination which enables healthcare providers to track and manage healthcare providers online. One can have access to patient blood glucose data, their carb intake, prescribed medications and exercise, all of which could be correlated to their blood glucose fluctuations.
: a device for Asthma and COPD patients that fits onto an inhaler and wirelessly syncs with a smartphone app to record trending data. This data can be wirelessly shared with the provider. Patients are offered feedback on their asthma control or COPD status.
Medtronic's Seeq™ Mobile Cardiac Telemetry System
is designed for patients who require short term cardiac monitoring for up to 30 days or less. Cardiographic technicians review the incoming data from a transmitter and notify the providers of clinically relevant events.
The EarlySense® All-in-One System
is a tablet-like sensor, exclusively designed to monitor early deterioration in inpatients and is an easy & convenient replacement of other cumbersome patient monitoring devices. The wireless sensor can be placed under the patient’s mattress and the heart rate, respiration and body movement can easily be monitored on computer systems placed in prominent locations such as nursing stations etc, thus enabling early detection of the patient status and deterioration.
The Withings Smart Body Analyzer
is a Bluetooth device which monitors weight and body fat measurements. One can be sure to record high accuracy body mass index, fat mass & lean mass index, pulse rate, heart rate history. A companion smartphone app tracks running, weight loss, activity and calorie levels, and cardiovascular fitness. The device can also be connected to over 100 popular partner apps, including RunKeeper, MyFitnessPal, and Lose It. This device is of utmost value for patients with chronic metabolic/ respiratory and cardiovascular disorders, who are advised to keep a track of their weight parameters. http://www.withings.com/us/en/products/smart-body-analyzer
designed by Moticon, a German firm, is the first of its kind innovations in podiatry. It’s a wireless sensor that records foot dynamics. This is most useful in sports science/ rehabilitation medicine/ neurology/ podiatry, Parkinson disease patients and after foot/ hip injury.
is one of the best devices available for wound care management. It’s a perfect tool that automates wound assessment and wound progress (monitoring new wounds and pressure ulcers) in acute care and bedridden patients at home or at rehabilitation hospitals who have difficulty getting out of the house- they may be morbidly obese or have crippling back pain- or seriously wounded, and are presently in the care of a primary care physician.
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