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Technology enablers in Health Care

Posted Mar 19 2010 3:21pm

This is a new series of article on how technologies can help us in optimizing health care.

Today, smart phones have revolutionized our communications behaviors, in health care industry-personal digital assistants were once a standard tool for many physicians along with Stethoscopes and today Smart phones are gradually replacing them as necessary tools. But, using these devices as standalone will not benefit much for the care of patients, except for the physician, in that information retrieval could be faster. Using an easy to use interface which benefits not only physicians and other health care professionals but also in long term helps patients should be the goal. To achieve this goal an easy to use interface should be identified. Twitter is one such phenomenon. Imagine this. Doctors around the world are conducting their rounds and examining patients on electronic medical records. As the physician makes a diagnosis or documents symptoms, he has the option to “tweet” that observation. This allows other doctors to follow that feed and observe trends. Even better, epidemiology-specific analytic can be layered on top of the feeds to recognize specific disease patterns as they develop. This could aid in early detection of any epidemics.

The emergence of consumer health electronics such as portable ECG monitoring devices blood pressure monitors or weight scales can allow the seamless capture and sharing of patient information from home, at work or even while traveling. Portable ECG device, for instance, weigh just few ounces and allow outpatients to record electrical heart signals and transmit the results to doctors who can monitor them for trouble down the road and take necessary steps.

The current generation of ECG Devices empower consumers to take control of their heart health in wellness and illness through Artificial Intelligence technology. ECG Monitors today are Ultra light and Portable. These Handheld ECG machines which are smart phones can monitor heart rhythms at home or at fitness centers and help consumers to detect cardiovascular diseases at an early stage and avoids complications due to fatal heart rate abnormalities.

Advances in microprocessors and using CMC (computer mediated technologies) technology will allow such devices to connect  through wireless with home computers, mobile phones or even remote Internet applications enabling consumers to monitor their heart health at home. Other technologies expected to emerge include portable handheld devices that monitor and transmit vital signs and patient locations as well as blood sugar monitors that after taking their readings transmit the data to central databases. Database-enabled tools can then alert doctors and their patients to improve treatment of chronic illnesses.

These IT technologies in Health care industry are creating a new breed of consumers. They are Health-i-consumers are a growing breed. These are health conscious individuals who utilize internet, wireless communications and internet applications for wellness maintenance. The popularity of the Internet and the trend for all consumers to be more health conscious mean that health-i-consumers will play a dominant role in the future health care industry.

These innovations in technology help in precise diagnoses of patient’s underlying conditions and help in long term reduction of health care costs. The ultimate beneficiary will be patients as it will empower them to have control of their personal health data within their finger tips.

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