Are You Ready for Some Sensors… in Healthcare?

Activity Trackers

Some wearables (photo from BIONICLY.com)

They’re Everywhere! They’re Everywhere! Sensors that is, and it seems they sense everything too.

Here’s a tiny subset:

  • Temperature (e.g. thermostat)
  • Light (photocell)
  • Sound & Vibration (microphone)
  • Proximity (motion sensor, Doppler radar, stud finder)
  • Pressure (altimeter, barometer, tire pressure)
  • Magnetism (security contact switch)
  • Chemicals (smoke, radon & CO2 sensors)
  • Fluid Flow (water & gas meters)
  • Electric Current (electric meter)
  • Moisture (humidifier, leak detector, rain gauge)
  • Radiation & Subatomic Particles (Geiger counter)
  • Speed, Distance & Acceleration (odometer, tachometer, accelerometer)
  • Pressure (barometer)
  • Force (strain gauge)

Read More …

Exploring New Health Technologies

Monitoring Vital SignsBy Beth Kelly

There are more new health technologies on the market than ever before. Mobile phones and tablets provide health apps, many of which are capable of interacting with wearable fitness tracking devices. Trackers and their accompanying apps, which can be used to measure heart rate and steps per day, take medical awareness a step further than programs that simply focus on caloric intake.

EDITOR: While the accuracy of many of these wearable devices disappoint medical professionals, the simple ability to track progress, no matter how accurate, is a big step forward. And accuracy will improve over time with better sensor technology.

Managing diabetes and other medical illnesses, losing weight, and obtaining a higher level of health has never been easier as a result of the new technologies. Read More …

Top Home Tech for Seniors [INFOGRAPHIC]

Home Tech for Seniors and Caregivers infographic courtesy of Home Access Products.

With innovations in health care, medicine, and nutrition, it’s no surprise that Americans are getting older. By 2030, nearly 20% of Americans will be over 65– and nearly 90% of them want to stay in their own homes as they age.

As aging in place continues to rise, seniors are increasingly looking towards technology to stay safe and connected. From personal alert systems to cell phones and tablets, seniors are embracing technology and all of its benefits. Whether aging seniors are tech-savvy, or prefer simple ways of communicating at home, these products and services can assist seniors with safety, entertainment, health/wellness, communication, and assistance. Read More …

Smartphone Based Medical Imaging

Tricorder

Today’s post summarizes an article on digital microscopy by Ariel Sabar for Smithsonian Magazine.

In “Star Trek,” chief medical officer Leonard “Bones” McCoy wands a body with a medical “tricorder,” and seconds later it reports the patient’s condition. The device could do almost anything, including heart rate & EKG, brain scans & EEG, and more.

Today we’re getting very close to doing all that on a smartphone. UCLA professor Aydogan Ozcan adds advanced imaging techniques to a smartphone and turns it into a powerful microscope to count red and white blood cells, screen urine for kidney disease, spot flu or HIV viruses, or test water for toxic chemicals, parasites and bacteria. His goal is to make these capabilities so small, cheap and idiot-proof that you can easily carry our own tricorder in your pocket. Read More …

How Wearable Technology Could Save Our Health

Wearable Technology – Helping Your Doctor Help You

Save Our Health

You might have heard the aggressive term “glasshole,” which unaffectionately refers to people who wear their Google Glass wearable computing device everywhere and all day long.  The Google Glass is actually just one type of wearable computing device.

Smartwatches, smart wristbands, fitness trackers, helmet-worn impact checkers, back pain posture checkers, necklaces, clip-ons, smart clothing and other wearable technology already exist and may be an important part in the future of healthcare.

These gadgets can record various vitals and electronically send them to your doctor on your next visit, or via apps on your smartphone. When data collection becomes that easy, anonymized and aggregated data from cities, states or even countries can be analyzed to detect trends in the general population. Read More …

Apple to enter Home Automation market?

Apple, Home Automation & Smart Aging by Stealth

guest article by Joseph F Coughlin, Director of the MIT AgeLab

Smart HouseThe word on the street is that Apple is set to announce a major foray into home automation next week at its annual developers conference. As noted by other analysts, Apple’s move into the home coincides with similar investments made by companies such as Intel, Cisco, Samsung, Microsoft, and, of course, Google. Regardless of which company ultimately presents the best value proposition to consumers, the resulting smart home of the future is likely to be the house you live in today, with a significant IQ boost thanks to a wide range of accessories and wireless devices that are all part of what is now widely known as the Internet of Things. Read More …

Powering tiny medical circuits in the body

Batteryless Electrostimulator

A batteryless electrostimulator next to medicinal pills for size comparison. (Photo: Austin Lee)

In my interview last year with Dr. Metin Akay, he described the daunting problem of powering tiny computer chips deep inside the body. Neurologists, he said, can already control the misfiring of rogue neurons that cause epilepsy by implanting small electrodes in the brain cluster of misbehaving neurons, but they still must resolve battery-life issues and need a reliable power source.

Today they do this by connecting the electrodes to a power source worn outside the body, but Stanford assistant professor of electrical engineering, Ada Poon, has found a safe way to transfer energy to tiny circuits the size of a grain of rice using targeted ratio waves. Read More …

The Future of Health – Expert Perspectives

This video compilation of expert perspectives describes a future that relies largely on technology to address expected doctor shortages as the population grows, ages, and lives longer. It’s from PSFK Labs’s latest Health Trends Report, which rounds up 13 areas of innovation and groups them into four categories.

  1. Nudging and encouraging people to make healthier lifestyle choices
  2. Empowering people to gather advice and self-diagnose before ever going to a doctor
  3. Distributing care among doctors with a cloud-based “commons” that allows them to share research and advice
  4. Augmenting care with wearable, embed-able, and prosthetic monitors and devices

For my deeper dive into what tech innovation will enable, see Moore’s Law and the FUTURE of Healthcare.

Can Fall Monitoring Technology Keep Elders Safe?

Falling DownBy Rein Tideiksaar Ph.D., PA-C

The most effective way for elders and/or their caregivers to address the issue of falling is to:

  • First, visit the doctor and find out why a loved one is at risk or why falls are occurring (remember that falls are not normal but may represent an underlying health condition requiring investigation).
  • Second, after fall risk factors and/or causes of falling have been identified, elders and their caregivers can address those risks by taking proper steps to avoid fallsRead More …

10 startups to bring digital health to seniors

By Stephanie Baum (original on MedCityNews.com)

LiftwareSeniors tend to be marginalized when it comes to digital health. Given the fact that AARP’s membership starts at 5o, its membership base spans a wide range of technical ability, so inevitably some will be left out or feel like they’ve been overlooked.  These 10 healthcare startups, which have made the finalist cut for AARP’s Innovation @ 50+ LivePitch, have taken different approaches to practical concerns such as how mobile health apps, services and tracking devices fit into the lives of their users. Among their solutions are apps for caretakers, sensors to track balance and urinary tract infections to catch costly problems early and telepsychology.

Read More …

Technology and the Senior Housing Industry

Is Technology Disrupting or Transforming the Senior Housing Industry?

Visiting GrandmaThis is the question posed by Joseph F Coughlin, Director of the MIT AgeLab, in his article, which is reproduced below with his permission.

The disruptive demographics of an aging society offers a growth opportunity for the senior housing industry. However, technology is also presenting new ways to enable older adults to stay in their own homes rather than move into senior housing options. Yet many of these same technologies, creatively applied, may improve the attractiveness and operational efficiency of senior housing. So is technology a threat or an opportunity for the senior housing industry? The answer is – yes. Read More …

Home Automation and Home Health Care

In the movie, 2001: A Space Odyssey, HAL (Heuristically programmed ALgorithmic computer) kept a watchful eye on the crew.How Home Automation Can Change the Home Health Care Industry

By Spencer Blohm

In-home care is one of the biggest growth industries of the last twenty years. It makes sense; elderly folks don’t want to be chained down to a nursing home, and an in-home care aid gives them independence without sacrificing their health needs. However, in-home care aides and family members can’t always be with grandma and grandpa. That’s why home automation systems make sense for protecting the dignity of your loved one, while giving you, the caretaker, some room to run out and perform necessary chores. Here are some features to consider. Read More …

Wello iPhone case tracks several points of health

Wello iPhone CaseBy Wayne Caswell

I spoke briefly with CEO Hamish Patel at the opening of the SXSW Interactive yesterday and was impressed enough to write about his device today.

The Wello iPhone case tracks several points of health with a variety of medical-grade sensors that measure things like like temperature, heart rate (pulse), heart rate variability (stress related), blood pressure, blood oxygen level, and even ECG. And at just $199, it’s priced the same as the popular AliveCor, which already has FDA approval and has been on the market for over a year. Wello also seems to have similar function to the Scanadu Scout, which we reported on 15 months ago. Read More …

5 mHealth Tech Trends to Shape Industry


Alivecor Heart Monitor

 

By Snookie Lioncourt

With continuous advancements in technology, more and more innovative solutions have been invented to facilitate global healthcare delivery services. These include a number of medical and healthcare mobile applications, remote Caregiving tools, assistive wearable devices for elderly and disabled patients, live mobile pulse monitoring systems, and emergency response GPS trackers. So, what do all of these innovations portend for 2014 and onwards? In 5 mHealth Tech Trends to Shape Industry, we’ll take a closer look at five significant technological trends this year that will vehemently shape the future of the mobile health (mHealth) industry. Read More …

Improving the Internet of Things

Click image to view TechRadar article.

Ahh, all those things on the Internet

Article summary and Modern Health Talk response about improving the Internet of Things (IoT).

I responded to a TechRadar article on The Internet of Things is nothing to fear, which explored the privacy fears when sensors sprinkled around our homes and communities monitor our every moves, and our health. The purpose of this article is to not to downplay those privacy fears but to share my perspective on the Smart House concept.

EXCERPTS:  Health is an area that is already embracing the IoT. The idea of the quantified self, measured by tracker gadgets like the FitBit or Nike Fuelband, is becoming commonplace, and as the tech gets smaller and more embeddable it will be possible to weave sensors into the fabric of clothing or footwear and into the realms of true health monitoring.

Google recently patented a smart contact lens – not as a future iteration of Google Glass but as a way of measuring glucose levels in tears. Anyone at risk of diabetic shock would be able to keep tabs on their sugar levels without having to stop and take a blood test, while an app on a smartphone or other personal computing device could make great use of that data to trigger medication alerts or prompt for medical review. … 

Packing our homes with sensors could give obvious, easy wins like mining temperature, room usage and weather data to fine-tune heating and ventilation. It could also offer a way to help care for the ageing population through projects like BeClose that look for changes in an elderly relative’s daily routine and sends alerts if anything seems amiss.

My Response Read More …

Telemedicine and mHealth Converge

Medicine Unplugged: Your phone, your DNA, your data

 

Telemedicine and M-Health Convergence Market is a new market research report.

EDITOR: I’ll mark highlights and add [occasional notes].

London (PRWEB) November 20, 2013 — Clinical telemedicine services converge with m-health systems of engagement to lower cost of care and improve quality of care. Tele-medicine and M-Health Market Convergence driving forces relate to an overall trend toward ordinary people taking more responsibility for their own health. This trend has been more prevalent for women in the past 100 years than for men because women used to die very young and they had to learn how to keep themselves healthy. Women have been able to reverse this trend of dying young and to live longer than men in the past 40 years, illustrating that paying attention to health is important. Read More …

Ageing and Brain Science

Science & Technology ConvergenceThis article explores advances in neural engineering research and is based on my interview with Dr. Metin Akay, Founding Chairman of the new Biomedical Engineering Department and the John S. Dunn professor of biomedical engineering at the University of Houston. His discipline unites the fields of engineering, computer science, physics, chemistry, and mathematics with cellular, molecular, cognitive and behavioral neurosciences.

One expected result of these fields converging is to lower health care costs. Another is to extend life, but as Dr. Akay put it, “While it’s very important to live longer, it’s much more important to have quality of life.” Read More …

WSU shares Smart Home technology with the world

smart home

By Tina Hilding, College of Engineering and Architecture

PULLMAN, Wash. – Washington State University researchers have received a National Science Foundation grant to share their “smart home in a box” technology with 60 institutions and scientists around the world in what will be the largest-ever installation of such home monitoring systems.

The collaborators will develop their own monitoring projects in a home or a lab and report back their results. With this data, the WSU researchers will be able to develop a system for using and sharing cutting-edge, smart environments data on a large scale. Read More …

Blood Pressure Monitors see Steady Market Growth

Global Revenue for Blood Pressure MonitorsBlood Pressure Monitors Set for Stable Market Growth as Health Concerns Show No Sign of Ebbing

Austin, Texas (Sept. 5, 2013)–The world market for blood pressure monitors will enjoy steady growth in the years ahead as aging populations climb in number and diseases exacting their toll require observation and supervision, according to a new report from IHS Inc., a leading global source of critical information and insight.

Global revenue for blood pressure monitors is set to reach $854.9 million by year-end, up a modest 2 percent from $838.8 million in 2012. Revenue expansion will hold firm at the 2 to 3 percent range for the next three years, before bounding to a 5 percent increase by 2017. By then, industry takings will amount to $963.2 million, as shown in the attached figure. The majority of revenue will stem from automatic upper-arm monitors, which is the preferred type of blood pressure monitor. Read More …