Posts Tagged ‘technologies’
As computing devices shrink in size, price and power consumption, they are being embedded in all sorts of everyday objects, including light bulbs, hearing aids, and even the human body. But what happens in 8-10 years when the pacemaker battery wears out? Today that requires another operation to replace it, but in the foreseeable future medical devices might be powered by the body itself, from heart beats, blood flow, lung contractions and arm and leg movements, as well as by electrical energy already produced by the inner ear.
That’s the message of the Wall Street Journal video below, which shows researchers investigating ways to harness the body’s energy – such as heat, sound and movement – to power medical devices.
I’ve written many articles here about Universal Design principals in communities, homes and products, and now I’m thrilled to say that moviegoers who are deaf, hard of hearing, have low vision or are blind can now experience movies at neighborhood theaters. Regal Entertainment Group announced that 200 theaters nationwide will offer the Sony Entertainment Access System.
The system includes specially designed and lightweight eyewear for guests who are deaf or hard of hearing so they can privately view closed captioned text for both 2D and 3D movies. Patrons who have low vision or those who are blind can use this assistive technology with headphones or neck loops to hear descriptive audio tracks. Captions and descriptive audio can only be accessed by this equipment and is not visible or audible to other moviegoers.
The system is available at the Guest Services counter or from any theater manager. To select films offering this service, look for online showtimes noting: “Accessibility Devices Available.”
Opportunity is knocking for telehealth to become a common method of practicing medicine in the U.S.
One-on-one Web-based video chats and other electronic consultation between doctors and patients isn’t new — it’s been used throughout the U.S. in varying degrees for a few years now. But health-care reform, a ballooning and aging population and a shortage of available family physicians may be a perfect storm that could blow the doors open for telehealth to go mainstream.
As states’ health insurance exchanges — online marketplaces where citizens can compare and purchase insurance plans — begin to debut in advance of the 2014 deadline set forth by the Affordable Care Act (ACA), access to health-care providers should expand for many Americans. Obtaining insurance coverage soon may be easier, but the gap between the number of incoming patients and available primary care doctors is widening.
Professor Carl J. Schramm wrote about Improving the Nation’s Health with More Efficient Care as part of a GE Ideas Roundtable that included two good interactive infographics about working in America and how different nations view innovation. But I don’t think improving the efficiency of care is where the biggest benefits lie, so I added this comment:
Technology can be a two-edge sword. On one hand it has contributed to the doubling of the amount of published medical information every year or two, causing general practitioners to specialize just to keep up with changes in their field. On the other hand, innovations such as telehealth, remote monitoring and analysis of medical & environmental sensors, and IBM’s Watson supercomputer applied to medical diagnostics, will help to move many procedures and tests down-market from MD to PA, NP, RN, aid and consumers in their homes.
But aren’t we still addressing the wrong problem? It’s not so much about the efficiency of delivering care but eliminating the need for it. We currently have a “sick care” system, not a health care system, and that’s the real problem to focus on. When patients are viewed as customers of the health care system, practitioners and institutions have financial incentives to keep them as patients – i.e. treat symptoms rather than provide cures or prevent illness in the first place. Even health insurance providers fuel this backwards view, since more demand for medical care leads to higher premiums and larger profits.
Some of the most effective progress in health care has come from public health programs such as immunization, clean water, and education about smoking, nutrition, and exercise. I’d throw poverty and obesity into that mix since, according to HBO’s documentary The Weight of the Nation, public health officials can reliably predict a community’s average weight by zip code and have noticed lifespan differences of more than 20 years between poor neighborhoods on one side of town and affluent ones on the other side just 8 miles away.
Wearable Technology Market to Exceed $6 Billion by 2016
Northampton, 08 August 2012 – Increasing demand for actionable, real-time data in a range of applications is driving strong demand for wearable technology. 14 million wearable devices were shipped in 2011; by 2016, wearable technology will represent a minimum revenue opportunity of $6 billion, according to World Market for Wearable Technology – A Quantitative Market Assessment – 2012, a new report from IMS Research. Read the rest of this entry »
Bluetooth is a global wireless standard that enables simple connectivity among mobile and medical devices. Version 4.0, with its low energy features for long battery life, is already transforming the healthcare industry, creating efficiencies, and promoting responsible personal health monitoring, as noted in my earlier article, Healthcare meets Bluetooth Low Energy. But the following press release highlights new market research that predicts a … Read the rest of this entry »
How do you deal with the inefficiencies of the healthcare system?
This question was posed to a LinkedIn discussion group by White Glove Health, an Austin-based company that provides health care directly to you at home or work or over the phone. It’s a new discussion thread, but here’s my initial response.
Given advancements in technology, and related but slower advancements in regulatory oversight, I see companies like White Glove Health leading us into a more efficient future where advice, tests and procedures move down-market over time from specialists to general practitioners, PAs, NPs, RNs, medical aids, and health consumers themselves. I see many functions moving from hospitals to clinics, satellite clinics, and homes. And I see eventual changes in licensing that allows care to extend across state lines, and even international boarders.
Home Monitoring for Seniors Will Drive 36 Million Wearable Wireless Device Market
A combination of factors including the growing senior demographic combined with economic, social, and technological developments are driving investment and demand for home monitoring devices that can extend and improve in-home care.
As the market transitions from safety focused offerings toward health monitoring and extending and enhancing the comfort, safety, and well-being for seniors living in their own homes and care homes, monitoring devices will grow to more than 36 million units in 2017, up from under 3 million units in 2011, at a CAGR of 55.9%.
Over the same time, home monitoring will almost double its share of the wearable wireless device health market to 22% from 12%.
“Healthcare providers and caregivers alike are looking for devices to improve the monitoring of seniors in their own homes as economics and demographics increasingly drive that demand” says Jonathan Collins, principal analyst at ABI Research and author of a new report examining the wearable wireless device healthcare market. Read the rest of this entry »
As a technologist, futurist, mHealth advocate, and past Home Systems consultant, I’m a fan of embedded technologies that make products smarter and easier to use, especially those that improve healthcare, but I side with “Smart Home” skeptics and add my own comments after this press release. – Wayne Caswell, mHealthTalk editor
The Future of Smart Systems
By 2020, experts think tech-enhanced homes, appliances, and utilities will spread, but many of the analysts believe we still won’t likely be living in the long-envisioned ‘Homes of the Future’
June 29, 2012 — Hundreds of tech analysts foresee a future with “smart” devices and environments that make people’s lives more efficient.
But they also note that current evidence about the uptake of smart systems is that the costs and necessary infrastructure changes to make it all work are daunting. And they add that people find comfort in the familiar, simple, “dumb” systems to which they are accustomed.
Some 1,021 Internet experts, researchers, observers, and critics were asked about the “home of the future” in an online, opt-in survey. The result was a fairly even split between those who agreed that energy- and money-saving “smart systems” will be significantly closer to reality in people’s homes by 2020 and those who said such homes will still remain a marketing mirage. Read the rest of this entry »