A slide set posted last week on the Medscape web site provides an interesting update on new and “soon to be new” wireless devices, apps, and services that the authors consider to be of significant or potentially significant value in oversight and management of a wide range of patients. (See “15 Game-Changing Wireless Devices to Improve Patient Care” by Scher and Chesanow.)
In most cases, the technology facilitates the provision of information from the patient directly to their monitoring physician or other caregiver:
- Any hospitalized patient connected to standard monitoring equipment
- Patients with atrial fibrillation or cardiac arrhythmia or other cardiac disorders
- Patients who need to be monitored for medication compliance (though the use of a tiny ingestible sensor)
- Patients with asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
- Patients who need close control of body mass, pulse rates, body temperature and levels of carbon dioxide.
- Nursing home residents or elderly patients living at home
- Any patient showing signs of illness (using a “real life” Tricorder-like instrument, like the one used by Dr. McCoy on “StartTrek”)
- Bedridden patients (who need to be monitored for risk of pressure ulcers and bedsores)
And then there is one other device mentioned (from the Media Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology) that allows patients who need eyeglasses to check their vision and get accurate new prescriptions without the need for a full evaluation by an optometrist.
Check it out. Some of this new technology appears to be very cool indeed. But you do have to be registered to use the Medscape web site.