Tag: medical technology

The FDA sees potential in wearable technology use

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is looking at a new wave of wearables that can monitor serious illnesses.

While fitness trackers such as the popular Fitbit and Jawbone gadgets, there is a new form of wearable technology making its way into the marketplace and in this case, it will be necessary for FDA approval to be issued in order to be able to sell them in the United States.

That said, the FDA is looking forward to the opportunity to find certain wearables that work for medical purposes.

The first waves of these wearable technology devices are going to be heading to market soon, after extensive time in the lab in which they have been developed and extensively tested in order to meet the requirements of the FDA. These gadgets have been created in order to detect, monitor and track serious diseases in their wearers. This could help to enhance and broaden access to high quality health care and could create a new industry worth tens of billions of dollars.

This new wearable technology business opportunity could be very helpful for patients with diabetes, epilepsy and other illnesses.

Wearable Technology - FDAThe FDA is already getting itself ready to handle the anticipated influx of mobile health gadgets that are hoping to be released pending its approval. According to the associate director for digital health with the agency, Bakul Patel, the FDA is already in the process of reviewing three new applications for senior health scientist positions that will have a focus on that specific category.

Despite the fact that the FDA has been called a barrier to innovation by certain entrepreneurs in the tech industry, the agency is hoping to alter that reputation and to become an important partner in the effort to ensure that devices can be developed that will be genuinely helpful in improving the health and quality of life of medical patients. It is also keen to encourage health insurance companies to start covering devices that receive official approval.

After all, patients, doctors, insurance companies and tech developers, alike, want to know that there is actual clinical benefit to a wearable technology device before it is released to market along with a slew of promises.

Surgeons employ Google Glass for blocked artery guidance

The augmented reality wearable technology was used to assist with the complex medical procedure.

Despite the fact that Google Glass has been falling out of the spotlight over the last while, the device has managed to make headlines once again as cardiologists have now used the wearable technology to assist them in completing a surgical procedure to unblock the coronary artery of a 49 year old male patient.

A custom app was created for the purposes of this procedure and the augmented reality headset displayed the 3D assistance.

The Google Glass app was created to offer the surgeons a 3 reconstruction of the artery, which they could view through the headset throughout the length of the procedure. This made it possible for the physicians to more effectively guide a catheter to the area with the clog. Using a catheter was used to send a stent or balloon into a clogged area is a common method of treating a blocked coronary artery. It is a procedure that is called a catheter-based percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI). That said, there are risks involved with this type of surgery, as one of the most challenging components of the process is to image the artery.

Google Glass made it easier for the doctors to use imaging and to view it in a way that could help to guide them.

Google Glass - Image of SurgeonsComputed tomography angiography (CTA) imaging techniques were used to view the patient’s specific blockage. The augmented reality headset then used the custom mobile app to display the patient’s own unique artery and blockage within the field of vision of the physician. This way, the doctor could visualize the patient’s own coronary vessel as the catheter was used for unblocking the area. In this specific surgery, there were two drug-eluting stents that were successfully implanted into the patient.

Using this strategy with Google Glass, it means that the same CTA images become much more usable and practical for doctors while they conduct the procedure as they can view them at the same time that they are inserting the catheter in order to provide them with continual customized guidance.