Tag: mhealth

Wearable technology benefits become evident to doctors and patients, alike

There are some considerable advantages to wearables and they are becoming increasingly obvious.

With all the different DIY monitors and devices that patients have to use at home – which now include wearable technology in many different forms – the shape of the relationship between doctors and patients is starting to change, as is the care available from doctors and the care patients can provide themselves.

Blood pressure and glucose monitors, fitness bands, and other devices make tracking easier.

Wearable technology has pushed this trend forward very quickly, as wristbands and smartwatches offer sensors that can perform functions such as heartbeat and blood pressure tracking, sleep tracking, activity tracking and a range of other capabilities. Not only is it giving patients the ability to better understand the functions of their body systems, over time, but according to Yale University medical professor, Stephen Huot, doctors are already starting to see the benefits of the use of these wearables.

This helps to explain why so many people are using wearable technology and why this trend is growing.

Wearable Technology - Doctor and PatientIn 2012, Pew Research Center conducted a nationwide survey that determined that even by that time, 69 percent of adults were monitoring at least one indicator of health and wellness. These included diet, weight or exercise. Among them, 21 percent said that they were using a form of technology to be able to track that particular indicator. That said, Pew now projects that as weareables become more readily available, it will skyrocket in popularity, to the point that people will be commonly using wearable or even embedded devices by 2025.

Pew also explained in the report on its research that among the survey participants, 46 percent felt that their behaviors in tracking their health indicator(s) had altered their overall approach to a healthful lifestyle or toward someone else for whom they were providing care. Furthermore 40 percent of the survey participants said that the data they had collected by tracking had driven them to pose new and different questions to their doctors, or had even encouraged them to obtain a second opinion.

For this reason, doctors are increasingly prescribing the use of wearable technology, particularly for monitoring certain chronic conditions, such as patients with diabetes.

Augmented reality to assist military surgeons on the battlefield

A new tech from Purdue U. and Indiana University School of Medicine will guide docs with AR instructions.

Scientists working together at Purdue University and the Indiana University School of Medicine have come up with a new augmented reality based technology designed to assist military surgeons to complete vital procedures on the battlefield.

The tech will offer them guidance through both visual and audio assistance from remote specialists.

The idea is to use more than just verbal instructions when these military surgeons are coping with challenging trauma cases. While there are already systems in existence that give physicians located far away the ability to mark up video that is sent to him or her from a surgeon who is already working on a patient, there are some drawbacks to the current method. For example, though the video is from the perspective of the surgeon actually conducting the procedure, the notes from the assisting remote surgeon are displayed on a monitor nearby. This requires the surgeon to continually look away from the patient and the screen where the instructions are being shown. This new augmented reality based technology could change that.

The System for Telementoring with Augmented Reality (STAR) displays the information before the surgeon’s eyes.

It provides more than notes made on a video screen. Instead, it offers a more natural way of sharing information between two doctors who are on different parts of the planet. This allows them to use the overlay of AR technology to display notes or indicate specific positions on the patient that indicates particular points on the anatomy so that the surgeon is seeing it over his or her reality instead of on a screen.

This augmented reality technology offers a few different visual recognition algorithms in order to make sure that the text remains stable above the applicable locations, even if the surgeon changes his or her view away from the field of view where the text applies. This system uses transparent overlay on top of the working field so that a remote surgeon can point things out and add text right in front of the surgeon’s eyes without ever requiring the surgeon to look away from what he or she is doing.