Sunday, January 3, 2010

On M-Health, Wireless Health and Smart Plasters

M-health or mobile health is a recent term for mobile devices supporting medical practice. This term is closely related to Telemedicine (coined in the 1970s) and to another recently introduced term wireless health.
Mobile phone subscribers per 100 inhabitants 1...
Aurametrix wrote about exciting health gadgets and devices in several last year's blogs (such as Telemedicine: part 1, Telemedicine: part 2, Devices to keep you healthy, Going for the piece of a healthcare pie)

Many companies - large and small -make use of wireless sensors to collect clinically-actionable data for point-of-care. Companies including GE, Cinterion, Cardionet, Heatlhsmart, Digi, RIM, Proteus, E-Device, MedApps, are now working in mobile health area offering products and developing prototypes. Check, for example T+ Medical, Turkcell's Saglik365, Orange's Diabeo, Telstra's My-Glucose, Cardionet's MCOT™, and numerous cell phone applications (as some people say, the Phone will become your doctor) such as Allscripts remote. And there will be many more exciting developments - portable wearable devices scanning brain for signs of depression & stress disorders,

Everyday choices determine your health better than genomics. In addition to exciting gizmos and wearable monitors measuring activity, heart rate, sleep patterns, some companies are working on tiny implantable sensors helping to monitor health and health-related behaviors.
Proteus Biomedical is implanting tiny sensors into pills that send signals translatable into messages - such as "just took lipitor at 6:20pm" - sent in a very safe and private way to a wearable plaster, or a smart-band aide. This smart plaster is also picking up information on health-related measurements such as your heart rate, breathing patterns, activity level, stress, respiration
get sends you reminders. Last September Novartis worked with Proteus on a small 20 patient study to track patients’ compliance with their blood pressure drug regimen. This year the companies will work on sensor technology in organ transplantation.

American tech companies, taking notice of the unmistakable demographic trends, have launched a surge in gudgets for aging population - dubbed the silvertech. Emergency alert services have become a proliferating category in silvertech, along with sensor systems for the home, various kinds of long-distance health monitoring and smart medication dispensers that provide reminders and control dosage. Some dispensers signal a caregiver when a dose isn’t taken or a pharmacy when it’s time for a refill.

GE scientists are developing wearable RFID sensors to detect airborne chemical agents - to alert people to the presence of environmental chemical agents in the air. A novel technology based on resonant antenna structures of RFID sensors coated with various sensing films will recognize specific volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and chemical agents with part-per-billion detection limits. The sensor could also be used to analyze a person’s breath. Simply breathing on the sensor could potentially pick up biomarkers that serve as an early signal to the presence of certain diseases such as diabetes or cancer and metabolic disorders.

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