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Why the Future of Health May Be Mobile

What's the Latest Development?

Telecommunications companies, like the San Diego-based Qualcomm, are wading into professional healthcare waters thanks to information technology's ability to create and manage massive amounts of data. "Asthmapolis has a GPS sensor for inhalers that uses a Bluetooth radio so people with asthma can track where and when they needed help breathing. CleverCap attaches to pill bottles, flashes and beeps when it’s time to take medication, and then, using Wi-Fi and cellular networks, reports to the Internet whether the pills were taken. The Garmin heart-rate monitor straps across the chest and digitally communicates beeps and blips with yet another wireless protocol, called ANT-plus."

What's the Big Idea?

About half of American adults have some kind of chronic condition, including obesity, arthritis, or diabetes. Experts say that wireless devices could let more of their health care happen at home. "To proponents of mobile health, like Don Jones, Qualcomm Life’s head of global marketing and strategy, this means that unnecessary visits to clinics and emergency rooms will plummet, people will refine their use of medicine, and doctors and nurses will have more time to focus on their neediest patients. A PricewaterhouseCoopers report this year estimated that mobile health technology could help save developed countries $400 billion by 2017."

Photo credit: Shutterstock.com

Read it at MIT Technology Review

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