Sometimes the best way to tell people how to do something is to talk them through it.
That's the idea behind some of the talking medical devices on the market that provide people with instructions for how to use them, such as a portable defibrillator from Philips.
But instructions aren't the only things medical devices and mobile apps are saying to people these days. Through the use of voice technology, users can get a range of spoken information, advice, and even reminders from devices and applications.
Some devices tell users the information they register and how to set them for correct use. For example, a talking thermometer from BioSense Medical Devices can give someone instructions for setting up the machine, and it can give patients their blood-glucose levels.
Others, like the GlowCap from Vitality Inc., provide reminders. The cap -- which combines a prescription pill bottle cap with a wireless sensor -- doesn't speak words, but it flashes lights and plays chimes to remind people when to take their medication. A person also can use the cap to order prescription refills automatically by connecting to an automated phone system.
Click the GlowCap below to see a slideshow of some of the other chatty medical devices and applications available today.
The GlowCap doesn't speak in words, but it does chime music when it's time to take your medication. The cap, which will fit most prescription bottles, contains a chip that works with a plug-in light to monitor when the bottle is opened. If the botton has not been opened when the medication is meant to be taken, the cap will start glowing and chime music as reminders. Users also can order automatic prescription refills by pushing a button inside the cap. A wireless alert triggers a phone call to the user's cellphone from an automated system that can help the user order a refill. (Source: Vitality Inc.)
Hats off to you, bobjengr, for taking the safety course in the first place. I often see defibrillators at my local gym (as I mentioned previously) and at big department stores, but I wouldn't know what to do in an emergency if no verbal instructions were available. You've convinced me that it's time to take a safety course.
I recently took a refresher first-aid course required for continued certification. During that course, the instructor told us about a situation very similar to the one Charles described in his comments. This story involved a gentleman who dropped during a shopping trip to one of our local mauls. A quick-thinking security guard quickly retrieved an AED from his golf cart, and using the verbal instructions provided, was able to resuscitate him until the EMTs arrived. When he left the maul he was breathing and awake. The security guard had training in CPR but had never used an AED before. The verbal instructions saved the man's life. From my safety course, we were told that four (4) minutes can be the difference between life and death when a person is unresponsive and not breathing.
These "talking" devices are definitely beneficial. Can you imagine having to read instructions prior to using an AED or other life-saving device when seconds count?
Wow, how scary, and good thing a paramedic was there! That person should count their lucky stars. Glad that turned out well; it would have been awful had there been a defibrillator there and available for aid but if no one could use it properly. And this is where the talking comes in very handy!
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Noting that we now live in an era of “confusion and ill-conceived stuff,” Ammunition design studio founder Robert Brunner, speaking at Gigaom Roadmap, said that by adding connectivity to everything and its mother, we aren't necessarily doing ourselves any favors, with many ‘things’ just fine in their unconnected state.
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