Body Media’s patch, which uses Vancive's wearable sensor technology, is worn on the upper arm and used in lifestyle and weight-management solutions. The patch is designed to be used on a trial basis for a fraction of what the company’s sensor solutions usually cost, so people can experiment with the technology.
Prevention is better than a cure, and these types of new medical technologies are leading the way to a healthier lifestyle for people, whether they've had medical problems already, struggle with weight issues or just generally want to keep fit. These are the kinds of stories I really enjoy writing because they actually affect people's lives in a positive way. What do you all think of this type of technology?
Elizabeth, over the last couple of years I have heard talks from MartyCooper. He is cedited as the developer of the cell phone at Motorola. He will tell you he was part of a team, but he is credited with making the first call on a cellular network. Marty's area is, or course, communications. He has been touting these wearable medical sensors. They always appear at the end of his talk when discussing how technology can help solve some of the world's most pressing problems. Marty is in his 80s. He runs daily and is still coming up with patents (important ones) and working start-ups. His point is that it is communication technology, paired with these sensors, that will cost effectively help improve health and bring down costs.
I haven't heard of him, naperlou, but will look him up. I do believe that's true, if we have a better sense of our health first hand then we can address any potential problems more quickly before they get dire (and expensive). And it also makes people more responsible for their own health, which is crucial. Thanks for reading and for the suggestion.
As the Wellness industry matures, this is a great product for Westerners. Today, we all seem to need to monitor and analyze every little step in our daily lives. Watching power usage by the hour on Smart Meters, checking social media accounts constantly, etc.
This tool is great for those who try out a new program, whether it's a diet, acupuncture, yoga, etc, and need know immediately if it's "working" or not.
It's nice to see this progress, Liz. Pretty soon, band-Aids will be reading our temperatures and blood pressure. I've always heard that EKG in a Band-Aid is the Holy Grail for the medical electronics industry.
EKG in a Bandaid, really? Well, it seems like maybe we're not that far off! Although I guess it depends on where exactly that Bandaid is placed...or not? I guess these sensor patches are a good start down that road, Charles!
I think it's a good thing, but at the same time it's scary with some of the way the political landscape is going. I am afraid that there will become a time when we will start to be punished in a way to control our health habits. We already see smokers being charged different fees than others. It won't be long before what we eat may cost us more.
Ann, I saw the Zio Patch in operation a couple of years ago at a medical show. It's impressive. For those who want to check out that kind of technology, the Medical Design & Manufacturing Show is coming up in Anaheim in a couple of weeks.
Great article. Multiple potential applications come to mind when I read this report. One new application could be for the military to track a soldier's health in real-time. Another application I see is health care companies giving their clients a reduction in premium charges if they live a healthy lifestyle (and show evidence of this by wearing these devices).
Thanks, Greg! Actually, I wrote an article awhile ago for another publication about technology that could determine if a soldier had been injured by a bomb blast...I think it was headgear. That used sensors as well. So you're dead on (no pun intended!) that this technology would be applicable for the military for sure. I think it would be a wake up call for all of us (even those of us who think we're fairly healthy) to have access and wear a device like this.
Elizabeth, any idea how this sensor is communicating with doctor. Is it with the help of any service provider with SIM card or a wifi signals. Anyway it has to use some mediums to communicate with doctors. Is it a half duplex or full duplex communication.
It would be interesting to know if this type of technology could get to the point that you can wear this and look at your own results without having to have them interpreted by a doctor. Of course, then again, maybe I don't want to know how my choices are making me a few pounds over weight.
Hi, jmiller, I believe this is already possible through the use of an iPhone application with some of these type of devices. The shirt mentioned in the story I know provides heartrate and other type of information to the user. As the devices get more sophisticated I'm sure more of this will be available.
That is a really good question, Tim. I don't know the answer offhand but I am sure this is something people making these devices are thinking about. For sure the lines of communications between patients and doctors would have to be secured...I'm sure confidentiality rules would mandate that. As it's all still being developed, this will evolve over time.
Notarboca, I think HIPPA rules only cover about the datas in repository. I mean the content of health data repository and as of now this sensor communication won't comes under the preview of such laws. If needed federal government can take necessary steps to bring all such things under an umbrella, that's all.
These systems could use the bendable lithium-ion batteries that Elizabeth wrote about in the link below. Flexible patches for insulin delivery and cardiac monitoring seem like perfect applications for bendable batteries.
Charles, thanks for the link. If am not wrong, such insulin pump and cardiac monitoring devices are not communicating with any external devices. It's a self monitoring and correcting devices. So there is no need of any remote communication.
Elizabeth.. very nice article. I'm coming to the party late but still wanted to give my .02. The ingestible sensors are very interesting however I'm not sure I would want to take one of the pills.
I like the no battery and antenna approach that uses the stomach's fluid for power source and the body to transmit. The patch looks somewhat large but guess as time goes on it will get smaller and smaller....
Tim, my major concern is also in similar line. How it’s communicating with Doctor and is this communication channels are secure enough. Otherwise adding extra noises in channel make interpolate the sensor datas and lead to a misreading.
Elizabeth, there is no doubt that such technologies will be helpful for patients, especially to those who are not able to move around from bed. Remote diagnosis will be a great help for such elder peoples and doctors can diagnose them at any time based on the current statists of data through the sensors. Hope this technology will emerge soon.
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