Portland, OR —According to product design and development experts at ZIBA Design, breakthroughs in Internet- and intranet-connected medical devices will turn a patient's home into a center for the monitoring of his or her physiological condition.
"Those who think do-it-yourself pregnancy tests are the ultimate in home healthcare are in for a real surprise," notes ZIBA president Sohrab Vossoughi. "New network-enabled products will be linked directly to healthcare providers, allowing effective round-the-clock monitoring and feedback. A bathroom scale, for instance, will be able to take several measurements and, because it's linked to a modem, identify early warning signals for immediate notification of potentially problematic changes in weight, muscle mass, or blood pressure. Other innovations—such as sensors embedded in clothing, wristwatches, or necklaces—will provide real-time body monitoring. In general, the connection between these devices and the Internet will be invisible and will fit naturally into the patient's lifestyle."
From a medical standpoint, says Vossoughi, one of the biggest advantages of these developments is that actual patient behavior will be captured rather than self-reported behavior, significantly increasing the accuracy and value of the data. This will facilitate a shift from reactive treatment to proactive prevention—something promised under managed care.
Using wireless chips and accessories, engineers can now extract data from the unlikeliest of places -- pumps, motors, bridges, conveyors, refineries, cooling towers, parking garages, down-hole drills and just about anything else that can benefit from monitoring.
With strong marketplace demand for qualified engineers across the board that currently outstrips the available supply, there may never be a better time for engineers and project managers to advance their careers and salaries. Whether those moves are successful in the short-term and long-term is likely to depend on how the transition from one job to the next is handled.
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