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.