Wireless Medicine Improves Healthcare
Sensor Technology, Miniturization, microelectronics, mobile medicine all combine to make Wireless the future of healthcare
…giving physicians more opportunities to practice medicine from anywhere, at any time.
A good start to get a background on the basics of wireless technology, as well as its applications in the wireless medical field, is to first read this paper on the Medical Applications of Wireless Networks, written in 2008.
Lately, there has been a groundswell of interest the use of wireless technology in medicine and the healthcare system. It is fairly straight-forward what the advantages are: 1)lower cost of healthcare delivery, 2) less risk of malfunction, 3) easier 4) more mobility for patient, 5) more comfortable for patient 6) lower chance of infection from wires. And, as wireless technology improves a la Moore’s Law, all of the advantage will improve even more.
There are many many medical settings that wireless technology has affected. Certainly, the classic place is the ICU, CCU, where the patients is, typically, hooked up to monitors for blood pressure, heart rhythm, pulse oximeter., Swann Ganz catheters, etc, which most patients needs.
Wireless Monitors in Use In Hospitals (Video)
Wireless Affects Many Medical Settings
Other medical settings that wireless technology has affected are the ER, Home-bound patients, Rural settings, Underdeveloped Countries, Mass Emergencies, as well as Record Keeping.
The ER deals with cardiac problems in the field, where the ER doctor can see the rhythm of the affected patient in the field through wireless means, and is more effectively able to treat the cardia rhythm, in real time.
Home-bound patients are able to be monitored from afar, through the wireless technologies of sensors for vital signs, pulse oximetry. Research is being done now on the Killer App of non-invasive sensors to detect serum glucose in a few universities now, and soon that should be able to be done wirelessly, which should affect countless Home-bound patients, as well as regular maintainence of diabetics. Patients in rural setting are affected by wireless tech in the areas of increased use of Telemedicine, as well as the aforementioned vital signs monitoring from afar. Underdeveloped Countries benefit greatly from new tech. The iPhone is able to be used as a good microscope in the field to aid in diagnosing many infectious disease onsite, as well as the Smart Phone s giving the ability to transmit any slides of question, to pathologists, wirelessly, anywhere in the world. In India, a study focused on the transmission of wireless Telemedine, for treatment of patients with kidney failure, with great success, and lower costs.
Wireless Allows Remote Access to Medical Records
Wireless is also necessary for advances in Medical Records. Ideally, a patients medical records will be kept in the “Cloud”, to allow for a centralized place for anyone, anywhere to access it, under certain privacy conditions, with the patients permission. Also, the centralized record keeping facilites healthcare in general, to allow any caregiver to access accurate history of the patient, medications received, any treatment, surgeries done, etc.
Wireless technology will improve with time. If the reader is interested in the specifics of the exact technolopy of wireless, the standards, applications and architecture, etc, go to this paper.
Research in the USA is now taking place at the site of the center of Internet Medicine, San Diego, at Qualcomm, a huge US global corporation that deals with wireless telecommunication. One of the areas of research is the remote wireless monitoring of parmeters such as pulse, blood pressure through an amazing platform, known as 2Net, as seen in the below video
Matter of fact, Qualcomm is one of
the main backers of the West Health Institute, in San Diego, one of the main centers of research of Internet Medicine, as well as being dedicated to cutting healthcare costs.
Great Paper out St. Louis
Research is even going on at Ohio State University in the clinical use of the Swan Ganz catheter, as a wireless possibility:
“Advanced patient monitoring systems that provide wireless or remote patient monitoring to share data outside the immediate patient care area continue to see sales growth. Features on these devices can range from basic remote tracking ability to “face-to-face” interaction between clinicians and patients, or even data sorting of the vast amount of data collected in order to put it into the context of a patient’s condition. Many systems now transfer data to an electronic medical record (EMR), and some come with full-service outsourcing…...MORE