Health Tech in 2011: “mHealth”

by jasonP

medical technologyWe’ve covered home health technology before, but the current trend in consumer health technology is hitting the road. Mobile healthcare technology, or mHealth, is rapidly becoming a huge growth sector in the healthcare industry. From remote monitoring of chronic-care patients, to preventative or diagnostic care, devices and apps that work with mobile devices like smartphones and tablets will change the way we access healthcare.

Instead of a periodic appointment, how about a datastream that feeds relevant vitals every week, day, hour, or even minute, to a centralized storehouse for analysis and risk-detection? Automated algorithms can crunch the data and alert doctors when they need to take a closer look, or alert the patient that they need to take some action.

The possibilities of mobile computing technology combined with telehealth monitoring and treatment are almost unimaginable. This field is only beginning to open up real-world applications. Much of it sounds like science-fiction. There is even a mention of the possibilities on the Sy-Fy Network’s ‘dvice’ blog.

One example of an actual device is an iPhone-attached ECG monitoring device from AliveCor. It is a very inexpensive ECG monitor, which can be worn by a patient, and used by doctors to monitor heart activity remotely. It is still waiting for FDA approval, but will probably be available this year. The Pittsburg Examiner has an article about this and other new devices here.

More info about the mHealth industry can be found at mobihealthnews.

The biggest question that arises with this technology is: What happens to all this data we are creating? Can it be secured?

Do you think you would be comfortable using your phone to send a stream of medical data to your doctor in real-time?