Applying Tech: Wireless Medicine—Part 2
How are you influencing wireless medicine?
William Peters, MD
Chief Medical Officer, New Technology Development, Sunshine Heart Inc.
Cardiac assist devices and artificial heart pumps require constant power to operate properly. In most cases, these devices are powered by external battery sources through percutaneous leads that pierce the skin. This increases the risk of patient infection, requiring both patients and healthcare professionals to carefully manage the wound to minimize infection rates, which have been reported in clinical literature as high as 40%.
Sunshine Heart Inc. is developing a cardiac support system using "transcutaneous energy transfer" (TET), a concept first developed in 1893 by Nikola Tesla. This technology enables the transfer of power across the skin without piercing it. A primary coil is placed outside the skin opposite a secondary coil located beneath the skin. When the primary coil is excited by an external power source, a high-frequency electromagnetic field is created. This field excites the secondary coil, initiating an electric current, and allowing for power transfer through the skin.
User Experience Director, Product Development Technologies
With the advances in technology, it’s becoming common to update an analog or manual interface to a digital user interface. However, repeating the same or similar interface as before on a touch screen may not always be the best experience for users. We’ve recently found ourselves pushing companies to invest more time in developing an appropriate behavior for their product that complements the new technology and to readdress the information needs of the user. Now, with the availability of various screens and operating system platforms, we’re able to show information with different levels of importance, share the information with their care network, and improve the fidelity of icons and sounds. We can customize the interface to match user specific needs and even allow the user to personalize it. The consumer electronic market is always improving on methods for input and feedback; medical devices should strive to be as easily adaptable to the user.
Vice President, Healthcare, HP Personal Systems Group, HP
We’re influencing wireless medicine by introducing portable devices that bring all the information doctors need into their labcoat pockets. With new devices like the HP TouchPad, which was released earlier this month, we’re providing a user-friendly interface that allows doctors to access information securely without the hassle of running around the hospital to computer stations.
In a matter of minutes, doctors move from checking medical journals to consulting with patients to reviewing high-quality medical images. That’s why it’s important for doctors to have a wireless device built to manage multiple tasks simultaneously—the HP TouchPad’s webOS operating system is built with this in mind.
In addition, webOS helps protects patient data by building powerful security features and over-the-air software updates into the TouchPad, making management easier for IT. All webOS devices can be backed up automatically and erased if they are ever lost or stolen.
To boot, the TouchPad offers syncing capabilities with a doctor’s phone called “Touch-to-share.” If a doctor is viewing a website or document on their TouchPad, they can simply tap their HP Pre3 smartphone to the TouchPad, and the images on their tablet will transfer straight to their phone, allowing them to continue working seamlessly.