How Are You Influencing Telemonitoring Technology?VP, PSG Healthcare Business Development, HP
The advantages to remote care are numerous, but the risks are real and potentially fatal. Telemonitoring can bring quality care to the house-bound or difficult to reach, but doctors shouldn't sacrifice accuracy on account of the miles that separate them from their patients. A poor quality image can lead to misdiagnoses or worse, so extreme care should be taken to choose the right equipment. Fortunately, advances in technology have made it possible for videoconferencing to move from the conference room to remote practices or centers with physicians. The recently announced HP SkyRoom provides high quality visual collaboration at a reasonable price point, making video conferencing available to more people than ever before. Doctors and patients no longer need to worry about poor image transmission or audio delays over the network with a system this robust.
Even with all these capabilities, HP SkyRoom does not require a dedicated network infrastructure and operates within network bandwidth limits, so setup requirements are negligible. With videoconferencing of this caliber, doctors can provide quality remote care like never before and patients can rest easy knowing their most personal records are safely encrypted using AES256one of the industry's highest standards.
Director, Radio Technology and Strategy and Vice Technical Chair for ZigBee Healthcare, Freescale Semiconductor Inc.
Personal telemedicine and telehealth is a critical component to reducing healthcare costs. Freescale is leading the way to more cost-effective, easy-to-use healthcare and wellness products with embedded ultra-low power microcontroller and microprocessors, sensors, and award-winning ZigBee wireless technology. Freescale is on the board of the ZigBee Alliance, and a contributing member of the Continua Health Alliance. Just last year, Continua adopted ZigBee technology for its next-generation wireless connectivity for residential, group care, and professional environments. The American Telemedicine Association announced in November a liaison with ZigBee. Why? Whether it is seniors living with more independence, folks managing chronic disease, or even the worried well, healthcare and wellness devices are all over the home. Running cables isn't an option; battery friendly wireless and embedded microcontrollers are mandatory.
Chief Technology Officer, SensAble Technologies
With hapticsthe science of toucha telemonitoring application can be transformed into a virtual therapist in a patient's home, allowing intensive, yet affordable physical rehabilitation. It can cut down on the number of clinic visits, which may be difficult for the disabled, while providing more reliable objective and quantitative data on progress. For example, in a stroke rehabilitation application created by Curictus AB of Sweden, patients perform video game-like exercises in the comfort of their home while holding a force-feedback haptic devicelike a highly sophisticated, precise, more capable Nintendo Wii. The haptic device, from SensAble Technologies, pushes back on the patient's hand to deliver specific, quantifiable forces tailored to their condition, and then measures 3D hand movement data. Performance data are continuously collected and, after each part of an exercise, transmitted via the Internet to the Curictus server for assessment by a therapist at any time. The programs can be modified and treatment plans revised.
President, Bleck Design Group
The low cost of sophisticated consumer electronics gives us a large pallet of friendly and inexpensive technology for home medical care. But too much technology just confuses users so we must be careful designers. We must consider the intuition that each user develops from life experiences and remember that being home means freedom. Telemonitoring devices for the home must improve independence and not be a burden.
Recently, Bleck Design Group completed the design of the PillStation for Senticare, which helps patients take their pills at the right time. The technology and the design are intended to help improve behavior through positive reinforcement. We combined familiar features like a day x week pill bin with cameras, a speaker phone, and a data/voice link to a call center. A picture is taken of the pills and sent to call center. A patient gets personal messages telling them "good job" or to fix an error. Users and caregivers need little training because technology is invisible. Just plug in a phone line and you're up and running. After a few weeks, patients change habits and start complying with their medicine regimen.
President and COO, KORE Telematics
At KORE Telematics, we are increasingly helping organizations understand the critical role that reliable and ubiquitous wireless communications can play in taking ‘quality of life' benefits of telemonitoring to the next level. Basic telemonitoring technology has appeared recently, but many solutions rely on a wired phone to operate.
Nearly one in six homes discontinued their landline, presenting a barrier to the growth in telemonitoring. In addition, home monitoring patients are often restricted by device inflexibility, even if their condition may not warrant it. Now, with wireless data services, we are able to monitor health data right in the home with no need for special connectivity to be installed. And, when patients leave the home, monitoring continues seamlessly.
These innovations are made possible through advancements in machine-to-machine (M2M) communications that enabled cost-effective, remote health monitoring. Using the highly reliable, inexpensive, and fast wireless networks that power cellular phones, M2M has reinvented industries from agriculture to fleet management by capturing and transmitting remote data.
By integrating the networks of major leading wireless carriers into a single service platform, KORE is eliminating coverage or connectivity issues. This frees patients to travel the world while their medical diagnostics are reported to a doctor in real-time.
Worldwide Manager for Medical Electronics Solutions, Texas Instruments
Telemonitoring and Connected Health represent the use of various information technologies for remote monitoring of patient parameters for health, wellness, and chronic disease management.
Incidences of chronic diseases, like diabetes, congestive heart failure, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, are rising. Coordinated management of these diseases involves healthcare service providers working with patients, their families, and social networks. Compliance to such a holistic plan would reduce disease complications, hospitalizations, and unnecessary emergency room visits. Currently, anecdotal health information that the patient reports during a doctor-visit may not include any contemporaneous events that may be relevant.
Real-time disease management is only possible if real-time information flows from the patient to monitoring devices to decision support systems to nursing staff and doctors at the clinic and then back to the patient.
Texas Instruments (TI) is enabling this by offering a wide choice of connectivity semiconductor solutions for USB, WLAN, Bluetooth, ZigBee, Bluetooth Low-Energy, and RFID. High-performance analog and power management chips combined with low-power embedded processors are making these medical devices very user friendly, especially for the growing aging population.
Recognizing that technology alone cannot solve the problem, TI is working with medical device companies, healthcare service providers, and disease management companies to further the efficacy and cost-effectiveness of patient telemonitoring and telecare.