Wearable Medical Technology is in Your Future
New devices will make it easier to monitor health conditions in real time and automatically import that data into health informatics systems. More information will be available sooner allowing for quicker assessments and interventions. Some of these technologies may already be at work in a health system near you:
- Real-Time Locating Systems
Wireless tracking tags can be used to monitor the movement of patients and/or equipment, making it easier to locate missing patients, find wheelchairs and IV carts, and be alerted if patients try to enter a restricted area.
- Smart Textiles
Smart textiles are being developed for a variety of uses in the health and fitness industries. There are already garments on the market that can measure heart rate, temperature, respiration, and more.
- EEG Headset
Wearable, wireless electroencephalography headsets with impedance monitoring and active electrodes are being investigated for their viability. The newest prototypes allow data to be transmitted in real-time to remote receivers up to 10 miles away.
- Sensor Insoles
Sensor insoles that communicate via USB radio waves can be used to measure weight distribution and motion in patients, with particular usefulness in rehabilitation environments.
- Ambulatory Telemetry
Major medical device manufacturers have developed portable, wearable telemetry monitors that measure ECG, oxygen and other vital signs while the patient is being transported or is otherwise in motion.
- Wireless Sensors
Wireless sensors are enabling remote patient monitoring with an emphasis on prevention and early intervention. Wearable units are attached to the patient and deliver data to the healthcare team via smartphone.
- Body Motion Patches
One disposable patch on the market uploads data to a computer system or mobile device at a rate of 5,000 data points per minute. Patches, which measure data like calorie intake and activity level, provide an affordable alternative to more costly devices.
- Defibrillator Monitors
These devices are lifesavers for patients suffering from heart disease. Not only are they able to detect irregular cardiac rhythms and deliver an electric shock, they can also monitor heart activity after a heart attack, bypass surgery, or stenting.
- Multi-Sensor Wristband
While primarily designed for the consumer market, multi-sensor wristbands can be useful in the healthcare space as well. These devices can measure blood flow, heart rate, body movement, temperature, and more.
- Muscle Activity Sensors
Devices that report on muscle contraction, relaxation and applied force offer a new way to monitor rehabilitative progress and prevent re-injury among therapy patients.
Learn how you can keep up with the future with a masters in health informatics from the University of Illinois at Chicago: http://healthinformatics.uic.edu/