Research Blog 8

Source 1: Eric Topol: The Wireless Future of Medicine

This TedTalk was given by Eric Topol, a leading cardiologist who has focused on genomics and medical technology in his career. This speech highlights the importance of technological innovation in medicine. Eric Topol stated that there can soon be ways to manage chronic disease such as diabetes through the means of technology. For example, vital sign monitoring to prevent sudden death from heart attacks could save numerous lives. He pointed out that there are over 650 wireless technology companies that are actively working towards wireless health. Another example of health innovation that can one day become reality is the idea of an “iShoe.” This technology would be shoes that use proprioception to prevent elderly people from falling. These advances in medicine would decrease death rates from the lack of chronic disease management as well as potentially prevent individuals from developing chronic diseases.

The most surprising quote from this source was: “Well, there is these smart Band-Aids or these sensors that one would put on, on a shoe or on the wrist. And this sends a signal and it creates a body area network to a gateway. Gateway could be a smartphone or it could be a dedicated gateway, as today many of these things are dedicated gateways, because they are not so well integrated.” I chose this quote because it is baffling to me that a patch could be placed externally on the human body and monitor vitals. For years, we have been using invasive, complicated measures in order to collect simple vitals. This goes to show how much technology is going to shape the world of medicine in the future.

Source 2: Telemedicine Puts a Doctor Virtually at Your Bedside

This video from PBS NewsHour talks about how video conferencing can now connect physicians and patients instantly. However, the video goes in depth regarding how this can affect patient and physician relationships. Through surveys, many people state that they have been with their primary care physicians for many years. The patients say that their physicians know them as well as their families very well. Does this go away with video chatting instead of clinic visits? Those who work for the program Doctor on Demand state that the good outweighs the bad with this situation. Many people do not have the access to a doctor’s office when there is a medical emergency or even something small that an individual may not want to have seen by a doctor. For example, if a patient notices a rash on a part of their body, they may believe it is not serious enough to go get it checked out in person. Therefore, a visual representation to the doctor over video chat can lead to an easy diagnosis. Many people are working for Doctor on Demand and satisfaction rates are high.

The most surprising quote from this video was: “Her prescriptions were sent to a nearby pharmacy electronically.” This quote was in regards to a patient who was seen over the video chatting program. She was diagnosed with viral sinusitis and the program was able to electronically send a prescription to a convenient location for the patient. This goes to show how easy telemedicine can make the lives of many who are not able to travel far for healthcare.



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