Can Wearable Devices Compete With Hospital Capital Equipments?

Can Wearable Devices Compete With Hospital Capital Equipments?

wearable devices

Hospital Medical equipment is designed to aid in the treatment, monitoring and diagnosis of medical conditions. The Hospital equipments include, but are not limited to medical monitors like EEG, ECG, etc. and life support equipments, such as medical ventilators.

However, today, real-time patient care and monitoring has become the crux of the medical industry. Thus, more and more hospital medical equipment has now been integrated with wireless connectivity technologies, for keeping track of the patient’s status.

Wearable health technology is capturing serious interest in the press for several reasons and is likely to transform healthcare in unimagined ways; in short, these health gadgets are turning science fiction into science facts. The latest portable equipment and health gadgets sport sleekness and new capabilities. From clothes that incorporate sensing devices to headsets that measure brain waves, this wonderful technology is thriving rapidly.

In our experience with wearable devices, regulatory and quality standards are still being developed, as this technology evolves. The start ups not only have the challenge to develop a safe and effective technology, but also to work with regulatory bodies on undefined standards.

Some unique examples of wearable devices:

HealthPatch MD: The device detects biometric measurements and vital signs, such as Body Posture including Severity/ Fall Detection, steps, skin temperature, respiratory rate, and heart rate variability. The HealthPatch MD is used in clinical settings by providers for increasing access to healthcare and improving the quality of patient care while reducing costs.

Sonic Eye: Surgeons and doctors have to rely on portable ultrasound machines for examining small organ problems, nerve block, fluid flow and vascular access, but the new FDA-approved Sonic Eye wearable ultrasound probe helps clinicians to conduct, feel and see a host of medical applications at the same time.

BlueControl: BlueControl is the newest product of Philips that uses blue LED light for controlling moderate to mild cases of psoriasis vulgaris.

Novel Wearable Patch: Tocodynamometer is used for measuring the contractions at the hospital, however now Novel wearable Patch, still in development phase, has replaced Tocodynamometer and helps in solving and understanding large and growing pregnancy complications such as preterm birth, preeclampsia and gestational diabetes.

User Response – Wearable or Capital Equipment?

Consumers are highly positive about portable equipment and health gadget’s potential to improve healthcare. Whether it’s a smart bathroom scale or portable blood glucose meter, or simply a dedicated app that operates on an existing smartphone, each is playing a significant role in making consumers active about their health. Moreover, consumers enjoy the freedom and flexibility that wearables offer.

Wearables Cannot Replace Hospital Equipment – Is It So?

Portable devices such as infusion pumps and nebulizers or wearable devices such as glucose and blood pressure monitors and endoscopy recorders are only a few of the technologies that are today available to the public. Although the production of wearable medical gadgets and portable equipment is aimed at reducing the patient’s stays in hospitals, however, their design has brought many other challenges, such as safety (related to software/RF), reliability, battery life and inaccurate performance.

Physician’s Views

An ankle and foot surgeon, Dr. Robert Duggan, who works with a multi-specialty healthcare group that is in partnership with Orlando Health, gives his views about wearable technology. “Wearable technology has the power to make healthcare more effective, efficient and convenient for both doctors and patients.” “We need research demonstrating that when the portable ultrasound is added to evaluate patients, they will get better care.”- Dr. Soni is Director of the patient safety rotation and procedure service for UTHSC’s medical residents.

Wearable gadgets don’t come without challenges; however, given the potential for optimistic results, these are worth mentioning.

Photo credit: Flickr – Keoni Cabral

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