The Convergence of Technologies leads to better Health Diagnostics and Cures

Lately, I have been seeing a revolution in Healthcare. Companies are coming up with tools and apps that lead to cheap diagnoses.
This has come about with technologies becoming commodities that can then be used by the Healthcare companies.
It is a result of a convergence of many different technologies. These include the smartphone, the tablet, the cloud, electronic patient records,  genetics (advances in gene readers), etc.

Here is a good talk on the topic:

Eric Topol @ Google

The costs of diagnoses nowadays are going down and diagnoses is moving from the hospital/doctor to the patient.
The final testing currently still needs to be done by a doctor and healthcare insurance in the US will only honor an ICD code entered by the doctor to specify a condition, but a patient can buy cheap self-diagnosis tools for monitoring him/herself.

Here are some tools and enabling technologies announced/available:

Cardiogram: AliveCor –

ECG attachment for the iPhone

 

Diabetes
Blood-Glucose monitor – http://medgadget.com/2010/09/sanofiaventis_and_agamatrix_unveil_ibgstar_plugin_glucose_meter_for_the_iphone.html
Cheap
paper-test – http://zeenews.india.com/news/health/exclusive/new-paper-based-diabetes-test-for-developing-countries_17019.html

Blood Pressure:
Omron – http://www.amazon.com/Omron-BP760-Series-Pressure-Monitor/dp/B004H468S8
Withings
http://www.withings.com/en/bloodpressuremonitor

Weight:
Withings (to record and track) – http://www.withings.com/en/bodyscale
Aria by Fitbit – http://www.fitbit.com/product/aria

Fitness:
Nike Plus – http://nikerunning.nike.com/nikeos/p/nikeplus/en_US/plus/#//dashboard/
Fitbit – http://www.fitbit.com/product

Vision:
Carl-Zeiss – http://medgadget.com/2012/05/zeiss-launches-online-vision-screening-platform-medgadget-interview.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Medgadget+%28Medgadget%29

Sleep:
Zeo – www.zeo.com

Gene Sequencing:
MinION by Oxford Nanopore – http://www.nanoporetech.com/technology/minion-a-miniaturised-sensing-instrument

Electronic Health Records – eClinicalWorks – www.eClinicalWorks.com

ALS and rare diseases website: Patients Like Me – www.patientslikeme.com

3D printing of Organs:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-12520951
http://www.economist.com/node/15543683

This is a disparate collection but most of it can be used today.
What is amazing is that some of these tools use the cloud for their data and they have data that is more than research labs doing the same thing.
And this will only grow.

Mobile Health or mHealth is exploding and the iTunes store now has more than 10,000 apps. This is incredible because things that cost tens of thousands of dollars for a hospital to buy can be bought as apps for a dollar. Even 100 dollars is a big improvement.
The future entails some kind of sensor, a smartphone and the Cloud. Ironically, if properly done, the Cloud could be a more secure place than your doctor’s office or hospital.

The patient is becoming more empowered than before with all these tools and technologies and doctors will have to adapt the way they do things soon.

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About Ra

Software Engineer (worked in corporations to healthcare start-ups), Geek, Musician, Artist, Fellow Human - living in the covergence space of healthcare, software, interaction design, the quantified self and genetics, music and spirituality
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