30 Dec Inventing one of the First Wearable Medical Technologies
Wearable medical technologies are all the buzz today. But I began working on wearable technologies back in 1995 leveraging the technologies of the day see, US patent 5.902,234 and 6,728,341. Remember this was way before the common use of cell phones and certainly before smart phones and enabling technology stacks. As I continue my work in this space one thing is certainly clear and that is wearable technologies will have a principal impact on both disease management and prevention. The overwhelming majority of the cost of healthcare are driven by patient behavior this includes both wellness behaviors and disease management behaviors. Leveraging connection architecture, game mechanics and social engagement we will be able to do a far better job in anticipating conditions before they become expensive and acute.
My early patents describe the use of two-way digital pagers that would send out messages to patients to remind them to take medications, check blood pressures or other disease management behaviors. The patient would press the yes no button that would go back to the caregiver or central monitoring station to verify that the patient is complying with hospital discharge our home healthcare regiments. There is of course a lot more to these patents that you can read but generally speaking not much has changed in the principal goals. What is fun for me as an innovator is the incredible technologies I now have to work with.
Future of Wearable Medical Technologies
What is the future of wearable technologies in healthcare this year I coined a term I call Patients as a Node (PaaN) this is where we leverage wearable technologies that include adjunct and implantable sensors that serve data to a Smart watch or other data server. The data server also gleans spatial data and sends information to a central monitoring system that leverages EMR, grid data and other relevant data that is then sent it on to a cognitive computing system that evaluates patients sensor data, spatial data, grid data, patient health records and other relevant data to determine a range of actions for both the patient and caregiver. The system will of course leverage game mechanics and social engagement to drive compliance.