Intel just received FDA approval for their new in-home monitoring devices. The press release notes:
The Intel Health Guide enables caregivers to provide their patients with more personalized care at home, while also engaging and empowering patients to take a more active and positive role in their own care.
Intel said the interactive guide integrates vital sign collection, patient reminders, multimedia educational content and feedback and communications tools such as videoconferencing and e-mail. It can connect to specific models of wired and wireless medical devices, including blood pressure monitors, glucose meters, pulse oximeters, peak flow meters and weight scales.
Now this is a good idea – imagine how much pain and suffering we can alleviate by intervening in illnesses before they become acute? For example, when a patient with CHF begins to decompensate, physicians can intervene before the patient experiences severe shortness of breath and requires a hospital admission via the ER. What about catching a hyperglycemic episode early on? What about a hypertensive emergency that has no symptoms until very late in the game?
Avoiding the hospital can reduce exposure to infections, medical errors, insomnia, stress, and disorientation. Early intervention in disease keeps people out of the ER, and saves money and resources – while improving quality of life for the patients. The data gathering tools not only empower patients to be as independent as possible for as long as possible, but they empower physicians to care for their patients more effectively.
Unlike services that are aimed at replacing physicians, this one is designed to make them more efficient and effective. One day I imagine that a primary care physician will be able to keep an eye on her patients on one web page - with input from all the terminals combined into a dashboard. Alerts can be set at customized levels for different patients, and with a glance of an eye the physician will be able to see which patients may need help.
This is a brave new world of real-time health communication, and with technologies like this one, we may be able to bridge the gap between growing care needs and decreasing care resources while actually improving quality to boot.
Personal, affordable, telemedicine for the chronically ill. Bravo, Intel.This post originally appeared on Dr. Val’s blog at RevolutionHealth.com.