We talk about Electronic Medical Records, or EMRs, a lot on Cloud9, but they are only a small function of how the marriage of technology and medicine will affect our lives in the near future for the better.
In a late 2009 Ted Talk, Eric Topol shows how the convergence of several technologies will take medicine to the next level in prolonging our lives and increasing their quality.
The technologies that are bringing about this conversion:
· Multiple billion cellphone users
· Broadband 3g, soon to be 4g
· Pervasive connectivity
· Ingenious Sensors
Topol demonstrates how broadband-enabled smartphones can deliver real-time vitals data on a patient. "On your smartphone today, you check your email. In the future you will be checking all your vital signs," Topol says.
“Why is that important?” he asks. With advancing technologies like these, it is possible we can reduce the number of hospital readmissions for things like heart failure by consistent monitoring. Topol lists several other life-threatening diseases which sensor-enabled devices can and will be able to monitor and prevent. This list of course is not exhaustive:
· Sudden Cardiac Death
· Atrial Fibrillation
· Breast Cancer
· Hip Fractures
· Sleep disorders
Sure, IT can be pretty boring. But advances in medical information technology like this and others can tangibly translate into longer, healthier lives.