A "hospital room of the future" at Kaiser's Garfield Innovation Center.
By: Polly Stryker and Scott Shafer
To learn more about the new frontier of mobile health technology, we paid a visit to Kaiser's Garfield Innovation Center in Oakland. It's a large, industrial building where Kaiser tests everything from delivery cart robots to futuristic operating rooms.
Dr. Yan Chow, the head of Innovation and advanced technology at the Kaiser Innovation Center, opened our eyes to the wonderful world of health apps -- and we’re not just talking about pedometers. The Center features advanced monitoring equipment, that often plugs into a smartphone.
Here are a few of the devices and apps being tested currently at the Center.
iBGStar: The First iPhone/iPad Connected Glucometer
In a mock bedroom Chow showed us how using simple machines that sit on a dresser grandma can take her blood glucose regularly or blood pressure with something the size of a flash drive. Results can be uploaded automatically to her doctor’s office via smart phone or tablet. If her doctor has a question about any readings, they can be discussed via web cam.
Smart phone ultrasound wand
Grandma can also plug in in an ultrasound wand to her smart phone to help track medications. When it's time to take a drug, the app flashes an image of the medication in question on the screen, and let's interested parties such as doctors or family know if, and when, grandma took it.
These sensors can seem a bit Orwellian. Similar sensors are under developmet to see if you're feeling drowsy or imparied, while say, in your car.
Smart otoscope, made by CellScope
Parents can use an autoscope speculum attached to the iPhone camera to take a picture of their kid’s eardrum at 3 a.m. The photo is uploaded to their doctor, who will tell them if their child has an ear infection. No doctor's visit needed.
NeuroSky EEG Headset
Over in the home office area, a headset that looks very much like one you’d use in the office analyzes certain brain waves to help patients exert simple control over the computer…with just their thoughts.
Hey, who needs a keyboard? Your smartphone can project a virtual laser keyboard that acts like the real thing.
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