Not too long ago, doctors used stethoscopes to listen to your heart and X-rays to see your insides. Some still do, but many consider these instruments “relics” and are moving to higher tech alternatives.
At last week’s 2014 American Academy of Family Physicians Assembly, Eric Topol MD delivered an opening session that illustrated how tremendously technology is impacting his profession. He demonstrated how a smartphone can be used to perform an echocardiogram. He also uses his smartphone to take patients’ pulses. “I use my phone, and it gives me more information,” he said, noting that smartphone apps can display not only a pulse but specific rhythms. “Patients can do this themselves.”
And many are. A recent PwC report found that 20 percent of Americans own wearable medical or fitness technology, and despite some obstacles today, the mHealth market is expected to grow dramatically over the next five years.
But there are as many benefits for the medical industry as there are for consumers, if not more. “Wearable data can be used by insurers and employers to better manage health, wellness and healthcare costs, by pharmaceutical and life sciences companies to run more robust clinical trials, and by healthcare providers to capture data to support outcomes-based reimbursement. But it will be critical to address the consumer concerns that we’ve identified, such as cost, privacy, and ease of use,” stated Vaughn Kauffman, principal at PwC Health Industries in a recent press release.
Many of the new mobile healthcare technologies are actually more accurate than legacy equipment – like the stethoscope, and new, effective technologies are being introduced to market all the time. These new devices are more easily acquired and far less expensive, to boot. That means that the future of healthcare could not only be more affordable, but more accessible, resulting in better standards of care all over the world.
At Etratech we’re committed to helping the medical industry improve patient care with better technology. That’s why we’ve committed to achieving ISO 13485 certification. To learn more about electronic control design, manufacturing, and testing capabilities, visit our website and be sure to follow us on Twitter for more company news and medical industry updates.