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Telemedicine and Smartphones Offer New Possibilities in Health Care

Doctor examining x-ray imagesThe health care field in constantly trying to come up with ways to become more efficient, accessible, and cost-effective. One of the ways they’ve had success in this is through remote telehealth solutions. Telemedicine has become increasingly popular and prevalent in recent years, and innovations like the one recently examined by a professional engineer show exactly the reason why.

Bill Schweber, an engineer and editor at EETimes.com, recently profiled one relatively new invention in the telemedicine field that shows just how valuable the new solutions can be. The device he looked at was the Ambulatory Cardiac Telemetry (ACT) from LifeWatch AG. It was approved to go on the market in 2015, but still has yet to garner much mainstream attention.

The device is made up of two parts. On the one end is a small pendant with four tentacle-like cardiac electrodes, and on the other is the data pre-processor and communications link to the company’s monitoring centers. The portion of the device controlling these latter functions is actually just a smartphone, a device which emit radiation at all times and is programmed to perform in this unique way.

“You wear the small, lightweight pendant and electrodes on your chest to record and do preliminary analysis on your heart’s rhythm,” Schweber wrote. “It communicates with the smartphone via Bluetooth; the connection set-up and initialization between the two is automatic with no user action needed. If an arrhythmia is detected, the cell phone automatically sends the data to a monitoring center for review and doctor notification.”

This telemedicine device can be worn at all times day and night with the ability for doctors on the other end to see data and activity virtually in real-time.

The health care industry will likely pin much of their hopes for innovation on these new devices throughout the coming years. With any luck, the products will continue to be of high quality and be able to provide valuable and potentially life-saving services to people who need them.

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