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Wearable Medical Devices and you!

i am a long-time avid technologist. i began my tech career in the Apple world but moved to Enterprise Solutions later.


So, your doctor wants you to wear a connected Medical Device...

What happens if you go to the Doctor and the Doctor says you have an XYZ issue with your heart?

"I need you to wear this all day, every day." The Doctor hands you a band with a sizeable connected device in the center.

"Where?" you ask. The device is huge, too big to wear. " you say.

"Wear it under your shirt," the doctor answers.


But it is on a wrist band," you say.

There was a time when a connected medical device was like that. The devices were bulky and uncomfortable. But we don't have this issue as much now. A doctor has many options now that they didn't have just four or five years ago.

There are three distinctive types of connected medical devices today.

  1. Always on devices that are always connected (to the Doctor)
  2. Always on devices connected to a cellphone or tablet. The information is shared with the Doctor once a day, week, or Month.
  3. Devices that are only on when the patient initiates the device.

Device type 1 is always on and always connected. This device captures information about you and continually updates your Doctor with the data. The method may be directly connected to the internet or link to your cellular pheon and then share the information. But this device is always connected and sending data to your Doctor.

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The next type of these new wearable medical devices is more store and forward. In this scenario, you may still have an app on your phone or tablet. You have had a connected dongle on your home network/ The device collects data all day, or all day and all night, and uploads that data to a remote system at pre-determined intervals. Where the first device is broadcasting directly to a medical professional, this device may only store information for you to review. Your Doctor can also receive this information if you choose to do so.

The last type of device stores its information but is only uploaded when you request the device information. These devices may also upload data to your Doctor to study the impact of sleep or other issues on your health.

Do you validate parking?

The connected device isn't a cure-all for medical issues. It is merely one additional tool that your Doctor can consider. Several factors determine the type of device and the required connection.

  1. How critical is the information?
  2. How quickly does the Doctor need the information to make a decision?
  3. What are the required actions that must happen with the information?

When you have a medical issue that the Doctor needs to access in real-time, you get the always-on, always-connected device. That device provides information to your medical professionals to make real-time decisions impacting your health. Hearts, blood pressure, and blood sugar are things that, at times, are monitored in a real-time fashion. Real-time monitoring produces a lot of information, and the medical team must know what to look for when they get it. The timeframe for action with real-time information is minimal.

Updates once a day, week, or month devices tend to be tracking issues over time. These devices monitor ongoing, persistent, or non-life threatening conditions. Since the device may only go to a medical person for review, capturing and managing the data becomes essential. Depending on your condition, the Doctor may want different types of data. The highs and lows you experience during the day (Diabetic Monitor). Consistent connection and updated information (Pacemaker). It truly depends on the severity of the situation and what information your Doctor will want.

The last type is passive and doesn't always connect directly to a medical professional. An example of an offline storage medical device could be one given to a managed diabetic (AIC consistently below 6). It is more to collect lifestyle and supporting information to help the person maintain their continued success. It also gives your Doctor more details about your actions and activities. For example, for a person with diabetes, this might mean noting that their blood sugar is very low (50 or 60 mg/dl) right before lunch but higher than expected after dinner (200 mg/dl).

The world of connected medical devices is growing. There are devices now that let Doctors support and significantly improve the lives of their patients. Doctors can see the ongoing results from drugs and make clinical changes to treatment much faster now than ever before.

So, if you walk into your Doctor's office and they are smiling at you, offering you a connected medical device, there isn't anything to make you nervous. On the contrary, that device will help your Doctor deliver much more effective treatment for your ailment.

As the Doctor hands you the wearable medical device, instead of saying recoiling and asking where the device has to be worn, smile and say"

"do you validate parking?"

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 DocAndersen

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