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The Technology of Human Health

3 Sep, 2013 By: Dr. Satwant Kaur, First Lady of Emerging Technologies

Of the uses of technology, its impact to human life is at the very top. As always, we’ll look to Dr. Satwant Kaur, First Lady of Emerging Technologies, to inform us on Emerging Human Health related Technologies and how they can improve the quality of life.

[imageSource]  We are quite thrilled that our favorite “First Lady of Emerging Technologies” is now Chief Technologist - Innovation for BSC account in the office of the CTO for the Hewlett-Packard Company. Congratulations, Satwant!

[Satwant] I am excited as well. I feel blessed that HP chose me for this role. What better way is there to apply technologies than by innovations in the service of “Humanity” than through health!

[imageSource]  In the last issue of imageSource, we talked about your newly released book “Transitioning Embedded Systems to Intelligent Environments” which became an Amazon bestseller soon after its release. In particular, the sections related to Human Health and Life Sciences and how to build those emerging technology solutions, were noteworthy. Tell us more about what emerging technologies will enable availability of medical facilities close to patients at all times and at all places.

[Satwant]  Lightweight embedded systems and wireless technologies have enabled remote healthcare. Medical exams in doctors’ offices can now extend into patient monitoring at all times for certain health conditions. The following are some of the enabling technologies:

  • The miniaturization of medical devices with embedded hardware enable doctors to be connected to patients at all times in an invisible manner.
  • The continuous sensing is done by small wireless sensors.
  • Numerous Bluetooth† wireless biometric sensors connected to patients can provide critical patient medical information to decision makers at remote.
  • High performance processors allow visual analysis of the large amounts of data generated by a multitude of sensors to be presented to medical teams in a cohesive manner, enabling them to make accurate and timely diagnosis and treatment.

So, medical teams can become available to consult with remote patients on a continual basis, but even computing infrastructure interacts with automated remote medical devices of patients. Medical labs are available for remote patients; samples can be taken remotely and, using technology advancements, results can be processed in faraway labs.

[imageSource] For our audience, please talk about Mobile Diagnostic technologies.

[Satwant] Intelligent wireless medical diagnostic systems help critical patients requiring emergency surgeries by minimizing the time it takes to bring them to the appropriate medical facilities. Other emerging areas of mobile diagnostic that enable Remote Patient Care are as follows:

  • Bandage-like pedometers continuously monitor and reports vital body stats like heartbeats, daily calories, and body temperature.
  • Hearing aids translate spoken foreign languages in real time. Accent neutralization is done by hearing aids that neutralize the spoken language accent and help understand all dialects. Hearing aids warn the visually impaired of any upcoming hazards
  • Robotic muscles allow paraplegics to function normally. Robotic prosthetics can be powered by the body’s own energy. Prosthetic feet provide a boost push-off as the ankle touches ground.
  • Mobile vans equipped with digital mammography lets rural women have their mammograms performed and read by remote radiologists.

So you see, Doctors save lives remotely with their telepresence near the patient.  All the vital signs are remotely monitored in real time. All the medical samples are analyzed in real time. All the treatment is administered in real time, even without a hospital, a lab, or a doctor in the vicinity.

[imageSource] In your book you also talk about Remote Medical Laboratory Analysis. What are some of technologies in that area?

[Satwant] With portable lab kits connected with remote labs, any disease is immediately identified and reported, and so infectious diseases have no chance to spread.

  • Wirelessly connected diagnostic tools, such as portable microscope kits with USB cameras and connected devices to analyze blood samples, bring advanced medical services to people without medical labs or physicians in proximity.
  • Intelligent diagnostic tools enable medical technicians to transmit patient data to physicians at a regional medical center for analysis. Anyone can submit a blood sample, and high resolution photomicrographs of slides can be instantly transmitted over a cellular network or satellite uplink to the pathology lab in a regional medical center.

[imageSource] Tell us about emerging technologies for Biomedical Monitoring and Control.

[Satwant] Emerging technologies for Biomedical Monitoring and Control allow patients to be monitored for the body’s vital signs and other body functions, regardless of whether they are in a hospital, at home, in long-term care, or in other locations.

The wireless sensor devices used to monitor are programmed to process the vital sign data and raise an alert condition when a particular vital sign (such as heart rate, oxygen saturation, or ECG data) falls outside of normal parameters.

  • Patient’s safety-critical functions, such as controlling infusion pumps or monitoring a patient’s vital signs during surgery, are all done through automatic use of sensors and actuators thus minimizing human error.
  • Customized patient-specific wireless vital signs and other health monitoring enable patients to walk corridors and visiting areas without being constrained by wires. Medical treatments are proactive. Most monitoring devices are so small that patients can carry them invisibly. Intelligent devices on the body include EEG (brain) and ECG (heart) monitor and knee braces.
  • Heart and brain patients carry wear a small lightweight wirelessly connected ECG or electroencephalogram (EEG) monitor that cannot even be seen.
  • Electroencephalogram (EEG) patterns that record the electrical activity of the brain are associated with certain neurological events, such as seizures. Analyzing brainwave patterns prior to an event may allow medical caregivers to anticipate or possibly even prevent it from happening.
  • Smart knee braces are embedded with motion sensors with which physicians monitor rehabilitating patients remotely. As patients exercise, the knee braces wirelessly send the data to the doctor on a mobile handheld device.

 [imageSource]  Your insightful book talks about more than one hundred scenarios of the emerging world. Not only that, you also show how to build these solutions. For our readers’ knowledge, your book and eBook may both be found at www.SatwantKaur.com, Amazon.com, and everywhere books are sold.

Dr. Satwant Kaur is hailed as the “First Lady of Emerging Technologies®” in Silicon Valley, Media, and the industry worldwide. Her TV & Radio show interviews are broadcast worldwide.  She currently serves as the Chief Technologist - Innovation for BSC account in the office of the CTO for the Hewlett-Packard Company.  Dr. Kaur expresses her own personal views in all communications & is not endorsed nor reflects any views by any 3rd-party affiliation, organization, or employer. (Full bio “About Author” on imagesourcemag.com).  At http://satwant@drsatwantkaur.com & satwantkaur.com

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