Understand wearable technology; a patient’s perspective; application development; KT tape

The Association of American Medical Colleges expects a estimated shortage from 37,800 to 124,000 primary and specialist care physicians by 2034. With far fewer physicians, rising health care costs, and increasing numbers of patients with chronic conditions such as diabetes and asthma, there is using technology to monitor and treat patients more effectively has never been more urgent.

Wearables could be the answer. These smart electronic devices are worn close to the skin’s surface to detect, analyze, and transmit information regarding bodily signals such as vital signs such as your pulse, oxygen, blood pressure – which in some cases, immediately alerts the person carrying the technology to take action if necessary. .

Wearable devices are a new frontier in healthcare, providing 24-hour continuous physiological monitoring, enabling physicians, nurses and other clinical staff to monitor patients whether they are in the hospital or at home . With real-time remote measurement of patient physiology, hospitals can free up beds, physicians can monitor patients’ vital signs regardless of their location, and greater efficiency is gained.

Advances in wearable health technologies are big business. The global wearable medical device market is expected to grow from $ 8.35 billion in 2020 to $ 10.28 billion in 2021, at a compound annual growth rate of 23.1%.

Guest: Dr Charles Odonkor from Yale Medicine joined us to discuss a study he recently co-authored titled The emerging clinical role of wearables: factors for successful implementation in healthcare.

A patient’s perspective

Almost 10% of Americans have a medical device implanted for a health problem. Heart devices like pacemakers or stents are the most common, but brain implants have helped people with neurological conditions in recent years. From deep brain stimulation for tremors to the management of epileptic seizures, implanted devices are entering the market with even more development.

Guest: Michael mckenna shares his personal experience with a reactive neurostimulation device for his seizures.

Application development

Because the 3.4 million people live with epilepsy in the United States, of which more than 100,000 are Floridians. Medication can help control their seizures most of the time; However, many suffer from unpleasant side effects of the drugs.

Even with medication, some people with epilepsy remain at risk of death, especially from a seizure that occurs at night and frightens both patients and their doctors. Researchers at Johns Hopkins University are helping people with neurological disorders by collecting information about their seizures through their Apple watches. Additionally, they are developing an app that can detect, predict and even alert family members when a person is having a seizure. Throughout their research, data is anonymized and encrypted to protect the privacy of their subjects.

Guest: Dr Greg Krauss, professor of neurology at the John Hopkins School of Medicine, told us more about his research.

KT tape

Not all portable devices involve a complex circuit board or advanced technology. Kinesiology tape – or KT tape – was developed in the 1970s by Kenzo Kase, a doctor of chiropractic in Japan who wanted to create something that mimicked the elasticity of human skin instead of using rigid medical tape.

While professional athletes, physiotherapists and coaches have used it for decades, it only reached the general public during the 2008 Summer Olympics, when the volleyball player Kerri Walsh wore KT tape on his shoulder and then won the gold medal. Now, kinesiology tape is ubiquitous in the sports world.

Guest: Dr. Kevin MacPherson, Clinical Lecturer and Assistant Director of Clinical Education in the Department of Physiotherapy at the University of Florida, explained the uses and applications of the KT band.

What does health have to do with it? Associate producer Katherine Hobbs can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter at @KatherineGHobbs.

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