Monday, December 19, 2011

Technology Rounds in the Hospital

Today, I had the opportunity to speak at a local hospital during their "tech rounds." These sessions are organized by the hospital's CMIO and are geared to educate hospital-based physicians, nurses, and other clinicians about the innovative uses of technology at the bedside. There are a number of new and emerging technologies that are getting embraced by health care professionals all around the country.

I spoke about the Quantified Self (QS) movement that's rapidly evolving to help patients track their exercise and sleep. These tools are currently consumer products, but they have demonstrated sustainable weight loss and improvements in overall physical activity. Devices like the Fitbit, the BodyMedia Arm Band, and the Zeo Sleep Manager are probably going to be popular holiday gift items this year.

Some other people spoke about the use of Microsoft Xbox Kinect by surgeons in the operating room to navigate digital images like X-rays and CT scans. Xbox Kinect uses your body movements to register input to the gaming console. This technology is now being adopted to allow surgeons to navigate computer screens without touching anything. Soon, you'll see surgeons waving their hands in the air to navigate computers and digital images.

The CMIO demonstrated how you can attach a shoulder strap to your iPad so that you can carry your mobile device in the hospital. It reminds me of how I used to carry the Apple Newton MessagePad in a shoulder-holster-style case.

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