Healthcare Technology Featured Article

February 18, 2012

TMCnet's Healthcare Tech Week in Review

With the majority of physicians now using smartphones to interact with patients, other doctors, pharmacists and their offices, 94 percent of them want to learn information about apps and social media via email, according to a recent survey presented at ePharma Summit in New York this month.

Healthcare technology is accomplishing a lot of things these days: monitoring the elderly and others with chronic disease so they can remain at home safely; letting not just top athletes check how far they’re run and how fast, but the average person, too; and even helping traumatized children heal.

But now a technology is being used that allows specialists to examine patients via videoconference over a cable TV company’s network, even those having a stroke or heart attack, and recommend what to do in the “golden hour” when time is of the essence.

Cable TV companies are starting to realize that healthcare is where they need to focus in order to grow their businesses. Philadelphia is one of two test cities involved in a project to curb diabetes, according to a story by John McDevitt at CBS News. Comcast is partnering with “Project Not Me,” the 12-month study targeted at “helping those who are at risk for type-2 diabetes.”  

The more than 300 adults who are being sought will get to watch “16 Xfinity on demand video episodes in the comfort of their own homes and incorporate information from support materials into their daily lives,” according to McDevitt, who writes that the goal of the program “is to prevent or delay the onset of diabetes by promoting healthy eating, increasing physical activity and other life style changes.”

You’ve just gotten off Space Mountain at Disney World. Your daughter’s thrilled she’s about to shake hands with Minnie Mouse. Suddenly, she starts choking and wheezing. She’s having an asthma attack. You’re thousands of miles from your doctor. Now what?

A company called has now made it possible for parents to have 24/7 access to their children’s medical records by creating an account at

Parents simply approve a medical release form at the Web site, which then allows to receive medical records from doctors. These records can then be displayed on mobile phones so a doctor anywhere in the US can get a child’s history immediately.

We’ve all heard of home healthcare, nurses or aides who visit the elderly or sick at home and make sure they’re taking their medication and that their vital signs are normal. But now there’s something called home health technology, and it’s allowing many people with chronic disease to remain at home without direct physical care. The care is provided through monitoring. According to a story at the American Sentinel blog, it may be one of the things that revolutionizes health care in the coming years.

Deborah DiSesa Hirsch is an award-winning health and technology writer who has worked for newspapers, magazines and IBM in her 20-year career. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.

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