Healthcare Technology Featured Article

June 26, 2012

New Transdermal Patches Take the 'Ouch!' Out of Going to the Doctor


Sano Intelligence, a part of Rock Health’s group of health start-ups in San Francisco, is working on a transdermal patch that can wirelessly monitor the bloodstream.

According to an article featured in smartplanet.com, “Sano continuously assesses basic metabolic functions, looking out for any abnormalities and alerting a doctor with any concerning results.”

The patch may soon be able to measure glucose and potassium levels, kidney function and electrolyte balance, according to Korones.

Wearable sensors are taking over the marketplace in many healthcare venues these days.  For example, when an elderly parent starts wandering, technology found a GPS locator that can be worn around the neck to find him/her, if they went missing. Researching this article, I learned about a ring with a sensor that can monitor a patient 24/7, and now these amazing ways of looking inside the body without needles, probes or stitches. Welcome to the 21st century!

According to Korones, “Sano’s manufacturers describe the wearable sensor as an API for the bloodstream,” and she reports that information captured from the patch “can be transmitted continuously to virtually any other device and then further tracked and analyzed.” A possible use in the future could allow diabetics to receive a message on their smartphones whenever their blood sugar dips too low.

She quotes Co.Exist’s Ariel Schwartz who describes a few other possibilities, such as clinical trials, which only test participants periodically, but if monitored continuously, could provide data for new drug treatments. He also suggests that doctors could use the patch on patients with chronic disease, and if a problem is detected, intervention can be used to prevent a visit to the office.

So the next time you go to the doctor, maybe you, too, will be in for a nice surprise. But just pity the hazardous waste companies. What will they do now for business?




Edited by Brooke Neuman






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