Mark Anderson, an uncannily accurate predictor of future trends in technology, is a local treasure in these parts. He lives one county over, and I had the honor and pleasure of meeting him at a regional cyber-security summit where we were presenters. While my presentation focused on the need to integrate social media into crisis communications, his presentation focused on the current state sponsored theft of innovation and future impact on our economy, and it scared the $%it out of me. Recently he was asked to give 10 tech predictions for 2015. Prediction #2 got me thinking – What is the future of wearable tech in the pre-hospital health care setting?
Fitness bands and smartwatches were the rage at this year’s Consumer Electronics show in Las Vegas. Heck, they even had smartcollars for dogs! But, I digress. In the spirit of Mark Anderson, here are my predictions for wearable technology as it relates to pre-hospital care;
- Smartwatches will call 911 for you. Think of it as a really smart version of Life Alert ™. Your heart stops-v-fib- the watch senses the chaotic rhythm, sends out an audible alarm, monitors for movement, and if the alarm is not shut off in a preset amount of time it sends a signal and GPS coordinates to 911 or private call center. Oh yeah, it will also send out an alert to other smart watches in close proximity and provide the location of the nearest automatic defibrillator unit.
- Diabetics will live healthier. The impact of this terrible disease can be tempered by close monitoring of sugar levels. Minimally invasive wearable technology will monitor sugar levels 24/7, allowing downloading and analysis of levels to determine if diet or insulin levels need to be adjusted.
- Paramedics will be using vision enhancement technology. Going back to the future, I previously blogged on this, and think it is way past time that this technology is integrated into EMS operations. Why the hold up? Money and health care privacy laws.
- Medical history will be constantly updated on wearable devices. Paramedics and other medical providers will be able to access a patient’s medical information and current medical status directly from the device. Of course, it will have to be encrypted and locked, but will be readily accessible to those with appropriate permissions, including the patient.
- Paramedics will use hover boards as emergency response vehicles. Just kidding…
- Drones won’t deliver defibrillators. While the concept and demonstration made a big splash, it isn’t a realistic or practical method of delivering emergency medical care. But, it was really great PR for the concept of easy access to automatic external defibrillators!
I don’t think I’m overreaching in any of these, with some of the technologies already being applied to health and fitness. I think the future of these technologies is very bright, and will hopefully be available before I croak.