Monday, August 26, 2013

The Mobile Device Gold Rush and Its Problems
Technology…the knack of so arranging the world that one doesn’t have to experience it.
Max Frish (1911-1981), Swiss playwright and novelist,  Homo Faber
If today’s  Silicon Valley forty-niners could solve the logistical and regulatory challenges of embedding home monitoring devices into a smart phone,  they will increase patient engagement and outcomes. The gold rush is on and the spoils could go to whoever gets their first.
Robert Pearl, MD, “Technology Could Put Health in the Hands of Patients, “ Forbes August 22, 2013

Put this health factoid in your mobile smartphone,
One of two adults has chronic disease it is known.

Now imagine patients with diabetes or chronic heart disease,
Phoning from home ECGs and blood glucoses to MDs with ease.

Smartphones can transmit data from home monitoring devices,
Half of  Americans own or can buy smart phones at low prices.

Why should people with these diseases not go mobile?
Why not make this mobile technology information global?

The reasons why not are logistical,
And are not that terribly mystical.

Doctors don’t have time to look at thousands of cardiogram tracings,
For the millions  of new health reform patients they will be facing.

The FDA will label data sent to doctors as a “medical device,”
New regulations will cause prices to go up twice or even thrice.

Regulations will cause innovations to stutter and delay,
To Silicon Valley venturists and entrepreneurs’ utter dismay.

But, says the Valley crowd, mobile devices  are already out there,
smartphone glucose and heart monitors for patients’ disease  care.

How can regulators the promises of new technologies postpone,
When home monitoring device are already connected to smartphones.

But alas, smartphone technologies from out of the blue,
May simply be  too impractical at present  to be true.

If only  we could arrange the medical and regulatory worlds
In order to allow those smartphone technologies unfurl.

Tweet:  Glucose and ECG monitors sending  data to doctors via smart phones are commercially available, and could transform treatment of disease.

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