This is Part 2 of our ongoing series on the Internet Of Medical Things (IOMT).
There are many exciting devices that will help support the practice of medicine. Perhaps even more exciting (and challenging) for the emergency physician will be attempting to stay abreast of the rapidly growing number of devices that patients can purchase directly and will be calling upon us to interpret.
Most patients have already had the opportunity to explore the first wave of basic personal monitoring with wearables like Fitbit ($99–$150). Although these devices collect basic data about exercise and health, there has been a lot of conversation surrounding the validity and utility of the data. Can you imagine a conversation between a patient and a primary care physician or emergency physician regarding these data? “Doctor, I notice that Grandma’s steps per day have decreased by 50 percent over the past two weeks, which seems to be coinciding with some shortness of breath while exerting herself.” Although these are basic data, they can serve as additional objective pieces of information to support a diagnosis.
We can expect a large growth in data collection in health care that interfaces with the emergency department. Data will not only come from the home but also be pushed from third parties that are generating and monitoring data for our patients. I remember the first time I received a fax from a cardiac-monitoring device company regarding an event a patient had experienced while walking in a park. It was astounding that this small portable device had recorded an event and transmitted that data to the cloud, where it was interpreted. The patient was called and directed to call 911 to get transported directly to the emergency department. I received the data regarding the dysrhythmia prior to arrival of the patient. Truly astounding.