TeliaSonera announced today a plan to offer a new wireless device that will monitor a patient and notify the doctor of any change in condition. I would be skeptical to allow a wireless device have such a key role in monitoring a human being for serious conditions that may be life threatening.
If hospitals plan to use this to send patients out as soon as possible to simply free up beds, then it could be a horrible fate for the BodyKom technology. It would be best suited to monitor patients with heart disease, blood pressure, diabetes, asthma, and other diseases that would not normally be monitored 24/7 and allow for the patient to feel more secure about returning to their normal life. BodyKom can also track medication in blood and other data of the blood’s content, this is extremely useful to patients taking many different drugs that are known to produce side effects, in fact, it could very well save their lives.
One patient in his sixties suffering from heart flutters was put on trial during beta testing. It can be difficult for people to describe symptoms or how their body feels. It would also be difficult for a doctor to diagnose the symptoms given by the patient. BodyKom found that his heart had stopped for 5-6 seconds which was caused by one of the medicines he was taking.
When this occurs, a signal is sent to monitoring center who would then dispatch the closest health care personnel to you. The geographic location of the patient is also sent using the devices internal GPS receiver.
TeliaSonera is launching the new service in Sweden together with Hewlett Packard and Swedish technology company Kiwo.