Testing has begun on a device that would allow a cardiologist to remotely monitor a patient’s vitals including ECG, heart rate, and GPS-based speed and location. Using this data, a doctor can keep tabs on a patient he has ‘prescribed’ exercise to.
The initial testing was to see if it works (there were some problems, but it mostly did). The idea is that patient wouldn’t have to do their cardio rehab in the hospital, instead they could go home and still have the comfort of a doctor checking on them, without the doctor actually being there. A great step forward and hints at so many great innovations to come in virtual healthcare.
I think they are missing a key point here – accountability. If you are being monitored, and you know that your doctor knows that you missed your workout, you are going to be MUCH more motivated to go on your run. Sure, it’s nice knowing that if you have a change heart rate spike the doctor will know, but too many people get told to exercise without following through. It’s easy to tell your doctor a few months later that you did your exercise. With this device the doctor is going to pull your data on the next visit. No way you can alter the truth there.
Being the technology geek that I am, I see this as paving the way for a next generation of device like the FitBit, only this would get much deeper data. Then you turn it into a virtual competition with friends and family across the globe.
You can read about the entire test here.