Smart data and new technologies can ease the burden on health care. Here are six examples of how better data usage and smart devices are saving lives.
IBM’s Watson computer system has already beaten several of the greatest all-time champions of the American game show Jeopardy! The strength of the computer system is that it is able to scan enormous amounts of information and learn from it. When IBM bought Merge Healthcare earlier this year, they announced a plan: to let Watson scan billions of medical images and then help doctors make better diagnoses and provide them with information on treatment.
Contact lens measures insulin
Google X-lab has developed a contact lens that measures the wearer’s glucose levels by analyzing their tears. In the past, diabetics have had to prick their fingers to measure their glucose levels; soon they will just need to wear a contact lens. If the insulin levels fall too low, the lens will trigger an alarm to a wireless transmitter. The smart lens will hit the market in a few years.
In a pilot project in Sjöbo, Sweden, a group of heart failure patients have been given Wi-Fi-enabled scales for home use. The patients weigh themselves every day and the data is sent to the patients’ doctors. Rapid weight gain is a common indicator of deterioration in heart failure patients. By keeping the scale at home, the patients don’t have to come in for checkups and the doctors can detect anomalies in time.