But a slew of emerging technologies, including “in-car” telemedicine may help. For instance, a wireless glucose monitor might prompt a diabetic patient that he’s borderline hypoglycemic and urge him to pull over. Or another system might warn an asthmatic that he’s driving through a known asthma-attack-inducing region and automatically switches the HVAC system to recirculate and close the windows.
Eleven of these new technologies are profiled in a new paper that suggests these and other novel apps might offer effective, more affordable ways to treat and manage chronic conditions, like cardiovascular disease, asthma and diabetes, in underserved populations.
Getting to Value: Eleven Chronic Disease Technologies to Watch, a report by the nonprofit health policy institute, NEHI, offers detailed profiles of the new systems, including Extended Care eVisits, Home Telehealth, Tele-Stroke Care, Medication Adherence Tools and social media tools that, for instance, offer “simple daily challenges or “micro-actions” and incentives to lose weight or exercise with a supportive community focused on similar goals.
These tools may not represent the most radical, sexy medical advances, like say, a paralysis victim using brain signals to control a robotic arm to grab a cup of coffee. But they should be embraced and expedited, the paper says because: “These mobile and telehealth technologies share the potential to improve quality, reduce costs and positively impact the health of this population.”