Carol Kasyjanski has become the first American recipient of a wireless pacemaker that allows her doctor to monitor her health automatically over the Internet. The wireless home monitoring system collects the data through a WiFi connection and transmits it over the Internet to her doctor. The server and the remote monitor communicate at least once a day to download all the relevant information and alert the doctor and patient if there is anything unusual. Now when she visits the doctor, about 90% of the tests are already completed from the data collected.
She has suffered from a severe heart condition for more than 20 years so the device has given her renewed confidence because if her pacemaker were to have a problem, immediate action could save her life.
She previously had a problem with her lead being nicked and until she collapsed, no one knew what the problem was as nothing in the tests showed up until she passed out.
The wireless pacemaker is made by St. Jude Medical Inc. and received FDA approval in July. The director of St. Francis' Arrhythmia and Pacemaker Center said the new technology helps him better treat his patients and will likely become the new standard in pacemakers.
This could also be a way of in the future to lower health care costs by automating monitoring and testing in the home. Other testing such as blood pressure monitoring, glucose measurement and heart monitoring could benefit from this technology down the road.
WiFi is truely everywhere now. Market data just released by ABI estimates that WiFi chipset vendors will ship one billion units in 2011. By the end of the following year a cumulative five billion such chipsets will have shipped since the firm began tracking WiFi chipsets in 2000. Most of this is due to consumer devices like smartphones, netbooks, portable media players, TVs, cameras, etc.
ABI also states that the market for wireless devices that monitor patients’ condition and report that data to health care providers is on the verge of explosive growth. Over the next few years it will show a 77% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) resulting in global revenue of almost $950 million in 2014. A lot of this is due to the cost pressures in the health care industry. Some interesting trends backed up by real life examples.
What applications do you think would work best with WiFi monitoring?