Each week PSFK.com with its partner Boehringer Ingelheim brings you a snapshot of five innovative ideas that are reshaping the health care industry. This week’s innovations include a service that better connects patients with doctors and a pen capable of 3D printing bones.
Service Connects Doctors And Patients For Constant Care
HealthLoop is a cloud-based platform that aims to automate the process by which doctors engage with their patients after visits. The platform keeps patients and caregivers better connected by offering clinical information and peer-reviewed follow-up plans that automate the routine aspects of care, while tracking patient progress and monitoring key areas of concern. Through its analytics engine, HealthLoop is able to analyze large amounts of patient data in real-time, which enables doctors and caregivers to focus their attention on patients and medical issues that require the most attention. The idea is to both save doctors time and improve the quality of outcomes for patients by helping to extend the doctor-patient relationship outside the exam room.
Teki System Lets Patients Visit The Doctor Via Kinect
Teki is a system that allows patients with chronic conditions to quickly check in with their doctors via an internet-connected Microsoft Kinect unit. Users receive a Kinect box that is hooked up to their TV and internet, along with a wireless heart rate monitor that measures their pulse, and a spirometer for measuring respiratory levels. On a regular basis, patients communicate with their doctor using video conferencing, voice communications, or text messaging. At that time, the doctor can check their vitals, inquire about their symptoms, and answer any questions. Teki is designed to reduce the number of time-consuming office visits, and catch potential health problems before they require hospitalization.
Brain-Monitoring Mask Promises More Restful Sleep
NeuroOn is a sleep mask that is geared towards helping wearers sleep in a more efficient way by shifting them from a monophasic sleep to a polyphasic one. Polyphasic sleep cycles break up normal rest periods into smaller parts – depending on preference, it can be anywhere from 2 to 6 hours – throughout the day. So instead of consecutively sleeping for 8 hours, users can strategically nap in timed intervals. The sleep mask creates a holistic report of sleep habits by measuring resting brainwaves, muscle tension and eye movements. Collected data is then translated from analogue readings to digital analysis and sent to the paired smartphone app, which wakes users up after their last REM phase.
Prototype Sensor Belt Records World’s Longest Non-Invasive ECG
A new sensor belt prototype developed at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology allows an Electrocardiogram (ECG) to be recorded around the clock for up to six months, increasing the chances a problem will be discovered and treated before an emergency strikes. The system consists of a device roughly the size and weight of a mobile phone that houses all the measurement electronics that is strapped to a patient’s chest with a belt. Unlike other mobile ECG measurement devices that rely on conductive pastes to be applied and can provide measurements for up to a week, the device utilizes four dry electrodes embedded in the sensor belt. Not only does this prevent skin irritation, but it also makes it easy for the patient to apply the device on their own. The device makes it much easier for patients to gather their own ECG data, as well as paint a more accurate picture of their internal health.
Handheld 3D Printer Could Let Doctors ‘Draw’ New Bones
The Biopen is a handheld 3D printing device that is being developed to literally ‘draw’ in bits of human tissue such as bone. Developed at Australia’s University of Wollongong, the device holds two different “inks:” one made of human cells, the other a protective, UV-activated structural gel. The pen layers the cells inside the protective gel, which hardens under the device’s built-in UV light. Instead of the current weeks-long process of harvesting and growing replacement cartilage tissue, the compact, handheld device could enable doctors to ‘draw’ functional material directly on to a damaged bone. Not only does this present a very quick and versatile option for doctors, but it also allows them to quickly create complex and custom implants for patients.
PSFK has partnered with Boehringer Ingelheim to bring you a steady stream of inspiring news and ideas in the health and wellness space. Once each week, we will be posting an article on PSFK.com. If you would like to gain access to the full stream of content, please check out Boehringer Ingelheim’s Facebook Page, where they are publishing a regular stream of inspiring and informative content.